Temple Garden Foundation is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with Bamboo (www.wearebamboo.com), a unique volunteer and adventure travel company, which aims to give people meaningful cultural exchanges, while making sure to have a positive impact on countries they visit, such as Cambodia, Thailand, Nepal, India, Vietnam, and Costa Rica. TGF and Bamboo share a belief in sustainably improving the world we share, by effecting lasting change in communities, through facilitating local ownership and empowerment.
Bamboo are partners of the Refill Not Landfill campaign (https://refillcambodia.com/), which aims to significantly reduce the use of environmentally-damaging plastic water bottles, most often used just once, with reusable metal ones, refillable for free at various stations in Siem Reap and across Cambodia. In 2015, 4.8 million visitors travelled to Cambodia, staying for an average of 6.8 days. Each person would have consumed around 2 litres of water per day. This means 10 million half-litre bottles could have been used (and thrown away) in just one month.That’s 355,000 bottles per day. Refill Not Landfill was established to respond to the negative impact of plastic bottle use by visitors to Cambodia. Bamboo staff encourage guests on their tours to buy the aluminium water bottles, as well as making them available in their own café, Fat Panda’s, where 100% of proceeds go towards different development projects every month.
Naturally, Bamboo wanted the funds raised from bottle sales to go to a worthy cause, so all proceeds go towards supporting TGF’s Water and Sanitation programme, which has reached over 40,000 people in Chi Kraeng district, Siem Reap province. Chi Kraeng is one of the least developed districts in Siem Reap, one of Cambodia’s poorest provinces. TGF has been working there since 2008, partnering with villagers in the construction of wells and latrines, as well as providing filters and rainwater harvesting tanks.
To foster sustainability, we try to change the typical pattern of village dependence on NGOs, and limited governmental support, by undertaking projects which maximise community participation, and minimise external support – almost every project we undertake requires a commitment of resources from the beneficiaries.
This partnership creates a way for visitors to ensure that they are reducing their environmental impact, while improving the livelihoods of some of Cambodia’s poorest people.
Some achievements of TGF’s Water & Sanitation programme to date:
88% of households have access to working latrines, compared to the Cambodian average of 40%
7,000+ Latrines built to date
83% reduction in waterborne disease in the last 5 years