This summer saw PEPY partner with Global Routes for the first time. Global Routes is a pioneer in the world of value-driven, experiential-based, international programming. By partnering with PEPY, participants from US high schools had the chance to learn about and interact with development programs, social entrepreneurs, and local communities, all with different approaches and views of what the future of Cambodia should look like and how to get there
Whilst in Phnom Penh, participants had the opportunity to delve into Cambodia’s recent history by visiting Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields. They also had a preview of their upcoming extended homestay experience by staying with a family in Kirirom (“Happy Mountain”) National Park.
The students then ventured to Koh P’Dao island for their epic two-week homestay and were introduced to CRDT (Cambodian Rural Development Team), where they were put to work! Together, with members of the community and CRDT staff, they were responsible for the construction of 1 biodigester unit, 3 rainwater collection units, and 3 toilets, as well as English teaching and school repair.
Like all trips we offer or partner with at PEPY, this trip was focused on learning with discussions about development work, a chance to learn from local people and NGO partners and a chance for these students to broaden their ideas about what it means to be a global citizen.
Chor Choch from PEPY, who led the group, shares some of his thoughts on the experience.
I think all of them, the students and the trip leaders were nice and friendly. They asked a lot about Khmer lessons, and some things about traditional culture—like how is the living of the local people in Cambodia? They really enjoyed the “real” experience of the homestay—how Cambodian people are living and what the difference is between Cambodia and other countries around the world.
I like leading these tours because they are really nice and friendly and I know that they are very young, but they really enjoy the real experience in Cambodia. One student, Jessica, said she didn’t really expect to see all of this in Cambodia, it really opened her eyes to see all of this.
What I hope the students’ share with their friends and family when they get home is what they have learnt about in Cambodia, issues, environment, traditional culture, daily-life living.
I am really happy to lead tours because I want to share my history, my culture and my traditions from my country to other people around the world!