Highlights of 2012: PEPY and PEPY Tours reflect on the past year
2012 has been a big year for both PEPY and PEPY Tours and we’d love to share our 12 highlights with you. We hope that 2012 has been a year of peace and prosperity for all our supporters and wish you health and happiness for the year ahead.
If you would like to support us during the festive season, please consider donating to our projects, visiting Cambodia through a PEPY tour or supporting our ambitious PEPY Riders who, as we speak are cycling across Cambodia to raise money for PEPY projects.
In September this year we were delighted to announce PEPY’s new Executive Director – Kimline Nuch! After spending last year interviewing various external candidates for the position, we came to realize what strong resources we already had in our own team.
In April and May this year we conducted a Needs Assessment in Chanleas Dai and an Impact Evaluation of our programs. The findings from these reports are helping us design and redesign PEPY projects for the future.
New logo and new look
We’d felt for a while that our old logo no longer reflected our new vision of All young Cambodians empowered to achieve their dreams. Our website was also out of date and difficult to maintain. Supported by many fantastically talented and creative designers we launched our new logo and website in September.
This year, we worked with the young people from Chanleas Dai to establish a PEPY Youth Board. These young people will provide us with information, feedback and ideas to help us keep our projects relevant and useful.
The PEPY office is now in Kralanh, the nearest district town to Chanleas Dai. After much speculation about whether this move would EVER happen, the team relocated from Siem Reap in September. We are happy to be able to be able to bring the team together and look forward to an increased financial efficiency. PEPY Tours remain in the office in Siem Reap.
Endings and beginnings
August 2012 saw PEPY transition out of all remaining projects in Chanleas Dai primary school. The three year SAS project came to an end and the Classroom Library and Library projects were handed over to the school with the help of a newly established student council. September 2012 was a time for beginnings as two Chanleas Dai high school graduates were awarded the first PEPY scholarships to study at university in Siem Reap.
This year PEPY Tours have been lucky to lead 93 participants on 9 different adventures across Cambodia, and meet amazing people from all over the world along the way. The ages of participants ranged from 14 to over 70 years old and over ¾ of the participants were students.
Part of the PEPY Tours mission is to help raise standards in the tourism industry, and we work to provide guidance and resources which facilitate this. This summer we ran evening and two-day intensive courses on child protection, responsible tourism, and cultural sensitivity for fellow tourism professionals in Cambodia.
One of our biggest achievements this year was producing guidelines for responsible volunteering. We started working on these guidelines in 2011, and have filled them with tips and tools to help future volunteers chose a responsible placement and make the most impact during it. This year we’ve been proud to finally share the guidelines with the world.
In September this year PEPY Tours launched its brand new website. The new site allows would-be and past participants to better engage with our work, and offers a better and more visually pleasing user experience. We’ve also made sure it’s packed with useful resources that any traveler can take advantage of.
PEPY Tours has enjoyed a lot of love across the globe this year. We’ve been featured in Lifestyle & Charity, Mission TV, Al Jazeera, and the Huffington Post. Our staff starred in Humanity TV episodes and we’ve even been nominated in Conde Nast as a finalist in the ‘Travel Companies That Care About Community Development” category.
PEPY Tours had the honor to speak in front of audiences from Cambodia to Europe about the importance of learning before helping. We presented at Word Responsible Tourism Day in Siem Reap, Sustainable Tourism Workshop in Phnom Penh, and most notably, our founder spoke about the dangers of volunteer tourism at TEDx Oxbridge.