Sou Poan and Srey Neth – picture provided courtesy our guest B. Johnson, August 2012
We provide fair pay and equal opportunities for all of our staff in accordance with Cambodian Labour Law. Each member of staff receives 18 days paid holiday per year and paid sick leave. We make monthly payments to the Cambodian government’s social security system offering our staff members free hospital treatment for injuries obtained at work or to and from the workplace.
We offer paid maternity and paternity leave for all staff and support for those returning to work after having children.
Interest free loans are available to our staff with a structured, affordable repayment schedule for potentially life changing investments; hospital or dental treatments, bicycle or motorbike repair or purchase, school fees etc.
We donate our used cooking oil to Naga Biofuels to be processed into Biodiesel and collect our solid kitchen waste to be collected each evening for a local pig farmer, free of charge.
We use a home made glass cleaning solution of vinegar and water, and polish all wooden surfaces with natural coconut oil to minimise our chemical impact into the environment and into the waste water system. We try to minimise our use of aerosol spray cans or harsh chemicals for our daily cleaning products. Our used soap remnants from our guest rooms are collected and donated to Eco Soap Bank
We offer an optional towel replenishment system, allowing our guests to choose how often their towels are changed. Offering this option reduces the amount of water used and chemicals washed into the water system daily as it reduces our total laundry. We use a professional laundry service that can wash large loads at a time, again minimising our water usage by having to wash fewer loads.
We use water saving devices with all toilets saving up to 1 litre of water per flush and have renovated all of our guest rooms with an energy saving key card electrical system to cut the electricity when guests are not in the room. All lights are fitted with energy saving light bulbs, wherever possible.
All plastic bottles, cans, glass, and cardboard are recycled with the funds raised going to our staff tips. We reuse plastic bags when ever possible, reuse old newspaper for cleaning glass surfaces, and reuse scrap paper by cutting it for note pads. All interesting items; yoghurt pots, plastic bottle tops, coffee machine pods, toilet rolls, old magazines etc are collected and donated to local school art projects. We try to reduce our solid waste in any area possible.
Our main aim is to reduce the amount of waste we buy in to the guesthouse and will soon by stopping the use of plastic bottles in our rooms by using refillable and washable glass bottles for our complimentary drinking water in our rooms.
We use third party tour operators who cap the number of tourists per group, minimising their impact on the environment they are visiting and who run tours which benefit several local NGOs.
We support The White Bicycles charity renting bikes to our guests commission free; since March 2007 we have collected more than US$3,000 for their projects. We also sell Colourful Cambodia cards commission free through the guesthouse for local NGO Honour Village. We also have a permanent collection behind out bar for donations to The Trailblazer Foundation; helping to provide clean water for Siem Reap’s poorest villages.
Since January 2010 we have been hosting a monthly Charity Pub quiz which from January 2011 incorporated a raffle as well with prizes consistently being donated by generous local businesses. This initiative has grown to twice monthly events featuring pub quizzes, music quizzes, and BINGO nights and has raised over US$26,000 for many local charities.
We are committed to protect children from all forms of abuse and preventing child exploitation and trafficking and our staff have their “eyes wide open” for any evidence of this within our reach. We are members of the ConCERT Cambodia organization linking tourists with vetted organisations looking for support or assistance. ConCERT is a great base for finding out more information on local charities especially for those wanting to donate time or funds to a worthy cause.
How You Can Help
Even short term visitors can make a difference to the country and communities they visit. Respecting local dress and behaviour codes, as well as minimising the impact you have as a visitor goes a long way. Do not touch monks, show respect to local elders and take your rubbish home with you.
Please think about bartering for that final dollar at the market; you may well be able to get your souvenirs that little bit cheaper if you try, but the US$1 will make more of a difference to the seller than it will for you. There are many NGO shops or fair trade organisations which offer the chance to buy well made, local products knowing that the workers receive a fair deal out of your purchase. The nearby AHA market offers the chance to buy certified made in Siem Reap products and souveniers direct from the producers for a fair price. We recommend visiting them.