Sally Hetherington

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Responsible Tourism

Australia, Cambodia, Developing countries, Human and Hope Association, Poverty, Responsible Tourism

The Problem with False Promises

There used to be a Khmer volunteer who taught at Human and Hope Association in addition to his full-time work teaching at a nearby NGO. The NGO he taught at was funded primarily by Australians who frequently visited the organisation. He formed a close relationship with a lady he called ‘Mum’. One day in early 2013, this volunteer came into our office and proudly told me that his ‘Mum’ was going to pay for him to move to Australia to study. I was sceptical. I knew how difficult it was to get  ...

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Cambodia, Charity, Child Protection, Developing countries, Development, Empowerment, Featured, Orphanages, Poverty, Poverty Tourism, Responsible Tourism, Social problems, South East Asia, Thoughts, Travel, Voluntourism

Read This Before Paying to Volunteer Overseas

Recently, Projects Abroad announced that by the end of 2017, they will no longer send volunteers to help directly in orphanages, instead focus on supporting community-based care for children. Although this is great progress for a company that generates great profits through the vulnerable, this isn’t enough. Organisations such as Projects Abroad and IVHQ offer a wide range of experience for voluntourists, such as social work, animal care, building and agriculture, in addition to the  ...

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Cambodia, Charity, Child Protection, Developing countries, Development, Empowerment, Featured, Poverty, Poverty Tourism, Responsible Tourism

“We can’t wait to go back to take toys for the children.”

“Thank you for your work! We were in Cambodia and can’t wait to go back to take toys for the children,” the Instagram comment read.  At first glance, this may seem like a sweet comment and gesture. However for me, my heart started racing, alarm bells went off in my head, and I immediately texted a friend to complain about this group of people who are finding impoverished children in developing countries and giving them toys, “no strings attached.” According to  ...

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Cambodia, Responsible Tourism, South East Asia, Tourism, Travel

A day in Siem Reap on the cheap

My friend Julian recently visited Siem Reap as part of a tour package. Given he had already been to the temples, I wanted to provide him with a memorable experience, which of course didn’t break my minuscule budget. For most of the day we were on our motorbike, which reduced the costs a tourist would be faced with. If you decide to take a tuk-tuk around, it would probably cost about $35 for the whole day, as these destinations are in opposite directions. Human and Hope Association  ...

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