My late Grandfather served on the HMAS Australia during World War 2. He was a stoker working in the depths of the ship making sure the engines had enough coal in them to make sure the ship had the power to move fast through the water. He used to say to me that when he was on shore leave on the Solomon Islands "That there is not a more beautiful sound in the whole world than the laughter of native children at play on the beach"
I never really knew what this meant until I lived in Cambodia and Vietnam. Listening to the laughter of the kids kicking a ball round, chasing each other playing tag it finally hit me. This is what my Grandfather told me about. The sound is intoxicating and bought me a smile and so much joy. I can only think of my Grandfather coming from the depths of the ship and land on the beach to the sound of children playing. From one extreme to another.
This is what drives me to work my hardest to bring joy and laughter back to the children in Cambodia. It's my mission to do the best I can to help the kids that need all the help they can get. By people supporting my website it enables me to provide the resources needed the most.
Here at Essential Ethical our number one goal is to help young people in Cambodia. We do this by sourcing great products especially from Cambodia to raise funds for Education, Housing, Social programs and Child Protection.
I used to live in South East Asia and worked as a Tour Leader and Social Justice Educator. Our number one mantra was Responsible Travel. I would take my small groups to all the wonderful tourist attractions but also introduce the people to small non government organisations that helped young people. Through education and job skilling to empower them with a sense of self worth.
A lot of these kids had no one to look after them. This would mean they lived on the streets. I would talk to a lot of these children and it amazed me how smart they were. All they needed was a hand up otherwise they would fall into a life of drugs and in many cases prostitution.
Many times I would travel across the country by local bus and it would bring tears to my eyes, I wanted to help everyone.
I ended up having to come back to Australia due to ill health but my heart is still in South East Asia especially Cambodia.
Unlike Charities that just have their hands out for donations which is fine I thought I could do something better. Essential Ethical was born.
Sourcing great products to sell was a long time in the making but I got there in the end. Especially teaming up with Kambio located outside of Siem Reap. This business was perfect as our main supplier of Organic products. The local community farming of organic products enabled people to sell their crops at a good market price to Kambio who built a great team.
Bringing Kambio to Australia has been great. We are supporting a local community and then sending profits back to Cambodia to fund two NGO's.
Cambodia Land Mine Museum I have worked with for many years and they do great work with helping victims of landmines. They have housing for young people and schooling along with a raft of other social programs. Akira who was once a child soldier during the Khmer Rouge days now works to remove the million plus land mines still left in the country. He is a true champion and a lovely man.
First Step Cambodia is the other organisation that we work with who look after children who have been the victims of sexual trafficking or domestic violence. Their work is essential in protecting children and young people through community engagement, housing and education.
Even though I do not live in Cambodia anymore I feel proud that I am doing the work that I do. I love to talk with people about my adventures in Cambodia and promoting responsible travel.
I continue to grow my business and thank the people who have supported me along the way. Together we can all make a positive difference to the world one day at a time. Please feel free to contact me at anytime even if it's just a chat especially if your planning to visit Cambodia.