Discova Educational Travel in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Meaningful Impact and Community Project Completion in Trei Nhoar, Cambodia

August 24, 2023

Our clients and visiting student groups have had remarkable impacts on communities throughout our destinations. In the past year in particular, we have seen the transformative power of educational travel and generous donations in Trei Nhoar, a small commune about an hour’s drive outside of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Four important projects have come to completion here, and we’d like to share with you just what an impact they’ve had on the area’s local people.

Our entire Discova Educational Travel (DET) team gathered together in Siem Reap at the beginning of August and were able to set aside time to visit Trei Nhoar and experience the significant change that has taken place here.

Local community-led tourism in Trei Nhoar
Local Trei Nhoar villagers spent their day chopping cassava, a much-loved ingredient for many local dishes in the community.

Trei Nhoar: Project Completions  

In 2022, we began working closely with the Trei Nhoar community, having identified several infrastructural needs. The commune here is one of the poorest in the province. Together with community leaders, our DET team evaluated how Discova and educational groups could best support Trei Nhoar’s most pressing needs. The funding and benevolent donations of educators and visiting students have directly led to the fruition of several important projects.

The following were carried out over the past year and are now complete.

1. Project at Trei Nhoar Commune Hall: 2 Bathrooms Units & a Shower Room

According to Mr. Teab (Head of Trei Nhoar Commune) & Ms. Neary (Head of Women & Child Affairs), the implementation of new toilets and showers at the Trei Nhoar’s commune halls has had a transformative impact on the community members. Prior to this development, villagers had to endure unsanitary and unsafe conditions when using communal bathroom facilities.

Community-led tourism in Cambodia
Sopheak Chheang (second from right), DET Operations Executive, with community leaders, including Mr. Teab (second from left) and Ms. Neary (first from right), in front of the newly built, colourful bathroom block.

The installation of these modern amenities not only enhances hygiene but also promotes overall health and well-being. Villagers now have access to clean, functional bathrooms that significantly reduce the risk of waterborne diseases and other related illnesses. Additionally, the provision of showers improves personal hygiene practices among community members, leading to an improved quality of life for all residents.

2. Project at Trei Nhoar Healthcare Centre: 4 Toilet Units, 3 Units of 1000-litre Water Filters

We have received overwhelmingly positive testimonials from villagers who have experienced significant improvements in their quality of life. Villagers shared that the new toilets have enhanced hygiene practices and ensure greater privacy and dignity. Moreover, the installation of water filters has had a profound impact on their health, with villagers reporting a decrease in waterborne diseases and an increase in overall well-being.

Community-led tourism and impact in Cambodia
Sopheak and Oeu Manith (first from right), DET Operations Executive, with community leaders, including the Head of Trei Nhoar’s Healthcare Centre, Mr. Sav Kuy (third from right).

Mr. Sav Kuy (Head of Healthcare Centre): “With these essential improvements, we can look forward to healthier and happier lives for all villagers.”

Testimonial from authorities and villagers: “We want to express our sincere gratitude to the Discova company for their invaluable support in providing new toilets and improving the sanitation facilities in our community. The installation of these new toilets and water filters not only addresses an urgent need but also greatly contributes to the improvement of our community. This thoughtful gesture will have a significant positive impact on the lives of many individuals. We are thankful for this partnership and excited for future collaboration in creating a sustainable future for our community.”

3. Project at Local Secondary School: Computer Lab

In Trei Nhoar, 24 students now benefit from computer lessons: these are held four times per week, with morning and afternoon sessions.

Mr. Kheoun (School Director): “This undertaking demonstrates the importance of empowering individuals with access to technology-based resources. The development and maintenance of such infrastructure opens up countless possibilities for the local community, from educational opportunities for children to skill-building programs for adults. By providing this valuable resource, we are enabling residents to enhance their digital literacy, expand their knowledge base, and connect with the wider world. Moreover, the establishment of a computer lab in a rural setting is significant as it addresses the unique challenges faced by remote communities in accessing technology.”

Digital literacy and education in Cambodia
Sopheak and Manith with community leaders and the local high school’s teachers.

4. Project at Local Primary School: Children’s Playground

Mr. Dul (Primary School Director) expressed his delight in seeing the joy on his students’ faces as they played together on the newly built playground. He believes that this playground serves as a motivation for children to come to school more frequently. “In fact, other schools are now envious of our school because of this amazing playground. It’s a modern facility with lots of interactive play equipment that helps with physical fitness and socializing. It’s not just a fun place for recess, but it has also made students want to arrive on time in the mornings because they can’t wait to explore and have fun. The fact that attendance has increased shows that the playground is really capturing students’ interest and helping them enjoy learning at our school,” he proudly noted.

The previously bare ground has been replaced by a bright new playground.

Discova Educational Travel visits Trei Nhoar

We have an on-the-ground DET team in Siem Reap that has led the invaluable communications and relationships we have built with the people of several community development projects, including those in Trei Nhoar. DET Operations Executives Sopheak Chheang and Oeu Manith have provided instrumental support and guidance in ensuring that the above projects have come to life.

At the beginning of August, they were joined in Siem Reap by Phuong Doan (DET Regional Manager), Jayne Reddie (Asia Sales General Manager) and Adam Platt-Hepworth (Director of Emerging Ventures) and other DET members from Vietnam. Together they planned the growth and direction of Discova’s educational travel segment and what other community projects and opportunities we can develop to support community-led tourism.

During the week the team spent one night in one of Trei Nhoar’s homestays. They visited the completed projects but also got to experience some of the activities your educational groups can expect during a stay in the community.

One activity involved a cooking lesson (rice cakes and a BBQ), while another included an insightful talk with a village elder.

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