REDISCOVERING CAMBODIA: A JOURNEY OF HEARTS WITH B1G1

Insights Jan 30, 2024


Here at B1G1, we are proud to be able to make it our business to spread the JOY of giving. If you’re a Member of the Movement, you’re able to get to experience this in a vast variety of different ways. One of which is through an organized, 6-day event that allows you to interact firsthand with amazing projects and interact with Worthy Causes and the people they are serving directly.

The B1G1 Study Tour is a learning tour. It’s a tour for actively contributing B1G1 Businesses, their team members, and families. It’s an opportunity to collectively learn, connect, and engage with people on the ground (a.k.a) wonderful Worthy Cause managers and the people being supported by the great work they are doing).

Now in their tenth year, these tours are carefully planned to ensure meaningful learning in sensitive ways to honor the people in various communities.

Let’s delve a little deeper to give you a real sense of how powerful they are ….

A Heartfelt Week in Cambodia

Welcome dinner for the Study Tour participants at The Aviary Hotel Siem Reap

After three long years of pandemic-induced separation, Masami and I found ourselves once again soaring towards the Kingdom of Cambodia. Alongside us were our Marketing Manager, Bron, and a group of B1G1 members and their families.

Welcoming us at the new Siem Reap airport was the familiar face of Raksa, Cambodia’s best and most compassionate guide. Despite the changes in the airport, Raksa remained unchanged—brimming with energy, information, and insights. The journey to town was an eye-opener, filled with tales of transformations and challenges (the $6 toll road didn't sit well with the locals).

Our sanctuary for the next six days, the Aviary, stood beautifully in the heart of the town. If you ever find yourself in Siem Reap, this hotel is a gem—curated with care, spacious, spotless, and adorned with a captivating bird theme.

A Symphony of Impactful Moments

Laughter and warm smiles from the locals

Yet, the essence of B1G1 Study Tours transcends airports and hotels. It's about immersing yourself in a country's journey of resilience after enduring the horrors of the Pol-Pot regime almost five decades ago. It's about witnessing the remarkable growth of B1G1 Worthy Causes, steadfastly making a difference in challenging times.

This year's study tour generated over 120,000 positive impacts across ten projects run by six incredible organizations.

Smiles for Miles: A Day of Gifting Bicycles

Students and B1G1 members riding bicycles

Early mornings, a bus ride, and a mission to bring smiles to some extraordinary kids with a special gift—bicycles.

Not just any bikes, but pathways to education for children, thanks to our amazing partners at This Life Cambodia. Meeting the selected children 5 km away from their school, riding through occasionally bumpy roads, their eyes lit up as they received THEIR bikes. We joined them in a triumphant ride to the school gate, greeted by fellow students celebrating the gift and our presence.

This Life Cambodia's program transformed the school, emphasizing questions and ownership. The joy radiated from families and children alike, teaching us invaluable lessons through classroom interactions and conversations with village chiefs.

Crafting Joy: Building a Playground

David Low and his son Archer painting a swing set

On another memorable day, we did more than just visit a well-run 600-person school in Siem Reap; we built a playground. Four hours of hard work, sore backs, blistered hands, and, most importantly, smiling faces creating a haven for the kids.

Child’s Dream in Cambodia, a fittingly named B1G1 Worthy Cause, made it happen. The connections forged during this experience were etched in every smile and gaze, making the day unforgettable.

A Journey of Lasting Impressions

Masami and Bron with the Study Tour participants at Angkor Wat

Our return to Cambodia showcased the strides taken by various Worthy Causes since our last visit. What might seem commonplace—a playground, bicycles, water filters, and toilets—sprang to life from modest contributions, even just a few cents. Together, these seemingly small gestures weave a tapestry of hope for a brighter future.

We delved into challenging issues like youth incarceration and child trafficking, navigating complex territories with a profound appreciation of local communities and partnerships with governments.

One participant aptly described it as "humbling," and we couldn't agree more. Join us in the transformative journey of giving through B1G1. Let your heart be the guide, and together, let's make a difference that lasts a lifetime.

Paul Dunn

Paul is the chairman and biggest supporter of B1G1. A 4-times TEDx speaker, he frequently travels around the world inspiring businesses with B1G1 and his amazing business insights.

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