Ecotourism changed my vision

“Since Koh Phdao has been developed as an ecotourism community and has become a nice tourism destination, I really love the environment and day by day, I realize it is a vital thing in the world!

My name is Men Vichaka and I am 28 years old. I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters. I dropped out from school at grade 9 because my family had no money to support my education anymore. I am from a very poor rural area in Sambor district, in Kratie province.
For a few years now, I have been working with WWF in my community as a fish scientist and a dolphin protector. Dolphin protector was a volunteering job, so I was not payed for this, but I really appreciated this experience. Meanwhile, I got $25 per month from my fish scientist job. This not a lot of money for me, but it absolutely made me happy, and I found it very interesting.
In 2015, I have been designed as deputy of Koh Phdao Community Based Eco-Tourism (CBET). I was very proud of myself since I never imagined I would get such a position in my community!
In my community we had some problems such as sanitation, chicken pen, pig pen, etc. Since we collaborated with CRDT and CRDTours, they started implementing projects in the community and all together we solved these problems step by step.
These projects also aim to protect our environment. We realize how important it is to conserve the nature, especially for the next generations, but also to allow people to keep studying and exploring the Mekong river biodiversity. The biodiversity is really important, and now we try to protect the different species living in the Mekong such as the Irrawaddy dolphins. These elements are quite essential for me, and that’s why I am now committed to act for their protection.
With my community we also “Since Koh Phdao has been developed as a #ecotourism community and has become a nice tourism destination, I really love the environment and day by day, I realize it is a vital thing in the world!
My name is Men Vichaka and I am 28 years old. I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters. I dropped out from school at grade 9 because my family had no money to support my education anymore. I am from a very poor rural area in Sambor district, in Kratie province.
For a few years now, I have been working with WWF in my community as a fish scientist and a dolphin protector. Dolphin protector was a volunteering job, so I was not payed for this, but I really appreciated this experience. Meanwhile, I got $25 per month from my fish scientist job. This not a lot of money for me, but it absolutely made me happy, and I found it very interesting.
In 2015, I have been designed as deputy of Koh Phdao Community Based Eco-Tourism (CBET). I was very proud of myself since I never imagined I would get such a position in my community!
In my community we had some problems such as sanitation, chicken pen, pig pen, etc. Since we collaborated with CRDT and CRDTours, they started implementing projects in the community and all together we solved these problems step by step.
These projects also aim to protect our environment. We realize how important it is to conserve the nature, especially for the next generations, but also to allow people to keep studying and exploring the Mekong river biodiversity. The biodiversity is really important, and now we try to protect the different species living in the Mekong such as the Irrawaddy dolphins. These elements are quite essential for me, and that’s why I am now committed to act for their protection.
With my community we also realize the importance of our environment for the tourism. Hosting tourists allow us to earn more income and to improve our life, and we can give them the opportunity to see wildlife in our community they will be happy and more will come! Tourism has really upgraded our living standard and has drastically reduced poverty by providing jobs to the villagers. Moreover, some of us have started to learn languages like English and French from tourists when they stayed here. By the way, I love French!
To sum up, I really love my different jobs because they have contributed to save the nature and also to develop my community. Therefore, I would like to thank CRDT and CRDTours for bringing tourists into the village and also implementing many projects to support the community.” the importance of our environment for the tourism. Hosting tourists allow us to earn more income and to improve our life, and we can give them the opportunity to see wildlife in our community they will be happy and more will come! Tourism has really upgraded our living standard and has drastically reduced poverty by providing jobs to the villagers. Moreover, some of us have started to learn languages like English and French from tourists when they stayed here. By the way, I love French!

To sum up, I really love my different jobs because they have contributed to save the nature and also to develop my community. Therefore, I would like to thank CRDT and CRDTours for bringing tourists into the village and also implementing many projects to support the community.”

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