The concept of sustainability is part of both CRDT’s newly updated implementation strategy and management restructure. CRDT commits towards sustainability for its projects through community-based organizations (CBO)’s strategy and also, its organizational operation through its social enterprises program.
As a way to diversify its funding incomes and in order to rely less on international donations, CRDT has developed three different social enterprises: SHG Finance PLC, Cambodian Rural Development Tours, and Le Tonlé Tourism Training Centers in Kratie.
SHG Finance PLC (former Mekong Credit Association) is a rural credit operator. Its main activity is to provide credit through Self-Help Groups. In 2015 the project has expanded to 4 new villages, 1 new commune, taking the overall coverage to 95 villages, 40 communes and 9 districts in the provinces of Kratie and Stung Treng.
CRDTours is a sustainable enterprise whose incomes directly support the work of CRDT. CRDTours shows that there is more to the Mekong than just the critically endangered Irrawaddy dolphins by employing local knowledge and community relationships to take tourists to meet with rural communities. In 2012 CRDTours hosted 447 tourists and generated US$9,842, of which about 80% stays with the communities while the rest goes to the CRDT core fund.
Le Tonlé Tourism Training Center is a vocational training institute focusing on tourism and hospitality. This center also runs a guest house and a restaurant in Stung Treng and Kratie, as a way for the students to experience hands-on practice. The center aims at providing vocational training for poor disadvantaged teenagers to seek employment in tourism facilities as well as for CRDT to gather income for its operations.