Now a day Cambodia is a developing country in Asia. There are many tall buildings are starting to be born in Phnom Penh, the capital city. Everything has changed after a dark dream is gone and we won’t hope to see it again. Change is a new word has grown in my mind, when I came to Liger. Before I didn’t know what’s that mean? and how can I make a change? Throughout, many projects have happened since year 2 to 3, those were mirrors to reflect and open more space for the world to show me that “the outside is exuberant, but there are some issues still need a change. Even though, it is a big or small thing if we could make it’s different and better”.
Preah Vihear province is located in the north part of Cambodia and it’s a province given named by the temple (Prasat Preah Vihear). The place has a beautiful temple stand up high on the mountain with green scenery of nature surround. Besides, there are a lot of amazing ancient temples and interesting resorts. Though, there are also groups of indigenous communities. Bonkernphal village, Romtom commence, Rovieng district, Preah Vihear province is one of Kui indigenous communities.There are 236 Kui indigenous families (827 people) and most of the villagers are farmers. Therefore, the community has a protecting forest of 1891ha. The large area of forest, but only five villagers who volunteer to patrol in a forest called Protecting Forest Community Champan to stop all illegal action since 2006. Because of loving the nature they are working to protect their forest without think of salary. On the other hand, all of the families in the community are also facing some problem of living under the poverty line average annual income of $1,500 per family ($0.83/person/day). All of those issues in the community is a reason to make us want to create a Community Based Ecotourism in Bonkernphal village. Community-Based Ecotourism (CBET) is an activity that provides tourists involved with nature and interacts with villagers in the community.
The work is starting to begin with research and explore with existing Community Based Ecotourism to comprehend and get some feedback from excerpt people about CBET. Before we create a CBET, there are many works that we have to do step by step. Round one, we did an interview with 255 tourists in Phnom Penh come from 32 countries. Our goal is to know about their perspective, will they interesting to visit our CBET? When we got all of the information we went to Bankernphal village to explain about CBET, told the information of market result, dissuasion, and get to know the perspective of villagers also. Along with, we spend a lot of time to working on this project the result for the first step had come out were tourists and villagers are open and support to this project.
I was delighted to all result we got from hard working and collaboration with a teammate to get success on our task. Round two was starting with some new members and assignments. Our mission is to study more about the Feasibility of place what are attractive places that can make tourists come to visit our site? We spend 4 nights 5 days went into the Protecting Forest Community Champan for exploring and observing the natural feature and people in the community. Apart from this we met with five stakeholder support to know about their idea of this plan and all of them are agree and willing to support us if it happened.
In addition, this’s long journey had touched me to get out of my comfort zone to train myself and if I want to make a change for someone I should start to change myself first. I can tell that previous time, I was a little bit shy to talk with strangers, but one thing to push me was “If I didn’t do it, how can this idea happened and what’s about villagers? This was a tip to cheer me up and get out of my space. Subsequently, round 2 of the project done I satisfied all of the work I did and have a great participate from my group. Every step I walked into a class I was ready with the vitality for work and aim to see this idea happen. In addition to this to be a member of the CEBT project, I contented to be a part of a change in Bankerphal village if it’s a tiny thing I was grateful and willing to help. Last but not least, the word Change has started from myself, appreciate what I do, and understanding of real need. You have changed me, find my passion and help me to see a change for other citizens.