Clarke Ballard, Rotary Club of Balwyn member, traveled to Cambodia to investigate the possibility of funding a social enterprise with Ptea Teuk Dong (PTD).
Ptea Teuk Dong is a non-government organisation based in the town of Battambang, north-western Cambodia, about 3.5 hours’ drive from Siem Reap. Its name translates as House Water Coconut, coconut water being renowned in Cambodia for its healing properties.
Ptea Don Tev (the house of Grandma Tev) is an almost 200-year-old house located in Don Tev village, about 7 km from central Battambang and half way between Battambang and the Ek Phnom Temple. The village is the only area in Battambang producing rice-paper used in spring rolls.
The project is to establish:
- a restaurant serving traditional Cambodian dishes, but a little more upmarket than most local restaurants and offering organic fruit and vegetables;
- an art/craft gallery to promote local artists;
- a small community market, including a weekly farmers’ market; and
- a training centre for people producing products for the market.
The aim is to enable the local community to service the tourism industry and create local employment and income from tourism.
Considerable work has already gone into the project, and the following points are relevant:
- Battambang is increasingly a tourist destination and Ptea Don Tev is well situated to take advantage of this;
- The area of the property (0.2 ha or half an acre) is adequate for the activities proposed;
- A ten-year lease has been negotiated for the property. The owner is a fairly wealthy Cambodian and well disposed towards the project. He may agree to sell the site to PDT in the future but, in any case, ten years is enough to recover the proposed sunk capital;
- Three leading tour organisers have agreed to look at including the destination in their tour itineraries;
- A well-regarded restaurant in Battambang Central has agreed to train the proposed restaurant staff;
- The project is sustainable in that, after a start-up period which will need some working capital for which provision has been made, it should more than cover costs. This will lead to (modest) net funds generated for PTD that will be used to finance other projects.
The project is not yet at a stage where a firm recommendation to support it can be made. However, the Rotary Club of Balwyn’s International Committee is very supportive of the project.
- Thanks from Navakawau Primary Kids
Sun 9th Feb
Kids from Navakawau Primary send a big vinaka (thank you) to members of Rotary Club of Balwyn. Remote Island schools either don’t have any electricity at all or they have a decent generator that runs for a couple hours during the day and a couple of hours during the evening for the teachers. Balwyn Rotary funded a solar system that gives the school 24-hour power and that means these kids can step into a modern education. The money that is saved on diesel creates decades of cash flow to buy the computers and the other electronic resources for the school and will also save heaps and heaps of carbon dioxide. The school has 165 students, 9 teachers, 8 teachers’ quarters. The school sustained significant cyclone damage and much of the school has been rebuilt repaired with very strong replacements – completed mid 2019. It's Time Foundation
- California Rotary sends masks for fire fighters
Sat 11th Jan
Donations in Kind (DIK) received, unloaded and temporarily stored an amazing gift from a Rotary Club in California of 24 pallets of medically certified respirators/masks for fire fighters. Qantas flew them from Los Angeles to Melbourne free of charge and they will be distributed as needed. We have no idea of the number of masks or their value, but it is huge. Donations in Kind
- Truckloads of medical supplies for injured wildlife
Sat 11th Jan
Donation is Kind (DIK) agreed to provide, at short notice, “medical” equipment for treating wildlife injured in the horrendous bushfires in Victoria. The State Government had announced that many veterinarians were available from the Department of Agriculture to do this work. DIK was overstocked with suitable equipment, donated from hospitals as past its “best before” date but brand new and intended for shipment to third world countries. It was re-packaged on the day, mostly by members of the new Rotary Club of Melbourne passport Club in packs specified by a Rotarian veterinarian with good connections to the Department of Agriculture. The result was two truckloads of such equipment, shipped from DIK on Thursday to the Department of Agriculture, to be distributed to its veterinarians around Victoria. Donations in Kind