Many of these children are the sole breadwinners for their families. The money they collect often goes to support the drug habits of their parents. It's so painful to think that these are the same children that get sold at a young age into prostitution, most often by their own parents. Our heart strings were definitely pulled, and we wanted to do something while we were there, however minor it may have been. We learned about the Green Gecko Project (http://www.greengeckoproject.org/) through a random encounter with some Americans living in Singapore, while riding elephants in the jungles of Thailand, and decided to to a little research on the organization.
The Green Gecko Project was started by an Australian woman that wanted to make a difference. "Responding to an article she read in a Virgin in-flight magazine, Australian-born Tania Palmer walked off the plane and straight into a travel agency to book a flight. The article was about an orphanage in need. The destination was Siem Reap, Cambodia. The date was August 2004. A month later, Tania found herself in stifling tropical heat and humidity with eyes, arms and heart wide open to the plight of the Cambodian children. Soon after, she was back home, in body but not in spirit. By February 2005, Tania had packed up her life, home and office desk to return to Cambodia, with no plan, no goal and no idea of what the future would bring. The strength of her “calling” came from somewhere way beyond any reason or logic."
|Looking for goodies at the local market|
|Looking for a tuk tuk with our wishlist items|
We paid our tuk tuk driver $10, to drive us to the Project, which was far out of the city, and to wait for us while we toured the property. Doug, an Australian, gave us a tour of the property. He was so impassioned with the Project, that he retired from his job, moved to Cambodia and started a restaurant, where his Cambodian wife was the chef. 100% of the profits of the restaurant were donated to the Project. The lengths that people will go to when passionate about what they are doing never ceases to amaze me, and the people working working for the Green Gecko Project were a perfect example.
|Green Gecko Sleeping Quarters|