January 26, 2017
We’ve been privileged at eNett to have benefitted greatly from the travel industry. But there’s always been a desire to give something back, and use the travel industry to make a real difference in the lives of people less fortunate. Last year we put this into action through the creation of our social responsibility programme ‘Repay the eNett Way’.
The Repay the eNett Way initiative was designed to support people impacted by greater globalisation and tourism. We didn’t want to simply donate to charity, but take a direct hands-on approach, shinning a light on the unique challenges and pressures experienced by underprivileged communities around the world - and making a difference to the lives of people living there. With this in mind, Cambodia, with its high travel industry growth combined with high levels of poverty, was the first country chosen.
I’m a firm believer in the proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” The power of education in changing lives was a key tenant of our programme. Through our sweet sales, charity bingo and other little events we helped Sreng, a resident of the underprivileged community of Phnom Penh, to qualify as a tour guide. Now he has a new profession and means of income to support his family. We also used the money to provide a scholarship for Lavin to learn English at one of the top schools in Cambodia. Forced to live in care with his sister and brothers, on his own Lavin would have struggled to break the cycle of poverty. Now Lavin will fulfil his ambition of becoming a translator, improving not only his prospects, but those of his future family. It’s amazing to think our spare change in the first world can instigate generational change in the third world.
In a few weeks’ time, eight of our team will travel to Cambodia and immerse themselves in the disadvantaged community of Phnom Penh. Getting truly hands-on, our volunteers will be launching new initiatives there, and seeing first-hand the results of their fundraising by meeting the people whose lives they have helped changed.
Having gone through a social responsibility initiative for the first time, I would wholeheartedly encourage other companies to do the same. The enthusiasm, creativity and generosity that came from all areas of the company has been amazing. It has been an enriching experience for everyone involved and we’re already looking forward to surpassing our achievements with the next iteration of the programme.