Tanya took a career break in 1995 to travel and was captivated with South East Asia. The people made a huge impression on her, especially the young adults who had not had the same opportunities or choices she had growing up. With a good education and job, she vowed that one day she would return and give something back. In 2007 she did just that, spending six months volunteering as an English teacher with Schools for Children of Cambodia and Sangkheum Center (for vulnerable children).
Wanting to build on the foundation of this volunteer work she worked with Jo to establish H.O.P.E with a clear focus and methodology and sees this as a lifelong commitment to helping the people of Cambodia who gave her so much.
Four years on and until October 2011, Tanya juggled a 4 day/week job in the city of London with her responsibilities as Trustee of H.O.P.E. Applying a lot of the skills and experiences from her working life to this role, Tanya maintains all the accounting records, interrogates/challenges proposals for new projects and lends a hand to fund raising of various kinds including grant applications, helping people with their own sponsored event and not forgetting her own efforts to raise funds by cycling London to Paris. Tanya self funds one trip a year back to Cambodia to meet with all the projects.
On the monitoring trip in 2010 she decided a fortnight was not nearly long enough and in 2011 quit her job to enable her to spend a couple of months back in Cambodia. In 2012 Tanya fulfilled a life long dream to work at the London Olympics.
During a well planned year out from the hotel industry in the UK, Jo travelled throughout Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South America. Eight years later finally returned home, still mired in the many responsible tourism issues in which developing countries are faced. Her volunteer work with Schools for Children of Cambodia and Sangkheum Center challenged her to do something positive and, in meeting Tanya, decided she could make a difference. With her work in Cambodia, she hopes to build a bridge between poverty alleviation and tourism and wants to make a permanent difference.
In 2009 Jo completed a Masters in Responsible Tourism Management firmly cementing her values in promoting sustainable development and harnessing change. Working at grassroot level she continues to juggle and combine her responsible tourism commitments in Siem Reap with HOPE activities. Allowing her to work closely with some of the young adults in the programmes and seeing them develop and mature into responsible independent young adults.
Drawing upon her sales/marketing and events background she helps organise fundraising events, maintains the contacts database, dabbles in social media and immerses herself in the Siem Reap community learning and understanding the everyday situation of Cambodians today.
As trustees, our commitment to the supporters of HOPE and the young Cambodians we support is to:
- identify projects that have objectives closely aligned to those of HOPE
- actively monitor the progress of all our supported projects
- provide regular news and reviews on how your money is helping HOPE achieve its objectives
- ensure supported projects adhere to HOPE’s Code of Conduct for Children and Young Adults