Sunday, 8 February 2015

SSTO continues to make a difference

Our Tourism, Hospitality and Event Management undergraduates work hard to raise money for the Green Gecko Project, a school for disadvantaged children in Cambodia.

As part of their final year module 'Management Development', students organise a series of projects to raise both awareness and money for the charity, whilst also developing essential personal, management and problem solving skills.

In 2013/14 nearly £5,000 was raised, sending the overall total towards the £40,000 barrier - cementing SSTO's commitment to making a difference through education.

Over the past five years, students have travelled to Cambodia to visit the project as well as explore the rich culture and diversity Cambodia has to offer. The trip helps students enhance their learning in a developing country, whilst also gaining personal and professional skills by volunteering at Green Gecko.

Module Tutor Peter McGrath explains that the trip is a life-changing event: "Working with the Green Gecko Project is a truly unique experience for all involved and the children are always so very excited to meet the UCLan students.

"For me, to witness such passion, enthusiasm and energy between the two groups is incredible and as such I'm looking forward to the next trip in April to see how the Green Gecko children have progressed."

This year students are set to arrive on the first day of Cambodian New Year and celebrate a traditional Songkran Festival in the grounds of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat.

Student Paulina Lukaszewska said the trip is an opportunity of a lifetime: "I've always wanted to travel and explore the world, experience the cultures different to mine and it's amazing that through my degree I have a chance to do just that.

"The fact I can make a real impact on the lives of those less fortunate than me makes it so much more important than any trip I've been on so far.

"It will be great to see first-hand how our fundraising efforts are being translated into the great job being done for the children.

"From a professional point of view I'd like to see how tourism is affecting communities in developing countries like Cambodia, by investigating if the international chain hotels there are helping the local community through their Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives."

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