Support social projects when traveling with “Socialbnb”
A guest contribution by Sophie Fritzen and Louisa Hain
After about an hour's drive from Phnom Phen, in the southwest of Cambodia, you will reach a rural settlement where Mr. Thy lives. The brownish-red earth puffs up slightly as you step on the dirt road that is so typical of Southeast Asia. Around you are sometimes isolated, sometimes close to one another, relatively large wooden houses, some slightly raised on stilts or on a brick basement. The pleasantly spicy smell of open cookshops in the backyard of the houses rises in the nose.
Socialbnb is a platform that brings travelers together with aid organizations
This is how you can imagine the first impression when you come across on a trip through Cambodia socialbnb has booked an overnight stay at Mr. Thy's homestay. Socialbnb is a travel platform that was launched by Cologne students and brings travelers together with local aid organizations to make travel more sustainable. On this online platform, travelers can book overnight stays for social or ecological aid projects all over the world. The money paid for the overnight stay flows directly into the respective projects, which thereby reduce your dependency on donations. In this way they can focus fully on the common good, education or on solving many other social and ecological problems without financial pressure.
In return, travelers get an authentic travel experience and get to know the country and its people in a completely new way. The beginnings of Socialbnb started exactly in this place in Cambodia about three years ago. A Cologne student was traveling in Cambodia and met the Cambodian Mr. Thy, a local tuk-tuk driver. Mr. Thy had the vision of building a school in his village, Pang Na Village, to enable the local children to have free English lessons. Unfortunately, this vision was not financially feasible up to that point. The project was also too small to attract enough attention for donations.
Mr. Thy - a Cambodian tuk-tuk driver with a vision
The woman from Cologne was deeply touched by the motivation and kindness of the Cambodian. Back at home, together with a few other students, she developed the idea that the vacant premises of Mr. Thy could be rented out to travelers for a few nights in order to create a new source of income and thus finance the school of Mr. Thy. The idea became reality with the help of other committed Cologne students and enough money was generated within just a few months to build Mr. Thy's school and hire a teacher so that the children can still learn English today.
After this success, the team realized that there were a large number of small relief organizations that were failing with similar financial problems and that could be helped in similar ways. So they started looking to find and support these projects around the world, driven by the vision of creating a form of travel that benefits everyone involved. The idea for Socialbnb was born.
Socialbnb today offers 40 accommodation options in 18 countries worldwide
The platform now offers socialbnb 40 accommodation options in 18 countries worldwide. However, new destinations are added almost every week. In addition to projects like that of Mr. Thy, travelers can support other educational projects, human rights projects, animal and environmental projects and much more and get the chance to get an authentic impression of everyday life on site. Since the travelers spend the night in the midst of the local population and not far away in a hotel, it is possible for them to experience the culture up close.
During a stay with Mr. Thy, for example, you will be able to enjoy homemade local dishes and eat with your family. Afterwards, the sunset over the rice fields of Cambodia is enjoyed before you can sink into the soft bed, knowing that you have helped to finance the children's lessons for the coming day.
You can find more information about Socialbnb here