Income Generation

Cambodia is still Carpe Diem’s most popular destination, and one with which its owners have an ongoing personal relationship, having lived there for many years.

As with many developing countries, litter has become a major issue – especially plastic bags. Cheap and non-biodegradable, plastic bags can cause death to livestock (through choking) and health hazards to humans (by clogging waterways and drains).

Carpe Diem has for some time been seeking a way of initiating a program to reduce the problem and achieve a number of objectives:

  • Motivate local people to collect plastic bags from the streets and fields
  • Convert the collected bags into something that had a value and could be sold
  • Create jobs for local underprivileged people

We decided to tackle this problem head on, and have been busy establishing a small self-sustaining project in partnership with a local NGO to achieve just this – training the poorest of the poor to make beautiful functional items from rubbish collected directly from the streets and fields.

Our partner, Bridges Across Borders South East Asia (BABSEA), is implementing a 5 year integrated project which aims to bring about sustainable and measurable improvements in health, education, livelihoods and community organisation in a small village in the south of the country.

The area was one of the final strong holds of the Khmer Rouge army which only became peaceful in 1998. Now people are focussed on improving their living standards, but the legacy of war is still apparent with many people suffering from PTSD and a high rate of alcoholism and domestic violence.

Through this partnership very poor villagers will be able to learn a new skill, train about the environmental impact of waste plastic, and to generate vital income that will be used to send their children and siblings to school rather then keeping them at home to work in the fields. The trainees will also get the opportunity to learn English at the vocational training centre and will be involved in savings schemes and other group activities at the centre.

After a successful pilot project earlier in the year, interest from potential purchasers (both local and international) has been significant and we are now in the process of moving into production. View our project’s website

Would you like to help this project to grow?

Please click on the button below, and you will be taken through to a secure website (managed by PayPal) where you can enter your credit card details and send your donation. Please note that donations to the Carpe Diem Ad Locum Project are not tax-deductible for federal income tax purposes.

100% of your donation will be used directly on the project and we’ll send you regular updates on progress. Thank you for your support!

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