7 In Cambodia

Off to Cambodia

Cambodia Map

Well, the time is here!  In a few short hours, we’ll be travelling to Cambodia to work with a few Indianapolis-based organizations on the front lines of making a difference in the fight against human trafficking. We are so honored to be a part of this trip!

We’d like thank all of you readers who have expressed your support! We’d also like to thank our partner organizations, CGI and Purchased (see below) for arranging this opportunity for us. We couldn’t have devised a better opportunity if we tried!

Below are a few of the trip highlights:

Culinary Training Center (Battambang)

Indianapolis-based Center for Global Impact (CGI) has started a Culinary Training Center in Battambang, Cambodia, for underprivileged and at-risk girls. The accompanying restaurant where the girls put their skills into practice, the Green Mango Café & Bakery, just opened March 5!  The  vocational training program helps the girls to develop culinary, customer service, and English language skills to work in Cambodia’s growing restaurant industry.

While at the Center, we’ll get to cook with the girls using local Cambodian ingredients. We’ll be bringing them some recipes from A Couple Cooks to make together, and we’re excited to learn from them!  We’re hoping to take lots of photos for them to use in promotional materials, especially of their beautiful food.

Cook Book (Indiana!)

Once we return, we plan to publish a cookbook to benefit the Culinary Training Center! We’ve been chatting with CGI about this effort and are excited about the possibilities. Thanks to everyone who has offered help and/or consulting in this process!

Photojournalism (All Locations)

For Indianapolis-based organization Purchased, we’ll visit some of Purchased’s partner organizations. We’ll also gather images and videos to capture what we see in Cambodia, and also do some blogging for Purchased about our experiences.

Daughters Project (Phnom Penh)

We’ll also visit CGI’s Daughter’s Project in Phnom Penh. Daughters is a project to help young girls that have been rescued from sex trafficking and slavery to learn sewing skills. The project produces bridal and prom gowns that are sold in Indianapolis.

Why Cambodia?

Cambodia is a country where human trafficking is a major issue, as with several countries in South East Asia. One of the reasons is Cambodia’s troubled past — in the 1970s, about 1/3 of the population was killed under a brutal dictatorship called the Khmer Rouge. This lead to a weakened infrastructure and a very young uneducated population. In addition, women face substantial discrimination in Cambodia, and many are sold or forced into sexual exploitation.

How You Can Help

We know many of you are passionate about food and about the world. If you are interested in participating in this effort, we’d be honored for you to make a donation to the Culinary Training Center through CGI. The funding is used to support the girls who attend the school.

To make a donation, click HERE. In the Additional Information section, write “Culinary Training Center – A Couple Cooks”.

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  • Reply
    March 16, 2012 at 11:09 am

    I’ll be praying for you guys to have a successful trip! I can’t wait to see your new recipies.

  • Reply
    Nancy Koester
    March 17, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    What a great experience for you and Alex, and even more important a way to help others. I will be eager to hear more of your adventures!

  • Reply
    Shannon Chenoweth
    March 18, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Sounds like a wonderful experience for both you and the girls. I’m sure you and those you meet will be changed forever after these collaborative projects. Good luck to you and stay safe. We will be waiting patiently to reap the benefits of your Cambodian-inspired recipes once you return.

  • Reply
    March 27, 2012 at 11:12 am

    Love the map included in this post. Just wondering – did you design this yourself?

    • Reply
      March 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      I did. Thanks!

  • Reply
    April 4, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    I hope you had a wonderful experience and I can’t wait to hear about it! I’m Cambodian myself, and its great to hear someone trying to make a difference. The girls you’ve met will be so grateful. Mom use to tell me that human trafficking was a huge problem there. I can’t wait to try the recipes as I do not know how to cook Cambodian(Khmer) food.

    • Reply
      April 7, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Awesome! Did you grow up there? We only bearly scratched the surface on Khmer cooking, but we’ll try to share a couple of things :)

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    Happy Cooking! ~ Sonja & Alex