Globalteer’s Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary Project in the remote province of Mondulkiri has launched a social care programme for the indigenous villagers near the elephant project. The scheme offers educational support to 20 children aged 11-18, and free access to healthcare for over 1,500 villagers.
This means that anyone supporting the elephant sanctuary is also supporting the indigenous population for whom elephants are an important part of their culture and traditions.
It is quite normal for children to go out to work to support their families as soon as they are old enough, but with the support of the Elephant Sanctuary the children are given school uniforms, books and rice which takes some of the financial burden away from their families and increases the chances of the children actually completing High School.
Access to free healthcare
The healthcare scheme enables villagers to benefit from free healthcare that they would otherwise be unable to access, by arranging transport, food and drinking water so they can physically get to hospital should they need to.
As many of the villagers only speak the local Bunong language, and not Khmer, a translator is also made available for hospital visits. Should more serious cases require transfer to the capital Phnom Penh – a six hour drive away - the Elephant project also funds this.
Costs for medical care in Cambodia can be extremely high, and many people have to resort to selling property or livestock to cover essential treatment. Under this new scheme such drastic actions with potentially far-reaching implications will be avoidable.
Part of an holistic approach
Supporting the villagers is an important part of the elephant project’s holistic approach to care of their pachydermal charges. Staff at the project already teach the local villagers best practice in caring for the working elephants that form an intrinsic part of their culture. Some fifty villagers are also employed by the project.
If you would like to support the Elephant Sanctuary and its community by volunteering, please visit our Volunteer Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary pages. You may also be interested in our Volunteer Cambodia Community Project.