BIRD WATCHING EXTRAVAGANZA
Calling all ardent birders – the Sam Veasna Center will conduct the mother of all bird watching tours next year. The tour will run from January 25 to February 16, with an extension to February 20 for the super, super keen.
The "SVC Super Tour 2014", will visit 12 birding sites over the 19-23 days, starting at the temples around Siem Reap and finishing in Phnom Penh.
The tour’s aim is to raise more funds to complete the centre’s conservation project and increase income. The centre points out that it has renovated the lodges at Tmatboey community to raise the standard of accommodation for this community and maintain the vulture restaurant in the rainy season. It is also planning to build a lodge in Prey Veng community to accommodate birders and other clients to generate more income for the community, and to build a new road for the village of Ang Trapaeng Thmor, noted for its Sarus cranes.
ACE OPEN DAY
ACE Siem Reap will hold an open day on September 7, where students who prove to be the best writers will win scholarships. Prospective students will be welcomed and provided with “taster classes.” Prospective students will also be able enter competitions, get information on classes run by ACE and glean information on studying abroad.
CULINARY CUP RESULT
The Cambodian Chef Association members from Siem Reap, who competed in Thailand’s biggest international culinary challenge, the Pattaya City Culinary Cup 2013 last week, came sixth out of a field of 17 contending teams.
Kimsan Sok from the Angkor W Group of Restaurants, together with four other members of the Cambodia Chef Association, represented Siem Reap at the cook-off – the other chefs were from Borei Angkor Resort and Spa, Sokha Hotel and Nest restaurant.
Kimsan Sok was the only female chef in the team, and local gourmands will be able to check out her cooking in October when the Angkor W restaurant, Wok Republic, opens in the new King’s Road Angkor complex.
Meanwhile, fast-food outlet KFC seems to be branching out into reptilian fare. A promotional text message sent last this week promised, “Get Snake Plate 25% off.”
Sixteen-year-old Sayon Chen from Siem Reap was one a number of youth anti-trafficking advocates who attended World Vision’s meeting in Thailand’s Chiang Rai last week, in the buildup to International Youth Day on August 12.
Sayon Chen said, “In my community, many youth are forced to quit school due to the poverty. Illegal migration could lead them to be trafficked.” He discussed this problem with the leaders at the meeting.
The regional meeting was attended by 36 youths from Thailand, Lao PDR, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and China, and was funded by World Vision, Save the Children and MTV Exit. Past meetings have been conducted in 2004, 2007 and 2010.
Jason Evans, national director of World Vision Cambodia said, “No longer are youth only asking us for to give them solutions, but rather, we are now seeing youth taking the situation into their own hands, taking action and driving solutions. We are excited to support them.”
The participation of youth in anti-trafficking initiatives is “critical to acknowledging the real danger faced by Asian youths,” according to Agnes Ting, regional director for World Vision East Asia who added, “Young people in this region live with the daily threat of being trafficked across borders or being sold into modern day slavery.”
Recently, the UN established an international agreement enabling young people to speak about problems involving child protection and ending the sale of children, child pornography and the involvement of children in armed conflagrations.
The international agreement, known as the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a Communications Procedure, strengthens the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The only regional country to ratify the new agreement so far is Thailand.