Tom Campbell, Ruth Powell and Shane O’Connor represented Kimmage Development Studies Centre at a conference in Cambodia in July 2015 entitled “Journeys of Sustainability”.
The conference was organised by Deineta and cofunded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. The aim of the programme is a “capacity building programme to empower youth and youth workers through a better understanding of sustainable and responsible tourism in south east Asia.”
This was the first “kickoff event” which was meant to bring representatives from a variety of organisations together to discuss the synergies and possible working outcomes. There were 31 participants from 15 different organisations based in 12 different countries namely, Ireland, France, Spain, Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Philippines and Laos. Participants included directors, assistant directors, coordinators, lecturers, project officers and volunteers from the organisations represented.
While the organisations themselves worked in tourism, volunteering, and the formal and nonformal education sectors. The workshops were delivered by all participants and were highly participatory. As participants spent several days staying in Chambok ecovillage, Kampong Speu province there was a chance to see at first hand how responsible and eco tourist initiatives can benefit local communities.