"I travelled with an NGO called “Operation Groundswell” and they promote something called “backpacktivism” which is backpacking but with activism. 

The trip I went on was for animal and environmental conservation! The first week we worked with an NGO called Ockenden, who goes to rural areas and tries to educate farmers on sustainable farming. They introduced a term called “Permaculture” which combines permanence, agriculture, and culture. It’s very important because the farmers sometimes don’t realize the long-term impact because they are focused on short term impact. 

We met with the chairwoman of an NGO called “Plastic Free Cambodia” and she is showing Cambodians how plastic is ruining our earth. She teaches recycling and replacement of every-day plastic (metal straws, reusable shopping bags, biodegradable products) which is important because any time you buy any type of drink here they give you a straw, and straws are bad for the environment. 

We went to the Mekong Turtle conservation program to release endangered turtles into the river in Cambodia, and learned about their efforts in preserving the soft-shelled turtles of Cambodia. 

After we went to the Elephant Valley project in Cambodia and worked with them for a week. We helped clean, prepared meals, made medicine balls for the elephants, and spent time just observing the elephants.

I highly recommend Operation Groundswell if anyone is looking into travelling with a purpose."

- Skyla


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