I recently spent three days in Cambodia, supported by the Six Degrees Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Program, building houses for those living in poverty.
I wanted to share my experience and encourage more people to give back to the community (local or abroad) and take advantage of the CSR programs their businesses offer. It has certainly made me appreciate my life, the privileges we have in Australia, my health and my job.
I spent three days with the Tabitha Foundation Cambodia, a sustainable non-profit organisation raising funds and supporting disadvantaged communities in Cambodia through high impact community development programs. My first day gave me enormous insight into the Cambodian people and what they have been through, visiting the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
The team at Tabitha gave us a cultural understanding of the people and what to expect when working in the villages building the housing for impoverished families. During my time there our group helped to build 17 basic houses in a town near Kep, south of Phnom Penh.
It was a humbling experience, which allowed me to see how happy these people were with so little. It was great to help provide shelter for families and see the smiles on the children's faces when their new accommodation was complete.
As a leader it made me reflect on my role. CSR is not just about being a good corporate citizen anymore, rather it is the foundation of what a company stands for. As a leader, and due to my recent personal experience, I feel it’s my responsibility to drive the CSR agenda in our business.
I am really appreciative that Six Degrees enabled me to take the CSR leave and complete this charity work in Cambodia. Overall it was a great experience which was very rewarding and really put things in perspective particularly in regards to common complaints back here in Australia.