Friends International

Founded in 1994, Friends International is an international social enterprise, which operates in many countries, including Cambodia, Laos and Thailand. Sponsored by UNICEF, they have partners in counties all over the world! They have many different projects here in Cambodia to protect children and offer education and job opportunities to the greater population. David Beckham is their absolutely great ambassador here in Cambodia.

Here is a list of the projects we at Babel Guesthouse are involved with.

Vocational training restaurants

Friends International started their first restaurant in Phnom Penh in 1994. The aim of the restaurant is to get street children off the streets by offering them training in the restaurant and social support to build their futures. They now have several restaurants throughout the country, which we strongly recommend to our guests.

Marum, their vocational training restaurant in Siem Reap, is in our TOUR book here at Babel, and we happily book tables for our guests at this very popular restaurant.

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Friends ‘n stuff

Inside the beautiful garden of Marum, is a wonderful shop called Friends ‘n stuff. They sell a range of products made by marginalized families from the countryside. You can choose from bags, clothing, jewelry and accessories and know that your purchase is directly helping a family to secure a future for their children.

Most of the materials they work with come from recycled materials like newspapers, rugby balls, tires, cutlery, food packaging and magazines. They often use the end of the fabric rolls from sarongs, kromas (the traditional, all-purpose Khmer scarf), cotton and vinyl; and more importantly, all materials are locally sourced.

The use of recycled materials helps fight Asia´s increasing litter problem, while at the same time increases the producers’ environmental consciousness. 

This is exactly our aim at Babel Eco-shop and Refill Station as well - to fight plastic pollution and help support the local population. That’s why we get our tote bags, coconut bags, soap bags and cutlery bags specially made by ladies from this wonderful project.

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Check out this little illustrating video:

ChildSafe Movement

Friends International started the ChildSafe Movement in 2005 - to protect children and youth from all forms of abuse.

ChildSafe protects children through different avenues.

  • Child Protection Training to community members, organizations and businesses. These entities are trained in ChildSafe policies (to know how to protect children at risk), they are certified and continuously monitored.

  • 24/7 emergency hotlines. ChildSafe has hotlines ready to respond to a call about a child in danger at any time and offer immediate protection. Number for Siem Reap: (+855) 17 358 758

  • Powerful and important Behavior Change Campaigns. Such as Children Are Not Tourist Attractions and Don’t Create More Orphans.

Babel Guesthouse has been a ChildSafe certified business since the very beginning of 2008. Every year our staff receives updated ChildSafe training. We are also the first (and only) guesthouse/hotel in Cambodia to include all our Tuk Tuk drivers in this important training to protect children at risk.

We have placed posters from ChildSafe´s powerful campaigns on the walls, all over our guesthouse, and in our information book and TOUR book for every room. We always make sure to mention Friends International to journalists who write about our work with Responsible Tourism.

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Together - protecting children!

Together - building futures!