Smiling Gecko Cambodia (SGC) was established in 2014 as a local NGO. It provides direct aid, following its motto of «Cambodians for Cambodians».
Smiling Gecko assists families and children in need. The charity wants to help Cambodians to leave poverty and deprivation behind, offering them real long-term prospects. Apart from providing direct aid and supporting other NGOs, Smiling Gecko therefore focuses on fighting the causes of poverty and helping people to help themselves. To achieve these goals, Smiling Gecko believes that migration to the cities and urbanisation must be stopped by offering rural people viable alternatives. By implementing promising concepts focusing on education and working conditions, the charity wants to ensure that people can gain secure employment and earn a living wage without leaving the countryside. Smiling Gecko is also involved in a resettlement programme to bring people back from the slums in and around Phnom Penh.
In 2014, SGC purchased a 220,000 square metre site in the northern province of Kampong Chnang, which is at the heart of the organisation's holistic cluster project. The cluster includes 5 sub-projects that go hand in hand and should be self-financing in the long run. Through its partnership with a number of well-known educational and training institutions such as ETH Zurich (Department of Architecture and Construction), Swiss Hotel Management School Lucerne (SHL), Zurich University of Teacher Education (PHZH), School of Education at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (FHNW), and the agricultural college of LBBZ Schluechthof Cham, Smiling Gecko Cambodia has established a unique network driving innovation. By cooperating with local and national governments, the charity hopes that its innovative approach will be adopted by state bodies and institutions.
The 5 pillars of the cluster project:
AGRICULTURE FAMILY PROJECT (agriculture)
VILLAGE SCHOOL PROJECT (education)
SUSTAINABLE GARMENT PRODUCTION (production)
FARMHOUSE SMILING GECKO (tourism)
SMILING GECKO CARPENTRY (craft)
In line with the other pillars of the cluster project, the Farmhouse Smiling Gecko was primarily established to offer disadvantaged local people a training opportunity where they can acquire skills that will enable them and their families to live in dignity, away from poverty and hunger. All projects are based on stringent humanitarian and ecological principles, with due regard to economic factors, and will hopefully be self-supporting in the medium term.
For more detailed INFORMATION about Smiling Gecko and its projects, please click here.