All of PCL’s Insight Awareness Tours include a visit to Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex and the largest religious monument in the world. The temple was built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yasodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaivism tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia,appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.
Angkor Wat has become a major tourist destination since the filming of Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie in 2001. In 2004 and 2005, government figures suggest that, respectively, 561,000 and 677,000 foreign visitors arrived in Siem Reap province, approximately 50% of all foreign tourists in Cambodia for both years.
Common Grounds Café, is a social enterprise, that hires men and women from a vulnerable background. A social enterprise business applies market-based strategies to achieve a philanthropic purpose. Our purpose is to apply any profit gained towards our various humanitarian projects here in Cambodia–whether it is digging wells or providing teaching supplies for our learning center or meeting a need at our children’s home–the profit is put to good use. Our goal: sustainability. At Common Grounds we inspire hope and empower potential in our employees. We provide our staff the training necessary to succeed in their jobs and to help them succeed in the future. We also make wonderful food!
Watch a video about Common Grounds
Takam Integrated Farm
PCL in partnership with the Lee University Business Department is creating an Integrated-Farm. The farm includes pigs, chickens, and a fish pond, along with numerous fruit trees and soy plants. It is our hope that through this process we can teach locals to provide for not only themselves but their community as well.
Watch a video about Takam Integrated Farm
The Common Grounds Learning Center is a practical means of inspiring hope and empowering potential in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We are able to give our students a realistic way of bettering their lives by teaching skills that are important for their job market. In providing such skills we are able to build relationships with students, encouraging them to reach their full potential in class as well as in life. This community atmosphere fosters a safe and effective learning environment in which students can explore new possibilities. The Common Grounds Learning Center is able to expand students’ worldviews through exposure and field trips to our projects around the Siem Reap area and activities with short-term teams from other countries. All of this is offered at an affordable rate so that the Learning Center can work toward being self-sustainable while extending a helping hand to those who wish to work towards a brighter future.
Build a City
For more than a decade, People for Care and Learning (PCL) has been moving into neighborhoods throughout Southeast Asia—inspiring hope, living justice and giving the poor a working chance. Now we are committed to take on a new endeavor—to build a new city in Khan Dang Kao, Cambodia, that is home for hundreds of families living amid extreme poverty. A city that is not just explained by manmade structures, but defined by our responsibility to make a the world a better place.
Visit Build A City website to learn more: buildacity.org
Watch our award winning video about the Build A City project here
Tuol Sleng Genocide Camp
In 1975, Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot’s security force and turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). It soon became the largest such center of detention and torture in the country. Over 17,000 people held at S-21 were taken to the extermination camp at Choeung Ek to be executed; detainees who died during torture were buried in mass graves in the prison grounds. S-21 has been turned into the Tuol Sleng Museum, which serves as a testament to the crimes of the Khmer Rough.
Children’s Homes in Siem Reap
Our greatest aim is to not simply provide shelter and food that addresses a child’s basic survival needs, but to provide an atmosphere of love, security, dignity and family. This in turn provides the emotional and physical infrastructure that every child needs to feel confident and empowered to dream and reach beyond the cultural norm – which for most Cambodians is a cycle of poverty, broken families and dysfunction.Our basic model is one of “soul-care” which understands that each child is a precious soul that must be cared for and nurtured. We want them to become agents of change – first in their own lives and then in the broader world around them. Our ultimate aim is to raise new leaders and agents for change – not just meet basic needs.