The Journey to Mlop Russey
– By Green Cultural Travel Hub Limited
Mlop Russey means in Khmer, in the shadow of bamboo and is the name chosen for the first project our Foundation Green Cultural Travel Hub Limited is supporting, Located on the Mekong Island of Kod Dach which is often referred to as Silk Island its part of greater Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
The site was previously the home of the original and quite famous Coconut School which sadly was forced to close in February 2019 due to issues between the founder and co-founder of the school. The family that had so generously allowed the school to be built on their land wished to continue to provide a learning facility to the island as well as create a homestay guesthouse.
We had been providing some support to Coconut School and like many were sad to see it close and so we decided to partner with the family and create what we believe will be a unique learning centre. We started with building the entrance to what will be the tearooms with access also to the Homestay. A great workshop was held and led by architect Ambra Ruffini and we built a beautiful natural pizza oven.
Then we were lucky enough to be visited by a group of French students and there teachers from Pôle Innovant Lycéen who helped build and financially supported the structure over the oven and a wonderful solar lighting system. We think they loved their time on the island as much as we enjoyed hosting them.
Mlop Russey when fully operational will be a eco-learning centre and already we have started planting the food gardens the two facilities will sit within. At the front of the property is the tearooms with the Home-stay above, We have re-used as many building materials as possible and the internal walls of the tearooms and new kitchen were built using a unique eco-brick from My Dream Home.
To the rear of the tearooms is our first learning centre for our trainee’s who are also studying tourism. We have two now living onsite and a third due shortly. To qualify they must come from a family suffering financial hardship and be studying or about to study tourism , We cover their tuition costs, book costs, provide food and accommodation and a training salary.
After university in the morning they return for supplementary training, working within our travel business as well as additional sustainability and hospitality training. Included in this they will provide tours around the facility and even the surrounding area learning to be a guide, so we hope people will come and visit and give them lots of practise.