In April, the Kouprey Express Mobile Environmental Education Project was invited to join a fundraising event at French NGO, Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE). PSE works with 6,500 young adults and children who were previously trash pickers at the notorious trash dump in Steung Meanchey, on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. PSE holds an annual charity event to raise awareness for issues affecting young people in Cambodia and invites various
organizations and companies to participate.
Wildlife Alliance’s KE team had a small booth where we were able to promote forest and wildlife conservation issues. They also set up an area for children to make wildlife art which instantly attracted a huge crowd of young participants! The team gave away t-shirts, wildlife posters, and wildlife hotline stickers to raise awareness of the hotline number and encourage people to call if they see illegal wildlife activity. When asked, some of the children acknowledge knowing people and places that hunt or sell wildlife, so this served as an excellent opportunity to reach a large audience who previously had no knowledge of the wildlife trade, wildlife laws, or the rescue hotline. The first night of the event got short by a surprise downpour, but the second day was beautiful and busy with over 3,500 attendees.
Events like this are an important way for the Kouprey Express team to increase outreach. They usually work in schools just in Koh Kong Province, where most of Wildlife Alliance’s field projects are located. The ability to reach other areas and audiences increases Wildlife Alliance’s ability to diminish and eventually put an end to wildlife trafficking in Cambodia.