Scuba For Change
As the Founder of Scuba for Change, it is my great pleasure to share our story with you.
Scuba for Change is a social enterprise that ensures 100% of its profits are reinvested in local people & their communities in developing nations in need of social change. In particular, we will be focusing on four things:
- We will fund selected Non-for-Profit Partner initiatives that aim to stop child exploitation.
- We will provide business grants to locals who wish to start their own tourism related businesses, to help break the cycle of poverty.
- We will ensure all our staff enjoys a profit share arrangement.
- We will be safe keeping a chunk of our profits to self-fund future expansions and growth in developing nations.
However, like other people, you may be wondering, “What was the inspiration behind Scuba for Change?”
The inspiration happened way back in 2004, when my wife and I travelled to Cambodia. Like some travellers, I read up on Cambodia’s history, learning that around the time I was born in the 70s, the ruling regime in the Khmer Rouge was butchering its own people. As a result, some of the “must-see” tourist destinations in Cambodia are the mini Concentration Camp in Phnom Penh and the Killing Fields.
Sure enough, when I visited Cambodia, the Concentration Camp and Killing Fields were unsettling experiences, really sad places to visit. However, the most upsetting thing was to see Cambodian kids being exploited for their flesh, exploited for their innocence. Kids being prostituted, kids forced to beg for money.
I couldn’t believe that this is in happening in my lifetime. It is simply unacceptable.
I clearly remembered meeting two Cambodian restaurateurs, both running small restaurants. They took kids off the streets, gave them food, shelter and education. They also taught the kids a trade, whether it is working in the kitchen learning to be a chef, training them to be future maître de, or learning to dance or play an instrument and performing in the restaurant… it didn’t matter. The restaurateurs’ actions broke the cycle of exploitation, something that the kids could not have managed on their own. The two restaurateurs were well ahead of their time, as the concept of social enterprise was not prevalent back in 2004. Whilst it was no silver bullet, they played their part in helping to resolve an endemic problem in Cambodia. I was inspired.
Scuba for Change is an evolution of that inspiration, coupled with my experiences with Project New Dawn, a national homeless-employment and housing initiative I co-founded with the Salvation Army in 2007 (still in operation) and my 15 years of commercial experience in the corporate sector.
Speaking of the corporate sector, having a decade and a half of corporate background, I believe good governance is critical to our long-term success. I am blessed to have enrolled six talented individuals to join the SFC Board of Directors. They all come with very different experiences and backgrounds. Their talent will help steer Scuba for Change forward, delivering the vision to have a chain of Scuba for Change dive shops in developing nations, creating scalable impact that will change many lives. Interestingly, the majority of the Board of are not divers.
None of the Directors nor I are being paid for our time. The Board and I are united by one simple philosophy, the philosophy that it is incumbent upon those of us who have the ability to create change, to take the lead and create change in a positive and lasting way, hence our tag line, Creating Positive and Lasting Legacies.
Nonetheless, I look forward to sharing more on Scuba for Change in the next edition.
To find out more, visit our website on www.scubaforchange.com.
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