An industry first
Introducing the first ever ChildSafe Space –
a space where locals, foreigners , businesses, social projects and artists can interact in a truly child protective environment.
ChildSafe brings people, industry and the public sector together to protect children under an international movement. When Futures Factory, a new public space in Phnom Penh Cambodia, was about to open, we had a unique opportunity. As it brought together the same groups as the Movement in one defined space, it gave us the opportunity to develop the first ever public ChildSafe Space – a space where individuals (both local and foreign), businesses, projects, and ideas could interact within a truly child protective environment.
But first, what’s Futures Factory?
ChildSafe’s implementing partners Friends-International and Mith Samlanh have taken their 25 years of social innovation and mixed it with the the cutting edge of Cambodian creativity. They have developed an inclusive space which will provide more opportunities for all – including the youth in the Mith Samlanh programs – one which will foster the creative and entrepreneurial aspirations of all Cambodian youth.
Launching on Saturday May 25, Futures Factory has been designed as a place where futures will be built through Vocational Training Businesses, an incubator program to support young start-ups, a Makers-Market showcasing local artists, creative performances and exhibitions from young artists and a point to access support services accessible to both locals and international visitors.
This close mix of social work with the general public and travelers is exciting, but also potentially risky. Developing it as a ChildSafe Space is incredibly important to manage needs and interactions between these groups in a child friendly and respectful manner.
We engaged with everyone that would be operating in the space, as well those in the surrounding environment, such as tuk tuk drivers, and developed innovative and interactive educational resources for our visiting groups.
As a result, Futures Factory is now a protective environment where children and families can safely enjoy numerous activities with positive social impacts, one in which visitors can enjoy meeting locals and engage in unique activities while giving back to the community.
We view Futures Factory as a flag-ship ChildSafe destination that demonstrates how travelers and the tourism industry can engage meaningfully with locals and their culture and give back through supporting social enterprises without causing risk to children in destination communities.
Here’s a glimpse of what you can expect to discover at Futures Factory:
- Certified Businesses
- ChildSafe trained staff members and merchants across all retailers
- Social enterprises directly supporting youth and families.
- Ethical fashion and shopping
- Unique, fun activities that give back through the ChildSafe Academy
- Opportunities for Cambodian youth
- Safe connection with local people and their culture.
For more information and updates, follow the Futures Factory Facebook page!