There is a unique Tuk-tuk operating on the congested streets of Phnom Penh, and if you are a Rotarian this tuk-tuk and its special driver will represent some astounding humanitarian efforts that have taken place for the rural people in Cambodia.
The tuk-tuk, or auto-rickshaw, is a popular mode of transportation throughout SE Asia. Its style varies from country to country, but here in Cambodia it takes the form of a two-wheeled covered wagon attached to a small two-stroke motorcycle (or ‘moto’, as it is called here). They are the Asian equivalent of a taxi, and for a small fee, they will take you anywhere you want to go. It’s a lovely way to see the sites and rural areas of Cambodia. The charm of tuk-tuk travel has delighted tourists for years.
Phnom Penh tuk-tuk driver, Un Vanthon has taken his recent volunteer work of Rotary bicycle distribution in the rural villages of Takeo quite seriously. He has worked hard to organize the on-the-ground distribution of 56 Bracebridge-Muskoka Lakes Rotary bicycles throughout 3 villages around Takeo. He has also seen the difference that Rotary makes for the students in these areas. A ‘Rotary Bicycle’ has given many students the opportunity to attend school through the provision of this valuable transportation.
Vanthon is proud to be a part of Rotary projects…so proud that he has now put Rotary decals all over his tuk-tuk and moto! He has the only tuk-tuk in Phnom Penh with the Rotary International symbol on it. He already has had some visiting Rotarians on holidays in Phnom Penh stop and ask him what his involvement with Rotary is - he proudly tells him that he has volunteered for Rotary projects!
Vanthon lived through tremendous hardships during the Khmer Rouge era. I wrote about him before in a recent blog posting. During this difficult period in Cambodia‘s history, Vanthon often helped fellow Cambodians with some food or clothing during these desperate times of need. Vanthon has never stopped - he keeps on giving to this day.
So, if you are in Phnom Penh, and need a good tuk-tuk driver that has ‘Gone Miles for Rotary’, be sure to give this special humanitarian a call at 012 906 793. Out of the 4,000 tuk-tuks presently servicing Phnom Penh, there is only one special tuk-tuk with the Rotary symbol on it!