TTGmice reporters pick out teambuilding ideas across Asia that fulfil CSR objectives
The Kamu Connection – Rural, Natural and Sustainable, Laos
Conducted by EXO Travel Laos, the programme begins with a 2.5-hour scenic cruise up the Mekong River from Luang Prabang. Kamu Lodge, located next to Kamu Village, is a safari-style tented lodge which comprises 20 units. Observe villagers or join them planting or harvesting rice, net fishing, gold panning and cross-bow shooting. Teambuilding activities can also be included.
Kamu Lodge provides seamless integration into the local environment by tapping local knowledge and materials. It employs villagers, who share and teach others to deliver the Kamu experience in an authentic and sustainable manner.
Guests support social enterprise in an authentic setting. While appreciating the ancient community, participants also learn more about themselves. Besides giving employment, Kamu Lodge collaborates with the local health authorities to provide medical care to the villagers and helps them through micro-credit financing supported by the Laos Village Development Fund.
Duration: Two days/one night or three days/two nights; open year-round but the best time to visit is between November and March
Group size: Up to 40 people, twin-sharing
Flat Out Formula One, Singapore
Led by Catalyst Teambuilding, the activity sees teams selecting a charity to race for. Using detailed plans and a material kit, participants race against time to construct an almost-life-sized Formula 1 racing ‘car’. They then decorate and brand it in corporate, team and charity motifs, and formulate a race strategy.
In the final Grand Prix race, the teams line up their cars – a driver in the car and two pushers behind – and race for prize money for their chosen charities. The team whose car to go over the finishing line first wins, although all teams can donate to their charity no matter their placing. Awards can also be given for the best-decorated car.
From branding their vehicles with their beneficiaries’ logos to competing for prize money to be donated, participants are able to take charity into their own hands and attain a sense of accomplishment for their contributions. They can also involve beneficiaries in the building and decorating of the racecar, as well as include a young beneficiary in the driver’s seat to give them a memorable experience of the race.
Duration: 1.5 to two hours
Group size: From 20 pax
Hole in One, across Asia
Delegates work in teams to design and build a challenging mini golf course which they will play in a tournament. The unique aspect of this activity is that the golf course must be built with canned goods and non-perishable food items, and these items are then donated to a local food shelter or charity after the event.
In Hong Kong, Team Building Asia works with Feeding Hong Kong, a local food bank that bridges the gap between hunger and food wastage. Beneficiaries vary across Asia.
Hole in One gives participants a change to donate to a good cause. Prior to the event, participants are asked to contribute five to 10 items based on a wish list provided by the assigned charity, to use in the building of the golf course.
Duration: 1.5 to two hours
Group size: At least 18 people
Art and Culture Journey, Guangzhou, China
Designed by Jingbo Culture (Hengqin) and implemented by Life Power (CHN) Team Building Training Co., this full-day programme marries art, heritage and culture with CSR opportunities. Participants get to explore Huangpu Old Village where they will interview local artists, traditional craftsmen and indigenous inhabitants.
Fun elements are offered through a bespoke treasure hunt involving craft sessions to make traditional book frames, wooden New Year folk paintings, movable-type printing and lacquer art.
The activity offers an opportunity for participants to learn about the historical, cultural and social significance of intangible cultural heritage. It also supports conservation efforts and art development. By showcasing the work of local artists and traditional craftsmen, they are given a chance to make a living.
Group size: 20 to 100 people
Contact: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Farm Day Hosted by the Karen Tribe, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Offered by Asia DMC – Thailand, the first stop in this activity is the Karen village in Baan Thung Luang (Mae Wang district). Visit the local market before meeting the home host to learn about the culture and history of the villagers.
Next stop is an organic farm to join workers in picking vegetables and ingredients for lunch. Enjoy cooking and eating with bamboo sticks in the traditional style. After relaxing, work at the farm again with the villagers. Round off the day with a bamboo raft ride along the Mae Wang River.
The Karen people believe that living a simple life is the way to eternal happiness, and they carry out their beliefs by living with few frills. In interacting with this traditional, ethnic-minority community, city folks will not only contribute to the local economy but also realise how comfortable their own lives are.
Duration: Full day
Group size: Up to 15 people; larger groups will be split into smaller numbers
Survival Skills in Taman Negara National Park, Malaysia
Leave your team in the good hands of Happy Trails! Asia, as they leave the urban environment to have a lifetime adventure at Taman Negara National Park in Malaysia. This 130 million-year-old rainforest is the oldest rainforest in the world and one of Malaysia’s main tourist draws.
Participants will battle each other on a bamboo rafting race along a tropical river, and master survival skills by building shelter and fire and cooking a basic meal with “natural utensils” and wild edible plants. In the afternoon, they get busy with trapping and hunting. As night falls, activity winds down with a relaxing movie in the jungle cinema.
The programme provides work opportunities and an income for indigenous people who lead in the activities.
Duration: Three days/two nights
Group size: 20 to 150 people
Helping Hands, across Asia
Team Building Asia’s Helping Hands is a unique and powerful CSR programme that gives corporate groups the chance to lend assistance to land mine victims around the world.
Teams work together to build a prosthetic hand from 30 pieces of plastic and metal. They also face the extra challenge of being able to use only one hand to complete this task – they must cover their dominant hand throughout the activity. As well as building team performance and communication, participants get to create something that changes the life of a person in need.
The prosthetic hands are donated to amputee land mine victims in Vietnam, Laos or Cambodia, along with a note from the team that built it, allowing the participants to connect with the person they are helping. The event finishes with each participant knowing they have made an impact to someone’s life.
Duration: 1.5 to two hours
Group size: At least five
Vietnam Toy Makers
Conducted by smallWORLD Experience (Vietnam), this activity splits participants up into teams where mates work together to solve a series of problems and win challenges in an indoor setting. Each triumph scores the team a range of materials, which leads onto the second part of the exercise – building toys.
Ranging from racing cars and tracks, to trains, dolls and teddy bears, toys are crafted with love and passed on to local under-privileged children. The last stage of the session sees participants wrapping their gifts and writing an accompanying card.
Beneficiaries are organisations that work directly with underprivileged children in Vietnam. This programme enables teams to use their creativity, and leadership and communication skills to put a smile on the face of children.
Duration: Two to three hours
Group size: 10 to 120 people
Art & Culture Journey, Macau
Delivered by Coforte Organisation Development, this programme takes participants around Macau to discover the work of local artists and a former shipbuilder through visits to museums, exhibitions, galleries, historical buildings and a shipyard. They will also attend a craft workshop where they will learn to make a wooden paddle and keychain with wood that was once used to build ships. As well, there will be a treasure hunt.
The programme supports conservation of traditional industries in Macau, and promote art development.
Group size: 20 to 100 people
Contact: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
Meet the Sacred Dancers of Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
The Sacred Dancers of Angkor is a prestigious school that teaches apsara – Cambodia’s traditional dance. Here, students learn the discipline it takes to perform the ancient art form, which dates back to the Khmer Empire. Each dance is a prayer for blessings on the land, environment and people.
Corporate groups get to experience this, where they learn and practise the subtle yet intricate gestures and moves that form part of the enchanting dance. There is also an opportunity for participants to meditate with students.
The school is a side-project of the Nginn Karet Foundation for Cambodia, which supports 14 villages in Banteay Srei, the Siem Reap district, where the school is based. The charity offers aid to poverty-stricken villagers through programmes that provide clean water, hygiene, health care, nutrition, education and literacy. Profits from the school are ploughed back into these projects.
Duration: Half- or full-day
Group size: Up to 20
Forest and Wildlife Conservation at Sap Langka Wildlife Sanctuary, Lopburi, Thailand
Offered by Diethelm Travel Thailand, this activity in Lopburi gets participants to build weirs – barriers across rivers to help manage the flow of water. Weirs provide easier access to a sustained water supply and also help to reduce water-flow during the rainy season, thereby lessening the chance of flooding.
For a more competitive angle, participants are spit into groups, and each will fight to fill empty spaces between bamboo sticks with rocks. Jungle survival training is also conducted, with tips on dealing with snakes, finding water from plants, making fires and cooking using only natural resources.
Teams work together with a shared goal for the common good – the sanctuary’s protected animals, particularly 44 wild elephants who may be at risk during flash floods. Besides physical exertion lifting and passing heavy stones, being deep in the forest gives an appreciation of the precious natural environment.
Duration: 2 days/one night
Group size: 50 to 120 people
Rags To Riches, across Asia
Prior to the activity, Team Building Asia collects clothing and other recyclable items on behalf of teambuilding participants. On the day of the session, teams are formed to partake in a dynamic networking and communication challenge to create a giant version of their logo (or bespoke image) using all the donated items. A unique matrix guides teams as they work together to position their donations in pre-determined, marked out areas. There is an ideal photo opportunity at the end as everyone celebrates their collective creativity. The donated items are then delivered to the chosen charities.
Rags To Riches encourages participants to think more about recycling unwanted items that would have otherwise been discarded.
Duration: One to three hours
Group size: At least 20 people
Coral Teambuilding, Langkawi, Malaysia
In line with reef conservation efforts by The Andaman, a Luxury Collection Resort, Langkawi, a unique teambuilding activity has been developed around the resort’s Coral Conservation Project. This unique activity involves transplanting corals under the expert guidance of the resort’s coral curators before relocating them to the ocean using rafts built by teambuilding participants. The latter emerge from the activity feeling a sense of accomplishment, having made a real and tangible difference to the environment.
Globally, coral reefs are under threat of extinction due to negative habits of human. With the project, participants are given the opportunity to halt the destruction and save the marine ecosystem for future generations. Reef regeneration also creates a sustainable fishing resource that will help the local community for years to come.
Duration: 60 to 120 minutes, depending on group size
Group size: 10 to 100 people
Elephant Valley Project, Cambodia
Caring for captive elephants is at the heart of this non-profit organisation that offers respite to the over-worked elephants that dot Mondulkiri’s jungle in Cambodia. Offering a spacious sanctuary for the animals to return to the wild, Elephant Valley Project invites teambuilding groups to visit the gentle giants in their natural habitat, watching them wallow in mud pools and tear out saplings with their trunks. There is also the chance to help Elephant Valley Project with its onsite projects, working together to build water towers, improve the banana and bamboo farms, and carry out deforestation programmes.
Elephant Valley Project not only carries out vital work to keep the dwindling elephant population alive while offering a new lease of life to captive elephants, it also carries out essential educational programmes and offers support to help protect the wild elephant population in Mondulkiri. Funds collected by Elephant Valley Project are put into these conservation efforts.
Duration: From half-day programmes to five-day/five-night arrangements
Group size: Up to 15 people
Toy Factory, Singapore
Asia Ability puts participants into teams and provides them with wooden parts, which they must assemble into a range of high quality children’s toys. Teams complete mini-tasks, like trivia, to access tools and paints. Once the toys are completed, they can be decorated with brand colours and incorporated into educational games designed by the teams. The session ends with a fun and informal finale where each team shows off their game and creations on stage, and presents their gifts to members of the selected beneficiary.
Participants have a hand in assembling quality toys for children in need from a local charity, school or home of the company’s choice. They are also able to present the gifts in a meaningful and celebratory ceremony. Usable game materials from the session are also donated to the beneficiaries.
Duration: 1.5 to three hours
Group size: From 12 pax