Having always been interested in volunteer programs, I wanted to help those in need anywhere around the world.
As of 2015, the Year 11 Level Coordinator at my school, Mercedes College, connected with Sister Denise Coghlan to create an international volunteer program based in Cambodia.
12 students, including myself, were selected to go over to a reflection centre, set up by Sister Denise in Siem Reap to build houses for those who have suffered from poverty or the loss of a limb due to the landmine crisis in Cambodia.
We visited a primary school, in which each student donated craft materials, toys and sports gear, etc., to the young students within the community. Additionally, we visited Banteay Prieb, a centre for landmine and polio victims, where they received training in skills and arts to provide them with a livelihood for the future. Our group also took a trip to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which stands as an insightful, yet shocking display of the Pol Pot regime and its detriments towards the Cambodian people. This experience was unforgettable and I have learned so much about the Cambodian people and their history.
I certainly recommend a trip to this diverse and beautiful country. Thanks to Kevin Holohan who donated a number of soccer balls to the group, they made all of the children smile. It was great to be able to play the universal game of soccer with these amazing children.