Secondary Students Learn and Serve in Cambodia
From February 25 to March 4, students from Years 10, 11 and 12 traveled to Cambodia for their annual Service Trip. Once landed in Siem Reap, our students worked in three groups on different programs.
The Year 10 program focused on the introduction to the history and culture of the Khmer people and they looked at the Chinese influence on the country. They also visited the War Museum to learn more about the recent, tragic history of Cambodian people, in which they suffered in a cruel civil war under the regime of the Khmer Rouge.
The Year 11s focused on different NGOs (non-profit organizations that operate independently of any government) operating in and around Siem Reap, as inspiration and preparation for their year to come in the IBDP CAS program. The 11s split up into three groups, conducted research into – and worked with – different organizations. One group worked with Water for Cambodia to build sustainable water filters and installed these at different local families’ houses around Siem Reap. Another group worked with Days for Girls, which promotes women’s health and empowerment. The final group researched several social enterprises, highlighted by the HAVEN restaurant, which accommodates underprivileged young adults and provides them with shelter, food and important vocational training/education. The Year 11s really impressed their teachers and showed they are ready for next year.
The Year 12s started the service trip well in advance, through fundraising activities to make sure they had enough funds to support their planned project at ABCs and Rice (the school we have been working with for the last three years). Through the Happiness Run, a merchandise sale, a special-event tuckshop during SCISAC and a Primary Bazaar, they raised enough funds to create a space for students at ABCs and Rice to play sports throughout the year while being sheltered from both the heavy rain during the monsoon season and the scorching sun during the dry season. Under the leadership of the Year 12s, our students worked extremely hard to get their projects done. Many hours in the burning sun were spent building a brick wall, transferring more than 10,000 kg of sand, and removing rocks and weed from the site.
In addition to all the learning that took place, students took part in several fun activities such as a bicycle tour in the country side, shopping at the night markets, a visit to the Phare Circus (for a workshop) and some relaxing by the pool at the hotel.
After the students returned to our campus, an assembly was held where they presented to the whole school what they have accomplished during the trip and how their projects will impact the lives of the people there. It was a truly great learning opportunity for all involved.
We are extremely proud of the hard work our students have done and are looking forward to what’s to come.