Students in Years 10 and 11 travelled to Cambodia last term as part of the School’s Round Square Cambodia Service Project. An annual co-curricular project, the trip gives students the opportunity to serve local communities while learning about Cambodian culture and the hardships its people have faced.
Two students who returned with renewed perspective were Liam Jensen and Juliet Garro, whose reflections on their time in Cambodia illustrate the potency of service trips, and the profound effect they can have on a young person’s life.
Liam Jensen, Year 11
“This was my first experience in a developing country and it changed my life.”
I chose to go on the Cambodia Service Project Trip because I saw it as an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of different cultures, and actively serve those who are less fortunate.
The most memorable part of the trip was the village experience where we spent four days living in the village of Peak Sneng teaching and playing games with Cambodian children.
Visiting Happy Football Cambodia was the most rewarding experience on the trip. This organisation works to get kids off the street by playing soccer. It was amazing to run around and see the joy and laughter everywhere I looked in boys and girls of all ages.
The experience changed my perception of happiness. It taught me to take a step back from what we consider the ‘pressure’ of our busy school lives, to put things into perspective and realise how lucky we really are. My time in Cambodia inspired me to share my experiences with other people and to continue to help those communities in any way I can from home soil.
Juliet Garro, Year 11
“A trip like this teaches you about the kind of person you are.”
The Cambodia Service Project Trip has always been something I wanted to be involved with. I knew the trip would be a great opportunity to learn more about myself while experiencing the culture and lifestyle of Cambodian people.
For me, the most rewarding part of the Cambodia Service Project Trip would have to be the village experience. It reflected why we were really there; to serve others. Everything we did in the village allowed us to better the lives of those living there. From teaching English to children of all ages, to playing Australian and Cambodian games, all the way to cooking food on the final night for the village chief and his friends.
I think that I have changed as a person after being a part of the Cambodia Service Project Trip. It taught me a lot about myself and the world we live in. It sounds like a cliche, but it opened my eyes to the way other people live and helped me understand how lucky I am. Small things I used to take for granted I really appreciate now.