Cambodia Trip 2008
In the Term Three holidays Rangitoto College teachers and students travelled
to Cambodia to make a difference for people living in poverty. While
we went to give help, we gained the experience of a lifetime.
Cambodia is considered one of the 10 poorest nations
in the world, poorer than Tanzania and Peru. It
has suffered in recent history and was in the midst
of a civil war until 1998. Since then, Cambodians
have struggled to catch up to their neighbours – to
provide adequate education, health care and nutrition
for their families. Government corruption is a significant
barrier to progress for these people. Even today
almost 80% live in rural areas and only 40% have access
to safe drinking water.
It is with this in mind that 17 students and 8 teachers
dedicated the last 12 months to trying to raise as
much money as possible to help rural families and orphaned
With YOUR support we were able to raise more than
$19000 in sponsorship money for our project work in
Cambodia. Every dollar raised makes a huge difference
in a country like Cambodia.
The first project was building houses for poor rural
families, who have worked for years to save the $30
needed to participate in the project. This is
run by the Tabitha Foundation who aim to develop a
culture of saving among Cambodian families. Each family
has to save US$30 to buy their plot of land for their
home. Our task is then to raise the $1500 for the house
and help build it so the family can move in. Their
anxious and expectant faces were beside us all day
as we built their new homes. When finally we finished
there was much emotion on both sides as we presented
them with a much more durable and waterproof home,
than there former dirt floored thatched dwelling.
With your help we were able to build 8 houses in a
small rural village 1 hour north of Phnom Penh. On
the next page is Carl Adam’s record of the house
house building was the main purpose of our trip, we
were also pleased to be able to help two orphanages
in Phnom Penh. We spent time teaching English
and playing games with children from the New Future
For Children and Centre for Children’s Happiness
orphanages. The founder of CCH was a rubbish
dump orphan himself. These children were the lucky
ones….they had been rescued from a life of poverty,
illness and exploitation on the notorious rubbish dump
in central Phnom Penh, known locally as Smokey Mountain.
The money raised for them will help provide clothing,
an education and other necessities. Their goal is to
help these children become well educated, fluent in
English, and computer literate so they can become gainfully
employed as adults – breaking out of the cycle
of poverty from which they’ve come!
Some of us actually visited the rubbish dump. This
was a distinctly unpleasant experience. Below is a
quote from a student who tried to put this experience
The rubbish dump trip was life changing for those
who were able to experience it first hand.
Along with our time and a cash donation of $US1500
for each orphanage, we were also able to give them
items using some of the funds donated to our trip. Posters,
books, pencils, sports equipment and toys were given
and these were greatly appreciated by those in charge,
who thanked us for all our help.
total we spent 9 days in Cambodia, seeing the cultural
treasures such as Angkor Wat and Apsara dancing but
also helping wherever possible. We then visited
one of the many Killing Fields, a place of immense
sadness, and the burial grounds of millions of people
executed, starved or tortured to death. Students
and teachers learned first hand the wickedness that
some leaders can inflict on their people. It
was a sobering experience for everyone and helped us
understand why the people of Cambodia need our help.
The trip was an incredible experience and we couldn’t
have done all the wonderful things without your support. Thank
you so much for the donation that you made for the
house building and orphanages. We hope you will
consider helping us again next year as we try to build
even more houses and help these children once again.
It was pleasure taking such wonderful group of young
people to Cambodia, they did such a fantastic job
and Rangitoto College can be proud of their conduct
We would also like to endorse these three organisations. We
saw first hand their dedication to the Cambodian people
and how carefully their allocated spending of the meager
funds they had.
If you’d like to know more about these homes please visit the
Thank you once more and we hope you found this report useful and interesting.
Sarah Wakeford and Michelle Parkinson