Twelve Senior School students had the adventure of a lifetime over the July school holidays as part of a service trip to Southeast Asia.
The trip was broken up into three parts; providing service, trekking through the rainforest and exploring new environments.
“We spent the first few days in Singapore. We then headed to Siem Reap, Cambodia sightseeing and exploring before we travelled to Isanborei where we completed the project,” Year 13 student
Greta Brown says.
“As part of the project we spent six days building a house for a family and mixing with the locals,” Year 13 student Jasmine Bhula adds.
“We were lucky enough to spend a couple of hours a day with the local children at the English school where we played with them and taught them basic English. Our time in the village was extremely rewarding and valuable.”
After spending time in the village students trekked through the rainforest, spent time in the Cambodian capital city Phnom Penh and then travelled to Vietnam to experience Ho Chi Minh City.
“The three different parts of the trip offered different opportunities for learning and we loved every part of it,” Greta says.
Teacher Nicole Hoy and Head of Senior School Jacqui Brown also took part in the expedition.
“A real highlight of the trip was watching the growth of the students as individuals,” Jacqui says.
“The service component was particularly powerful for our team and students commented that the project was extremely rewarding,” Jacqui says.
“The realisation that the work they did was such a life changing benefit to a family and community was a real motivator and certainly encouraged deep personal reflection.”
Jasmine and Greta say the service element of the trip inspired them to sign up for the experience. As part of the trip everyone in the group had to fundraise for materials they would need to make the house and complete the service.
The team exceeded their fundraising target of $3000 and raised $3453.70. Fundraising efforts consisted of a movie night, bake sale and a raffle.
“We loved the idea of helping someone else and making their lives better. We wanted to immerse ourselves in another culture and Cambodia is so different from what we know and that was exciting,” Jasmine says.
“On the trip we learnt a lot about ourselves and about who we are as people, it allowed us to understand how we cope and deal with different situations which was extremely valuable,” Greta adds.
“We gained a lot of independence which gives us confidence for our future. It also highlighted how privileged and lucky we are in our lives and how people around the world are not as privileged. Something as small as teaching someone a couple of words of English can change their entire lives.”