Wednesday 29 June 2016

Cambodia Service Project

Ivanhoe Grammar School has a long standing tradition of annual service projects to Cambodia spanning over more than twelve years.

The School has been involved with many capacity building projects over the years, working with local aid and community organisations, and works with communities within the Peak Sneng and Samrong villages in the Siem Reap region and Phnom Penh, primarily focusing on several schools.

Students embarked on the trip from Melbourne on Friday June 17 will return on Monday 4 July. Throughout the 2016 trip students engaged in service work with partner organisations such as Happy Football Cambodia, Plan International and Angkor Kids Centre (AKC). Ivanhoe students helped to update and maintain existing education facilities, engage local students in physical activities, teach English language classes, play cultural games and much more.

Whilst in Phnom Penh Students visited Choeung Ek, better known as the Killing Fields, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Royal Palace giving them a unique insight and opportunity to learn about Cambodia’s ancient past and most recent chilling history. They experienced life in the villages, sampled local Khmer cuisine and cycled around the beautiful ruins of Angkor Watt.

A highlight of the trip was the visit by the Principal, Gerard Foley to Peak Sneng Village. He spent time with the group viewing the education facilities and talking with village elders about ways to build capacities of the Cambodian students and villagers.

As a member of the Round Square group of schools, Ivanhoe shares the vision of taking education far beyond the academic to personal development and responsibility. A key component of the School’s commitment to Round Square is the work in Cambodia. The school community began its involvement in service efforts in Cambodia in 2003. Cambodia is a country still emerging from years of hardship and brutality.

Each year, a group of students participate in the School’s Cambodian Service Project, working with aid organisations operating locally in Cambodia. The project has expanded from one senior student trip a year to multiple trips involving senior, middle years and primary students, staff, parents and alumni.

The teams learn about the culture of Cambodia and the hardships the Cambodian people have faced, reinforcing why our help is needed and valuable in helping this country move towards a positive future.

This is truly a unique learning experience that engages students and helps them to become global citizens in an ever changing world environment.