Friday 18 May 2018

Fundraising for Cambodia where does the money go?

With the 2018 Cambodian Service Trip just over a month away preparations are ramping up with many areas of the School involved. This year, our Cambodia Service Project will see our largest cohort yet of 77 staff and students making the journey.

This annual co-curricular project gives Year 10 and Year 11 students the opportunity to serve local communities while learning about Cambodian culture and the hardships its people have faced.

Many fundraising activities have been organised already and are planned for the next five weeks, sometimes you may wonder where the money is going that the school and its community so tirelessly raises. Current Year 12 student Chelsea made the journey last year, here is an excerpt from a speech she made at a recent assembly about her experience and where the funds go.

Last year I went on the Cambodia service trip. With the next trip set to depart soon, lots of fundraising has been taking place in order to raise money for the organisations that Ivanhoe works closely with in Cambodia. Mr Fox’s BBQ and casual clothes day is often held, however we understand that unless you guys have been on the trip or are planning to go, you are often quite unaware of what your money actually goes towards.

Cambodia is still recovering from the effects of the Khmer Rouge and genocide which left the country devastated. Consequently, half of the Cambodian population are under the age of 22 and we see many young people aiming to improve their lifestyle through education and service. Tourism is essential for the rebuilding of the Cambodian economy, therefore we see many young people keen to learn English in order to get a job in the industry. So when we go over to Cambodia, we teach students basic English skills which hopefully they’ll be able to use as a basis for future work.

The learning environment is fundamental in terms of the quality of learning, so to enrich this, the money that we raise goes towards improving the facilities for these children. One of the developmental schools that Ivanhoe works closely with, asked us to paint the windows of the classroom. Many of us thought that this was a simple thing to ask for, however the school really wanted us to do this for them. So, we did! Instead of going to Cambodia and handing over money or putting it towards what WE think they need, we ask these organisations what they actually want and help them implement it through the funds we raise.

For example, Happy Football Cambodia is an organisation that works with disadvantaged youth in Cambodia by connecting them through football. The money we raise goes towards things like court rentals and football equipment. It allows these young Cambodians the opportunity to learn new skills and connect with each other. A team is often taken every year to the Homeless World Cup and allows them to represent themselves and their country on an international level, giving them a life-changing experience. Ivanhoe also works closely with Peak Sneng village. There we teach English to students from other neighbouring villages who come to Peak Sneng to learn from us. Last year our money went toward a bathroom facility which allowed students a place to shower, which allowed better accommodation for these students. So when you bring a gold coin in on casual clothes day, or buy a sausage please recognise that it is going to a much bigger cause than what it may seem. We aim to spread hope for a country that has been so badly devastated from the effects of a terrible genocide.

Casual clothes day, along with Mr Fox’s BBQ for this term will be on Friday 1 June. The theme will be the colours of the Cambodian flag, which is blue, white and red. Also on that night will be the Cambodia Trivia Night at 7pm at Buckley Hall. Anyone who is interested in supporting the Cambodia trip is invited and tickets will be $20 for Adults and $10 for students Click here to book

Year 12 student Chelsea