"It’s where I be­long"

Orleans Star - - LOCAL NEWS -

Con­tin­ues from front page She es­pe­cially en­joyed her work with young Cam­bo­dian fe­males who had been res­cued from hu­man traf­fick­ing, an in­dus­try Cam­bo­dia is known for. This is the kind of work she will be do­ing when she re­turns on May 20. The 19-year-old will be gone for at least a year.

"Cam­bo­di­ans don’t show emo­tion very well," she ex­plains. "So when they do, to see a smile on one of their faces. It’s the great­est gift. I feel as though they’re mak­ing a dif­fer­ence in my life way more than I’m mak­ing in theirs."

In or­der to fund the trip, Eng­land can­celled her plans to at­tend an Ot­tawa Univer­sity and took up a part-time job at Star­bucks. $10,000 in sav­ings later she has fi­nally saved up enough to be able to af­ford the year’s accommodation in Cam­bo­dia.

Go­ing on her own, Eng­land will be par­tic­i­pat­ing in an in­tern­ship with a lo­cal Cam­bo­dia or­ga­ni­za­tion called Sak Saum/in His Steps In­ter­na­tional (IHSI). The or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­vides for women that have been vic­tim­ized by hu­man traf­fick­ing through sup­port­ing them with life skills and the mak­ing of purses, bags, and other items which are sold to sup­port them. IHSI, a Chris­tian NGO, also runs an or­phan­age and teaches English to lo­cal peo­ple.

She will be based Penh, the cap­i­tal.

Eng­land says liv­ing in a mil­i­tary fam­ily, her his­tory of mov­ing around through­out North Amer­ica may have pre­pared her for this kind of huge life chance, but, she says it will be the first time she moves alone.

De­spite the fact that his lit­tle girl is mov­ing around the world, her fa­ther, Bill Eng­land, says he could not be prouder of what she’s do­ing.

"So many young peo­ple fin­ish high school with­out know­ing what they want to do," he said. "$10,000 is a lot of money. To be able to save that and then to do some­thing con­crete with it and make a pos­i­tive change some­where … it makes me re­ally, re­ally proud."

For Rhi­an­non, she can barely wait the two weeks un­til she’s boarded the plane and is back in a place she feels like she be­longs.

"I hope I can find a way to stay there for­ever," she says. "I just know it’s what I’m meant to be do­ing."


out­side Phnom

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