"It’s where I belong"
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."