From the city to the slums

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - TOM CARNEGIE

An Auck­land fam­ily has gone from liv­ing a typ­i­cal sub­ur­ban life­style to run­ning a char­ity in a slum in South East Asia.

The Winthrop fam­ily, from One­hunga, were on hol­i­day in Cam­bo­dia in the city of Ph­nom Penh in 2015.

Dur­ing their stay they de­cided to visit a slum to see what life was like for those liv­ing in ex­treme poverty.

Walk­ing through the slums made the usu­ally chatty Winthrop kids go silent, mum Ni­cola Winthrop said.

‘‘The fam­ily saw slum-liv­ing kids who col­lect rub­bish or beg in­stead of at­tend­ing school,’’ Ni­cola said.

The visit had a ma­jor im­pact on the fam­ily, who de­cided they had to make a dras­tic change in their lives to help those liv­ing in the slums.

In mid-2016 the fam­ily fol­lowed through with their plans and left their ‘‘comfy life’’ in Auck­land to move to Cam­bo­dia.

Ni­cola and her hus­band Graeme now run a char­ity called Flame, along with its founder Sue Hanna.

Flame fo­cuses on pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tion and lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment to chil­dren liv­ing in slums.

The Winthrop chil­dren, who at­tend in­ter­na­tional schools, have also been help­ing at the char­ity.

Na­dia Winthrop, 11, vol­un­teers at a Flame Ac­tiv­ity Cen­tre. Once a week she teaches English to lo­cal kids.


Na­dia Winthrop, 11, vol­un­teers teach­ing English once a week to kids liv­ing in a Ph­nom Penh slum.

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