Journey to Cambodia
FOLLOWING the trend of a “traditional schoolies trip” wasn’t quite on the agenda for year 12 students Lily Aitken, Jeremy Bale, Tim Dean and Jayde Roger, as they jetted off to Cambodia in December for a trip of a lifetime.
The four Euroa students have now made it back on home soil, after another successful “Schoolies with a Difference”, where they were able to help see just how important their fundraising efforts had been.
Along with organisers Kairen and Neville Patterson, the students were able to complete their major project of funding and helping to build a house in the Chikreng district just outside of Siem Reap.
The house was then donated to a poor village family chosen by the local Monks, changing the life of this family, forever.
Mr Patterson said the chosen family entered an agreement with the Monks that there will be no alcohol, no drugs, no domestic violence and the children must attend school.
“It was a wonderful experience for our participants to work alongside both Monks and locals to complete the house,” Mr Patterson said.
“They encountered that OH&S was non-existent as workers climbed all over the outside of the house.
“No signs of hard hats, safety scaffolding, closed-in shoes or any shoes for that matter.”
On completion the students were involved in the ‘House Blessing’ and attended the presentation where they walked around the house three times carrying their gifts of household items food and clothing for the family to start their new life.
The procession then moved into the house where the monks, village elders, dignitaries and villagers chanted blessings upon the family.
The group also received blessings and acknowledgement for their commitment to the family.
The group were also able arrange to catch up with the Hoeurn family who were the recipients of the Peace house built by last year’s Euroa Cambodia Project participants.
Euroa Cambodia Project had several Euroa residents financially support with donations for a toilet for the family who received the peace house.
“This is a wonderful addition for the family making it safer for the young daughters and mother as well as creating a healthier environment,” they said.
The group were also able to donate 24 bicycles and school stationary to children of Prey Village, with the participants donating two bikes each and the remaining 12 were presented on behalf of individual donations from people in Euroa.
The project donated $US100 of school stationary to a recently established English school and also donated two hospital beds to Tbeng Health Centre and six concrete bench seats.
The group also left 150kg of second-hand clothing (50kg of which was newborn and baby clothes) kindly donated by Violet Town Op shop, St Paul’s Op shop, and many Euroa residents.
Mrs Patterson said fundraising was supported by local individuals and businesses, all of whom were applauding our local students making a commitment to help others, far less fortunate than ourselves.
“We would like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to all those who supported our project during 2018,” Mrs Patterson said.
Planning is underway for 2019, and you can continue to support the group by contacting Kairen and Neville on 5795 1132 or 0439 951 132.
WORKING HARD: Participants working alongside locals to get the house completed and (inset) they put together a bed for the health centre.
ROOF OVER THEIR HEADS: Neville Patterson, Jayde Roger, Lily Aitken, Kairen Patterson, Jeremy Bale and Tim Dean joined the local family in celebrating the completion of their new house.
RIDE TO SCHOOL: The donations of several bikes were well received by the village children.