Jour­ney to Cam­bo­dia

Euroa Gazette - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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