After eight days in Cambodia’s capital Pnomh Penh, seven Year 11 Trinity Catholic College students have returned more open minded.
They were there to build a two-bedroom raised ‘pole house’ for a family of three that were affected by poverty, but more importantly, to open their eyes to the struggles of those worse off than them.
“The aim of the trip was to give students the experience of a country less privileged than Australia,” the school’s ministry coordinator Timothy Matthews said.
Prior to the trip, Mr Matthews thought the trip would be successful in terms of the impact it would have on the students due to his past experience in India.
He was right.
“I know how powerful having these kinds of trips can be for children, especially after my trip to India when I was 19,” Mr Matthews said.
“Take a look at Josie Croker for example.
“She used to be a picky eater, but she’s not anymore.”
The general feeling coming from the students when they came back from the trip sponsored by The Goulburn Soldiers Club and Argyle Rotary, was that of empathy towards those worse off than them and gratitude for the things they have.
A couple of things the students enjoyed doing included building the ‘pole house’ and visiting various sites like the Angkor Wat temple and a memorial to the 1970s Cambodian genocide.
One of the students Jessica Skelly will always remember the family’s reaction to the house being built.
When the two-bedroom pole house was built, the mother of the family said a speech and cried.Jessica Skelly
“When the two-bedroom pole house was built, the mother of the family said a speech and cried,” Jessica said.
“She was surprised and happy.”
After seeing how well the trip went, Mr Matthews is keen do it again with a new bunch of students.