An eye opening trip to CambodiaTweet
Operations Manager and part owner of RAM Training Services, Shenoa Gittins, recently travelled to Cambodia and experienced the trip of a lifetime. Shenoa went on this trip with a mission to help as many as she could and open her eyes to the world around us we commonly ignore.
Children in Cambodia grow up one of the world’s poorest countries and are constantly surrounded by danger whether it is land mines, trafficking, child-labour, lack of food or abandonment. This is Shenoa’s story from her time recently spent in Cambodia.
Upon arrival she spent 2 weeks volunteering in an orphanage called Missionaries of Charity where she helped out as much as she could. Responsibilities included bathing, changing nappies, feeding, playing with and giving the kids the love and attention they desperately craved.
“Some of the kids were left on the doorstep of the orphanage, with no birth certificate or explanation of who they are, what health condition they were in, or why they were left there. Others were sent there by parents who couldn’t afford or didn’t want them. With a severe child trafficking problem, homelessness and extreme poverty – there are worse places for these kids to be, but they still need love, affection and attention from someone who cares.” she said.
On her days off Shenoa went with another volunteer (who had also raised money prior to leaving for Cambodia), to buy supplies.
“Prior to leaving, I did some fundraising and came up with around $3,400 with help from friends, family and RAM Training. This was to assist me in getting there and more importantly to buy supplies once over there for those in need,” Shenoa explained.
The list of supplies purchased by the pair included:
- Long life milk
- First aid materials
- School books
- Toothbrushes & toothpaste
They dropped some of the supplies off to ‘dump villages’. These are villages where families live, and all work (including little kids) on dumps, rummaging through the rubbish to find things to recycle or sell.
“They live next to dumps in shacks made of tin, cardboard, and plastic. They have nothing – their clothes are ridden with holes, most were shoeless, their “homes” had no running water. They were so excited to see us, they came running up the hill to greet us and couldn’t stop smiling, holding our hands and hugging us. One little girl couldn’t stop sniffing my friends skin probably because it was so clean and smelt like soap – a foreign smell to them. Another little girl grabbed my hand when I got in the tuk tuk to leave and kissed it repeatedly in gratitude, so humbling, heart wrenching and yet heart warming at the same time – something so small to us means to much to them, their smiles will forever be in my memory.” Shenoa said.
More supplies were also given to the orphanage Shenoa worked at to help the children there.
Shenoa is back in Australia now, and feels so lucky to live in this beautiful country, where life is so much easier than most Cambodians could ever imagine. But rather than be grateful for the experience and put it behind her, this has been a life-changing experience for Shenoa and she plans on providing whatever assistance she can from here in Australia, and also hopes to return to Cambodia in the not too distant future.
“There are many countries and people all over the world, and in this country as well, who are far less fortunate than us, and could do with a little help – if I can just create more awareness, and awaken a little generosity and kindness in as many as possible, this could do some much for these people. If we can, we should.” Watch this space.