Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Eye opening beginnings in Cambodia

COUNTRY: Cambodia
PROJECT: Education
WRITTEN BY: Caitlin Boyd

Well, what a week! It began with an eye opening visit to the Angkor Hospital for Children, where a staggering 400 - 500 students are seen daily free of charge a completely awe-inspiring ,well developed centre. Next was a seminar run by conCERT, contextualizing the treatment and situation of children in Cambodian society, in preparation for our placements. In between these events, the wonderful Dayvy, our in-country partner, was there organizing our stomachs, treating us to traditional Khmer lunches, with one restaurant even providing hammocks for our post-meal naps. She has also helped us during the commencement of our placements, which we have now settled into at the Military Handicap Development Centre and the Self Help Community Centre. The girls at MHDC have begun their task of health promotion, teaching adults and children alike, embracing the slight language barriers that exist working with people from a foreign rural community. The three english teachers have equally stepped up to their daily bike trips to and from SHCC, having only had one minor confrontation with a rice paddy. In the classroom, they have started assisting the English language classes given in addition to the regular schooling for children.

As if the week was not full-on enough, we have all had massive weekends too! Almost all have marveled at the Temples of Angkor be it by bike, foot or tuk-tuk, and Matt tackled a one day dirt biking trip outside of Siem Reap.

It''s been a big week, especially as we have come to recognize some of the difficulties set with out tasks. But we can feel with each day on our placements, if its only just in one student or adult picking up something new, that this can and will be a beneficial and exciting few weeks to come!

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