Students from the Island of Guernsey fund-raised for projects, and then contributed their time in the community of Peaksneng, Cambodia this summer. While there, they and their hosts were reminded that when you give you receive!
The students achieved a lot during their week assisting the Peaksneng Thormacheat Shop. They made compost, organic fertilizer, and natural pest repelent; built family vegetable gardens, a toilet and water well; prepared and served a meal at a community center; and repaired a local road.
All these activities made positive impacts on the lives of a number of families in the community.
The funds raised by the students mean that more time and money can be allocated to local improvement projects. For example, when the students repaired the local road it freed up time for the community workers to focus on delivering other services.
The week of interaction, between people from different nationality, backgrounds and culture when working towards a common goal, built camaraderie and promoted teamwork. Interpersonal differences of language and nationality became less important and so changed the lives of everyone involved.
Families and communities were empowered by the service and skill they learned during the students visit. For example, the students were taught organic gardening best practices by the shop team that they then passed onto the families.
The shop team were refreshed by the visit and reminded how assisting others, and being genuinely interested in assisting them, naturally builds trust and nurtures relationships. In other words, by putting others first, every aspect of your life can take on new meaning because “when you give you receive”. The team felt inspired and grateful because the visiting students helped strengthen their sense of pride, purpose and accomplishment in what they do. Leading to a feeling of satisfaction.
The visiting students also benefited. They made new friends, expanding their network and their social and relationship skills. The visit strengthened relationships through meeting regularly with the same group of people with the same interest and shared commitment to activities. They were exposed to neighborhood people and resources, and participated in fun and fulfilling activities. They had the opportunity to assist others and the community. All this provided a sense of accomplishment resulting in increased sense of pride, identity and self-confidence. The better you feel about yourself, the more likely you are to have a positive view of life and have the confidence to dream about the future!
Practicing examples of teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, organization and technical skills will help the students when they return home and are preparing for their future college and workplace experiences.
The visit had its expected challenges like language and rainy weather days; however, these were all seen as part of the growing experience. The shop manager Rey has been refreshed by the student’s visit. He is very grateful to them for coming and supporting the efforts of his team and the families they assist. He looks forward to a growing relationship with True Adventures, who organized the visit, and hosting more students in the years to come. He dreams of building accommodation on the shop’s land for future school groups.