Since 2015, UK students have visited Battambang, Cambodia to assist the garden shop staff, local families and schools by building projects that assist poor families and vulnerable children. The Healthy Life Reinforcement Garden Shop has collaborated with True Adventures and UK schools to host a student group each year. To date, Beechwood, Mill Hill and Salesian school students have visited and worked alongside the shop team.
The students have built nine vegetable gardens, three toilets and two water reservoirs, which enable families to improve their health and consequently their children’s school attendance and performance.
These projects are important because health and education are large challenges in the local community. Most families do not have a proper toilet, enough nutritious food or sufficient safe drinking water.
Thanks to the students’ assistance, some families and children now have a sanitary toilet, enough healthy vegetables to eat and sell for income, and water for drinking and good hygiene. These benefits encourage families to work hard to earn more income, so that they can further improve their children’s health, education and future opportunity to earn an income.
The benefits were mutual for the families and the visitors because the students learned leadership, project management and technical skills when implementing solutions for self-reliance. They did this by working shoulder to shoulder with the shop team and local families. They also had time to enjoy local cultural activities like learning to cook local food and visiting the circus.
Salee, the shop manager, says his team are very grateful for the assistance and look forward to hosting more students in 2018 and beyond!