Cambodia trip sees students take up the challenge

IT was 17-days of inspiration, hard work and service learning for several Dominic College year nine and 10 students when they travelled to Cambodia as part of the “World Challenge Team.”

The 10 students, two teachers and one leader from World Challenge began their journey in Siem Reap, where they explored the bustling markets, travelled by tuk tuk and visited the World Heritage temples of Angkor Wat.

Dominic College year seven to 10 pastoral care coordinator Aaron Davey said the project phase formed an important part of the trip and saw the team undertake practical work to benefit the country.

“Our project was in Battambang at a non-governmental organisation school called Ptea Teuk Dong (PTD),” he said.

“Originally, it was established to help street families become self-reliant and is now a school and vocational training facility.

“Dominic students painted the exterior of the school and donated a photocopier and sports equipment.”

In the countryside, students visited isolated villages to gain a perspective on what rural Cambodian life is like.

“A different challenge was then our three-day jungle trek,” Mr Davey said.

“We slept in hammocks, ate amazing camp food, went fishing with bamboo poles and hunted for bush tucker in the dense jungle.”

After the trek, the group headed to Phnom Penh to learn about Cambodia’s tragic history under the Khmer Rouge.

It was here that the students visited the Killing Fields and the infamous torture and execution camp S21, which they described as a “poignant and terrible reminder of the imperative to work for acceptance and peace in the world.”

As Dominic College is a Salesian school founded in the tradition of St John Bosco, the team also visited the Don Bosco Technical School in Phnom Penh.

Students met with Father Charles Arun SDB and learnt how the school provides some of the poorest Cambodians the opportunity to learn a trade in areas such as automotive, electronics, printing and computers.

Dominic College students donated 13 laptops, sports equipment, their sleeping bags and the cash they had raised to support the Salesians in continuing with their important work.

Caption: Dominic College World Challenge team with Cambodian Don Bosco Technical School students.