Places on the inaugural StPatsTech Service Tour to Cambodia are all but filled and preparations now well underway for a July departure. Around 10 students plus College staff will be making their way to Siem Reap, north-west Cambodia, to work with the Self Help Community Centre (SHCC), a non-government organisation that provides a safe environment for over 1500 disadvantaged children and young adults in the Kro Bei Riel community.
The StPatsTech team will assist in the development of sustainable initiatives and programs that educate and empower rural communities in becoming self-sufficient. The projects will be worked on with school students from the SHCC school and are designed to support the entire community.
- organic farming;
- English lessons;
- interacting with the orphan students through sport, art and craft; and
- participating in various sustainability projects.
St Patrick’s Technical College has supported the SHCC for a number of years through our annual ‘Cans for Cambodia’ program and several staff members have previously visited the community. In 2013 we were fortunate to have the founding member of the SHCC visit our College.
In addition to the project work that will be undertaken during the nine day program, students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture with visits to the Siem Reap night markets; the 12th century temple at Ta Prohm; and the spectacular Angkor Thom complex, including Phimeanakas Baphuon, the Terrace of the Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King and the Bayon.
Staff and students will also learn basic basket weaving, take an oxcart ride through local farms and cook a traditional Khmer dish with produce bought at the Kro Bei Riel market. They will explore the Merchrey Floating Village by boat and enjoy a show at the Cambodian Circus, founded in 1994 by 8 young Cambodians returning from refugee camps on the Thai border.
Students will also discover the more recent history of Cambodia as they venture to Banteay Srey, for many years off limits due to Khmer Rouge activity, and visit the Land Mine Museum which recognises the tireless work of clearing land mines across the nation and helps children and families who have been affected by the land mines.
For more information about the Cambodia Service Tour, please contact College Coordinator, Mr Marc Forster.