Written by our Cambodia Team
In January, we started our Eco-brick initiative to reduce plastic waste at our partner sites. So far, we’ve had two Community Challenge groups focus on delivering Environmental sessions, highlighting the importance of reducing plastic waste to students..
In early January, we had two groups of Community Challenge volunteers come through, focusing on delivering environmental sessions with the aim of rolling out our Eco-brick initiative at centres. Thanks to our volunteers, we now have an ‘Eco-brick’ station set up at SEC Centre 1. Volunteers made sure to get local teachers involved the process so that the initiative can run long-term. Currently, every Friday before class children are now washing plastic, waiting for it to dry before packing the plastic inside the plastic bottles. It’s been great to see the first lot of Eco-bricks already come out!
A diverse start to the year
This month the Cambodia hub hosted a diverse group of volunteers, delivering a wide range of session content to students. From health promotion and conversational English sessions to environment and art/animation sessions, this month showed FSF’s holistic approach to education.
Health Promotion Challenge
We kicked off this month with a new group of health promotion volunteers! The volunteers had a great time delivering some community workshops focused on hygiene and sanitation. They also highlighted the health risks of burning plastic to community members with great feedback.
At SEC centres, volunteers encouraged students to pick up 10 items of rubbish at the end of every class before washing their hands! These efforts helped students to better understand the link between their health and the environment.
Students from ACU and USC delivered Conversational English classes to children at government schools and at SEC centres. In their two week programs, they delivered engaging activities, covering a range of topics, continuing the students through the Conversational English curriculum.
Art & Animation
The hub enjoyed a dash of creativity with the arrival of the RMIT Animation group this month. Throughout their 3 week program, it was great to see students’ confidence and imagination grow in their creation of artwork.
The volunteers encouraged students to ‘free’ draw and use materials like chalk, plasticine and paint to create their artworks. In their final week, volunteers delivered an Art Showcase of students’ work to parents and teachers!
Free Community Clinics
We had two incredible groups of Nursing students join us in Cambodia this month. Between ACU Nursing and University of Newcastle Nursing groups, we delivered Free Community Clinics to four different villages and seeing a total of 278 patients! Each patient had a free medical exam and was provided with a week of free medication. These clinics strengthen our partnership with the local doctors and nurses in Cambodia through our health centre and hospital partnerships, but also allow us to encourage village members to seek out medical resources that are available to them!
This month, the volunteers participated in a range of cultural and global citizenship activities. A highlight was utilizing the local cinema to put on showing of the film First They Killed My Father. For many, this was a first time seeing the film, and experiencing the Khmer Rouge and the Cambodian genocide through the eyes of the young main character. This was an excellent opportunity for the volunteers to reflect on the history of Cambodia and appreciate how far the country has come in such a short time.