Community News

Cambodian adventurers thank Clarence Valley

A small group of 14 brave, intrepid and young adventurers want to thank residents, businesses and service clubs for their kind donations and purchases to make the service component of their trip to Cambodia a wonderful success.

The group are travelling from Brisbane on Sunday evening and flying to Siem Reap via Singapore and will arrive in Balaing Commune village the next day. The Maclean community team, having done an incredible job to reach their fundraising goal, will be contributing to the Sister Schools initiative in the Balaing Commune, building a new classroom in Chaw Srei Vibol Ke Primary School (approximately 1 hour from Siem Reap).

In fact, thanks to incredible generosity of our local community the group has raised over $6,000.

The majority of the people living in this community are farmers. They grow different kinds of crops such as rice, corn, beans and other vegetables depending on the season. The school receives students from two surrounding villages with an approximate population of around 2500 – 3000 people.

The school was established in 1998. Currently the school has 8 teachers and 307 students (154 female, 153 male) from kindergarten to Year 6. The school runs classes every day from 7-11am and 1:30-5:00pm from Monday to Saturday. There are two class sessions each day to accommodate the large number of students and lack of classrooms.

Despite the fact the school is close to the thriving tourist mecca of Siem Reap, they receive very little support. Due to limited funding from the government, some of the school buildings have fallen into disrepair. The local community have requested that the team assist them in implementing the next phase of their renovation, assisting in building a classroom for the growing population.

The Maclean team will work in the mornings and afternoons each day, with the support and direction of the local workers and their guide, to complete the goals for their project. Along with their project work, there will be the opportunity to fully immerse and experience local life, for example, sporting matches and games with the students at the school. The team will also get to explore the area to experience daily life and traditions of the local people when they are not working in the rice fields. While on project the team will stay in a local community home-stay approximately 1km from the school.

They will be challenged as they experience squat-style (Asian) toilets and bucket shower facilities. Sleeping mats and mosquito nets will be provided, and the team will use their own sleeping bags. Meals will be prepared and provided for the team at one of the houses.

This is an adventure of a lifetime that has as its focus, a strong link to giving to others less fortunate than ourselves as well as sustainability and environmental credibility. None of this would have been possible without the kindness and support of our fantastic local community.

Chaw Srei Vibol Ke-Primary School