After a comprehensive selection process and a year of preparation, a group of 16 Pembroke students from Years 10 to 12, together with four staff, spent 2 weeks in Phnom Penh in July volunteering at Home of Hope for the second time through Projects Abroad. In the lead-up to the trip students worked in our community, raising funds to donate to the home through casual days, food stalls, personal fundraising pages and a cabaret.
During our stay in Cambodia the majority of the time was spent caring for the disabled boys in the home, with tasks such as taking them for walks, feeding them and playing with them. This work was confronting and challenging but the students handled themselves with dignity and compassion. We also worked on a gardening project and put the finishing touches on the physiotherapy building, which was funded by the Pembroke community. This centre will assist these severely disabled boys by giving them access to treatment on a daily basis from the physiotherapist that Pembroke has employed there over the past 2 years.
Since our last visit in 2014 we have noticed a marked difference in the health and wellbeing of the boys and we hope that this will improve further with the new building. The trip was a challenging but rewarding experience for the staff and students involved and created lifetime memories.
Thanks to Ms Davis, Mr Hopkins and Mr Lush for their wonderful support of the students on the trip, and to the parents for giving their children the opportunity to have this experience. Information and applications for the trip in 2018 will be published next term. We look forward to continuing this important relationship with Home of Hope in the future.
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