As part of my gap year in 2011 while waiting to leave for Australia for further studies, I’ve decided to plan an overseas volunteering trip! Yahya and I were inspired to do this when we went for YEP trip earlier in June 2011 with Move Hearts Project.
It was a great decision – I’ve learnt so much while planning for this trip, and it made me realise the things I’m good at! 🙂
So we recruited people from everywhere.. and we decided to conduct our project which was Click !T (because it had an IT focus to it) at Self-Help Community Centre (SHCC), at Kro Bey Reil Commune, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
So we brought computers and laptops over and taught teaching them IT skills, which we thought was something that they could keep with them even after we leave, and something really important in this time and age.
All in all, it was a great experience! Things did not go as they should initially due to communication issues, but we managed to turn things around. I hope everyone had a great time, and I hope we made some difference to SHCC 🙂
Anyway, I had to leave early due to family emergency, and felt really bad that I couldn’t wrap up this project with Yahya 🙁
From this trip I took away quite a bit about volunteerism too – We might always think that we are helping the less fortunate communities by teaching them English, painting their houses, etc., but I’m actually quite concerned about the harm we are doing to the children by coming and going so quickly. Such projects are also hardly sustainable because honestly, what can a project really achieve within 2-3 weeks? The only way to achieve something significant for these people is if there’s someone/a group of people who’s willing to commit to volunteer work for at least a few months/years! If I had the chance in the future I honestly wouldn’t mind..
I’m really glad Yahya and I organised this trip. Thank you Yahya, my dearest boyfriend Wei Keat, Khim Boon, Jian Xiong, Matt, Clara, Magdalene, Jobian, Ganesh and Sok Huang and people who donated to us or supported us in anyway for making Click !T possible 🙂 Without this trip, I wouldn’t have got to know my boyfriend more, and I wouldn’t have discovered my interest for traveling 🙂