Published on: 28 January 2016

Twelve Christ Church boys and 12 St Mary’s Anglican Girls’ School students travelled to Cambodia in December, as part of a Service in Action (SIA) trip to work with the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF).

Founded in 2004 by Scott Neeson, CCF provides life-changing education, nourishment and healing to vulnerable children from some of Cambodia’s most destitute communities.

Teacher in charge, Patrick Louden said it was significant being able to assist CCF by donating computing devices, assisting with teaching, professional development and other activities.

“The real joy was in spending time with humble, joyous and grateful children who strive to make the best out of their challenging lives,” he said.

“We all gained a new point of reference for our own, very fortunate lives here in Australia.”

A visit to the notorious Khmer Rouge S-21 prison and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek ahead of their CCF service work was a confronting experience for all but recognised as important in the context of the journey.

Christ Church’s SIA program inspires boys to learn about themselves and the world through serving those less fortunate – a process of service learning. Christ Church boys visit many areas of the world with SIA, with journeys to Fiji, Cambodia and Timor Leste (East Timor) planned for this year.

As described in the student blog, the journey to Cambodia was a time of great personal growth for the boys. They were confronted, exhausted and moved by experiences they described as ‘difficult to put into words.’