Over the past few days, thanks to family and friends, we have received €1,000 of donations for Children with Hope for Development! I would like to give a big thank you to everyone that has made this possible through their generous donations, especially all those who made it to the fundraiser on Friday in Craughwell as well as all those who have made online donations. The €1,000 that has been fundraised will go so far in Cambodia and will be of huge help in bringing Children with Hope for Development towards sustainability.
Amazingly, it has been almost I year since my brother Christopher and I returned from our 5 week trip to Cambodia where we were welcomed with open arms by the local people of the country’s oldest and most eastern province, Takeo. During our 5 weeks of volunteering with grassroots NGO Children with Hope for Development (CHD), we discovered the beautiful but struggling country through the eyes of teachers, having the opportunity to teach over 200 children on a daily basis in the tiny village of Po, where everyone – women, children and the elderly included – works in the rice fields along the Vietnamese border. To put it lightly, the province of Takeo is severely poverty stricken and in desperate need not only of funding but also of volunteers.
Our first 2 weeks in Cambodia have been nothing short of eventful. From navigating our way from Phnom Penh to the dusty village of Lory, Takeo, we’ve experienced all the finest transport options that Cambodia has to offer. From tuk-tuks to motos, “taxis” to shared vans, and of course bicycles, our journey to our guesthouse took three hours from Phnon Penh, after the initial 27 hours of flights and stopovers from Ireland.
Planning has been underway for 5 months now, and incredibly it’s almost time to head off to Cambodia with my brother for 5 weeks. Our first experience of Asia will be spent volunteering with “Children with Hope for Development”, an NGO for children at primary school level, in the eastern province of Takeo.
Every time I write a blog it almost always begins with “I’ve been so busy I haven’t had a chance to blog in ages!” – no change in that department any ways, and no complaints either! Amazingly all exams were passed so I’m on the road to life in France, with only 5 weeks left in Ireland until I start my first french internship followed by another 2 years of college, but this time in Reims Management School, in the Champagne-Ardenne, France.
5 weeks in to semester one already and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to sit down and type type type. Between finally coming home from France, moving back up to Dublin and getting back into training and setting up 4 out of 7 of our proposed RAG social projects – there hasn’t been much time to breathe!
So in my previous blog I talked about Operation Paint Ballymun, the volunteering project that I managed last year which used the creative arts to promote social change amongst the children in one of Ireland’s most poverty stricken areas – Ballymun. Although art is a great way to get kids involved in something constructive, there’s also a need for sport, music and just some fun in general.
During the past year and a half the Dublin City University Raising and Giving Society opened up huge opportunities for DCU students to get actively involved in volunteering and coordinating social projects in Ireland. RAG forged new relationships with the charity organisation, “the Aisling Project” in Ballymun, an after school centre for severely disadvantaged children from the surrounding area.