November 2015



SCHOOL: UWC South East Asia LOCATION: Phnom Penh and Kep DURATION: One week

In March this year, we travelled to Cambodia as part of Project Week, a compulsory component of Grade 11 that offers a unique and invaluable learning experience, and the chance to pursue a personal interest beyond the limitations of the classroom. It’s the culmination of UWC’s Outdoor Education programme, and consists of a low-cost, independent, project- based trip that is organisedandplannedby students under the guidance of teacher mentors.

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We visited historical sites, the Killing Fields and the S-21 prison, and undertook reforestation work in Kep Province, which involved setting up the nursery, gathering seedlings and planting. We also attended classes in Japanesemartial arts, focusing on bokken swords. Gaining a deeper awareness of reforestation work and contributing to ongoing efforts to

STUDENT: LORI GUNN, Grade 12 SCHOOL: Canadian International School (CIS) LOCATION: Phnom Penh DURATION: Nine days


Can we really make a difference? This was at the forefront of my thoughts earlier this year, as I listened to Janne Ritskes, the founder of the Tabitha Foundation, which helps Cambodians help themselves out of poverty. Our group of 12 girls and four boys was about to embark on a service trip and discover just how strong and determined we really were. On our first day, we visited a primary school where we taught students new skills and helped themwith their English lessons. Many of these young children would be working instead of attending school if it weren’t for the food their families receive in return for sending them to school. The following morning, we attended a soccer training session and played a friendly football match with Happy Football Cambodia Australia, a soccer club that provides the opportunity for disadvantaged and homeless youths to play amateur athletics. We were soundly trounced! Next was an unforgettable tour of former prison S-21, and the Killing Fields. Learning about the Cambodian genocide in this way gave us an understanding that we could never gain in a classroom. It also gave greater meaning to our house-building mission, which I was nervous about. Could I make a meaningful contribution? The Cambodian families had worked hard, saving a dollar at a time towards the cost of the building materials that would become their homes. With sweat pouring down our faces, we hammered floorboards and sidings until our hands were covered in blisters. At the end, we had built houses for six very happy families. Their smiling faces are an image we will carry with us always. Lakeside Campus, 7 Jurong West Street 41 Tanjong Katong Campus, 371 Tanjong Katong Road 6467 1732 |

protect Southeast Asia’s natural environment was the most rewarding part of Project Week. It was also fascinating to learn concepts in the iaido and kenjutsu martial arts and how they can be used to enhance our daily lives. The project was a rewarding experience and we learnt a lot, from historical details of Cambodia’s recent past to hands-on reforestation skills andmartial arts. This is somethingwewould love future Grade 11 students to experience.

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