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East Anglia students’ life-changing trip to Cambodia

A group of from the Diocese of East Anglia, including three schoolgirls from St Benedict's Catholic Upper School in Bury St Edmunds, Alana Hart (18), Chloe Isles (17) and Eloise Burrows (18), have spent the last month in Cambodia helping to deliver education to those who struggle to access it. Trip leader Philippa Sutton, from St Mary's in Thetford reports.

It was an inspiring and life-changing experience that we were all privileged to have had the opportunity to undertake. During our time in Cambodia we visited many places and met many people; each of whom were just as lovely as the next.

In the first few weeks we spent time in Phnom Penh, Battambang, Pailin and Ta Om before travelling to Siem Reap. Each place offered different communities and atmospheres, yet all had the same welcoming feeling, making us feel so comfortable and at home, despite being so far away. We immediately felt involved and appreciated, through children participating in our games with laughter, taking our hands to show us their villages, greeting us with hugs and smiles and endless kindness and hospitality from the people we met.

In Siem Reap we spent time at a kindergarten in the mornings where the children (and teachers!) had very little access to English. It was amazing to see our teaching being absorbed and making a difference to both the children’s and teacher's confidence. Due to your funding, we were able to donate over $2000 here to help repair their leaking roof before rainy season. The money will also help them to build a small kitchen to sustain the church funded "rice soup programme' providing children a weekly nutritious meal. The donation will not cover all of this, but will be a start for them as rainy season is fast approaching!

Read a daily blog about the trip.

Read our previous article on this story

Pictured above are the East Anglia visitors with the class in the village of Peik Snaeg Chas that they taught every morning.