Cambodia - An adventure with a purpose!
Lesley Goode has just returned from a Rotary trip to Cambodia and shared her experiences with us last Wednesday night.
The trip, orgainsed by Bryan Humphrey – ex President of Geelong East Rotary Club was offered to District 9780 Rotarians to experience first hand the culture and friendship of Cambodians and to see the results of the recent District water project. District 9780 and 22 supporting clubs were successful in gaining a Global Grant to provide clean water to about 4000 people. The project was worth $US56,234. 10 Rotarians and 2 Rotaractors went to Cambodia  ( 5 Rotary Clubs – Highton, Geelong E, Grovedale, Colac West and Ballarat plus Warracknabeal Rotaract)
Some of the achievements of the project and highlights of the trip were:
  • Veal Veaeng - a Biosand filter was set up at the local high school. Although the school has access to town water, it is not suitable for drinking. The Biosand filter purifies  the water.
  • Provision of classroom libraries! The classroom libraries were sourced by the Rotary Club of Phnom Penh and paid for by District 9780. Each of the Rotarians on the trip contributed $US150 and a number of clubs including GWP matched that. 
  • The RC of Phnom Pheh supplied dental hygiene kits to each of the schools visited. The kits contained 32 toothbrushes, pump packs of toothpaste and soap. 
  • At every school  visited on the trip, there was a ceremony. The local committee of management and community members greeted the group and expressed their thanks. Bryan, in particular, asked questions about the impact of the water installation in their community – whether it had improved school attendance by reducing illness, whether the people still boiled their water.
  • Water wells were installed in many of the schools and villages as part of the project. All have been tested and the water is suitable for  drinking.  With water readily available, many of the schools were keeping gardens and have established toilets. The toilets are vital to ensure that girls continue to attend school regularly once they reach puberty. Rainwater tanks were also installed as part of the project.
The group had an opportunity to have some fun and tour the many sights of Cambodia. Lesley concluded saying that it was a fascinating trip, very interesting and rewarding seeing our District's project first hand.  It really proves that Rotary can make a difference!