Seek a personal understanding of how life in different countries varies relative to the interaction between power/privilege and economics, ethics, politics, religion, and/or the environment.Exploring multiple contexts through experience, and reflect on the growth of your global understanding as a result :
Last spring I went to Cambodia, to help with the organization HOPE Cambodia. In this trip we helped build the school for future students and also help store a well for a family so they can have access to clean drinkable water. In the video of “Building school” and “Teaching kids” you can see that I and the rest of the team is helping the community. We are working with the kids passing rocks to make a solid floor. The issue HOPE Cambodia is solving is the lack of education available for children, so we have fundraised money, and then went there ourselves to help, so before we were helping as a secondary source, but then we were there to help as a primary source. HOPE Cambodia doesn’t only build schools but also helps build a well for families in need and are on the waiting list.
The reason why it is significant to help people in this condition is because I believe that improving one life can benefit many others. The more people out of poverty the more beneficial actions they can do, in the world they can help each other to build one another up. It is especially important to help those in need or people who had no choice but to be put in these conditions since they couldn’t have the privileges we were given. We also helped teach the kids english (Video : “Teaching Kids“). Learning english is a great opportunity for kids because it gives them a wider option in future job opportunities. They don’t have to stay in Cambodia if they don’t want to and broaden their choices. But also teaching the kids and engaging with them in person was also a great lesson for me and everyone on the trip. It is easy to feel sympathetic when you read about people in need in books or posters and everyone gets this feeling of wanting to help, but experiencing it in front of your eyes and then seeing what conditions they are under could almost make you feel guilty, but then that guilt will drive you to helping more and engage more with them. You get to truly see how strong those people are and is very inspiring.
Before going to this trip I knew I would learn something, but now I not only learned something going on this trip but I have left with the thought of how I made an impact to the people of Cambodia, and that some people in the world don’t get to experience. Being in that environment and putting rock after rock made me cherish my surroundings. It is what most people say after they go on trips like this but it truly is a real statement. You will never understand what people around the world is go through until you see it and feel with yourself so I hope everyone gets to experience this one day when they can. This trip also made me cautious of my actions. A big impact going to Cambodia had on me was when we took a visit to two families with and without a watering well.
In the photo above we are making the well for the family that was on the waiting list, the next day we visited the living area of two families without a well and witnessing and hearing their story of not having a well was heartbreaking. The stories told were stories most people hear, about traveling a long way for dirty water and having to send their kids to work and not school to survive, and it really hits you once you are in the environment with them. These stories could be labelled ‘typical’ as we hear them time after time, but seeing the pain and hearing their pain in their voices is a memory I will keep with me forever. That experience made the Cambodia trip worth it. Before the family visit we saw the kids and built the school which is also worthwhile, but seeing the family was the biggest and greatest experience I had because it changed my view of my life. It has been about half a year since the trip but I am still in the mindset of being cautious about my food and especially water. I have always tried to not waste food and water, but now I take it more seriously than ever since giving back is important but also appreciating the privileges you were given is also important so I am determined to do both.