A group of Year 12 students from The Cathedral School will have a different Schoolies Week celebration to most other teenagers their age when they visit the Lighthouse orphanage in Cambodia as volunteers for two weeks.
The group of 13 students, two past students and three supervisors will depart on Sunday 23 November and are looking forward to making a positive difference to the orphanage through the projects they will be helping out with, which include painting dormitories, gardening and teaching English language classes.
The wider school community has rallied around the travelling group by actively participating in organised fundraising activities which has raised enough funds to take all the children to the local waterpark as an outing. The group will also take over with them 240 kilograms of donated clothes for the children.
Coordinating teacher, Ms Katrina Wilshire said “The Year 12 students are really looking forward to the trip and making a real difference to those less fortunate than themselves. I think they will also become far more grateful for the life they live and all the opportunities they have in Australia.”
Year 12 student Nathan Hurdle has chosen to attend the trip as opposed to normal Schoolies Week celebrations “I’m really looking forward to the whole experience and giving back to the children of the orphanage rather than looking after drunken people for a week”
“It’s a great way to celebrate 13 years of school, spending time with peers who are like-minded and helping those less fortunate” added Nathan.
“I’m especially looking forward to taking the children to the local waterpark, they don’t get to go on outings like this very often and I know they will really enjoy it” said Nathan.
The Lighthouse Orphanage is located 15mins from the city of Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia and is home to over 75 children aged 3 to 18 years. The orphanage offers free housing, food and parental support to the children. Unfortunately it does not receive any form of funding from official bodies; currently the only support comes from donations by locals and tourists. The money and food that is currently received is barely enough to keep the orphanage running.