Monday, April 05, 2010

A short piece from Sean on his volunteering in Cambodia for International Service Day

International Service Day
March 27, 2010

As part of our International Service Day volunteer around the globe were asked to "help out" by doing something. Some went to local soup kitchens, others worked in Haiti, others painted, and much more. Here is a recount from Sean Lynch (one of the original leaders of BonaResponds right after Katrina). Sean has stayed active with us since his graduation. He is on our board of advisors, he has donated money, and even made a trip back to Olean to participate in a local service weekend. Here he tells of his work in Cambodia on the day:

"My time in Cambodia was spent in and around a city (large town) called Siem Reap. Here I visited a children's school in the floating villages of the Tonle Sap lake. The school was actually floating a few miles out from shore. The second place I visited was an orphanage housing 12 children, ranging from the ages of 4-17.

For the floating school I purchased books, pencils, pens markers, etc from local merchants for the children. As this indeed is a floating village -- common items are EXTREMELY expensive and hard to come by.

For the orphanage, this was my 3rd trip there. The kids were in real need for notebooks, textbooks, dictionaries (English and Khmer to English), history books (I included a history of American presidents book written in English and Khmer), pencils, markers, erasers, ruler, protractors, school bags, shoes, flip flops.... you name it. Basically like August school shopping for 12. The kids LOVED it, the bags were super fashionable (Mickey/Minnie mouse for girls and puma, Adidas for guys).

I spent time helping the children with their English, gave some lessons, gave them little tests, made them write for me. Was really wonderful, I love these kids. After this I took them out for food in a tourist restaurant, which is a big change from rice, rice, and more rice for them.

Then they finished by performing an Apsara dance for me, which is a traditional Khmer (Cambodian) dance for me. Wonderful.

As of now, the foundation houses 12 children, ranging from the ages of 4-17. The foundation is currently in the process of constructing a new orphanage that will house 26."

More pictures are available here.

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