Helping hand in Cambodia

Monday, March 22, 2010

INSPIRED: Takapuna Grammar School head girl Amelia McDonald was amazed by her experiences in Cambodia. (Photo: BEN WATSON)

North Shore Times (New Zealand)

A trip to Cambodia was a life-changing experience for Amelia McDonald, who is one of five World Vision youth ambassadors in the country.

The Takapuna Grammar School head girl says it was amazing to meet people who benefit from the 40-hour famine and see what a difference it makes to their lives.

"Usually we raise money and that's it, but to see the difference it makes in their lives was a beautiful experience," the 17-year-old says.

Amelia travelled to Cambodia with other World Vision youth ambassadors and was sponsored by Sanitarium.

She says it is a really hard life for people in the villages of Cambodia and a lot of them have no hope and dire living conditions until charities such as World Vision arrive to help them change their lives.

"It brought huge grins to my face to hear the people talk about their plans and dreams and to see what an amazing effect our 40-hour famine funds have made by equipping villages and schools with clean water, food, health care and sanitation," Amelia says.

She says they ate mainly rice that was grown in nearby rice paddies, as well as vegetables. One night they ate chicken feet.

While over there, Amelia had a chance to visit a World Vision Cambodia street children project. Once a fortnight, the children were given food in a local park by the charity.

"The children were my favourite part of the trip because, despite everything, they are still just children," Amelia says.

"They love to play and they loved my blonde hair," she says.

Amelia says that now she has returned from Cambodia she wants to help make differences in other people's lives.

She hopes she can inspire people to sponsor children.

For now, her role as World Vision youth ambassador is keeping her busy.

She often travels to help at student leadership courses and speaks at schools to encourage them to take part in the 40-hour famine.


Post a Comment