In early April 2016, four students of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) – Kenneth Chaw Vui Ken, Aniza Hanis binti Abd Aziz, Ho Woon Ping, and Maria Ameina binti Ahmad, completed eight days of community service in Takeo Cambodia as part of their Chapter’s Golden Key community service. The hours contributed by our three members, will goes towards the SPARK a Change initiative.
These students were placed at Happy Land of Caring for the Poor and Orphaned Children Foundation (CPOC) for eight days where they worked alongside ten other volunteers from various countries to help improve the education facilities of the province.
Activities during the volunteers’ stay included teaching the children Mathematics and English every evening between the hours of 2-6pm. Classes were divided according to age, with most students aged between 12-16 years. Besides teaching, UTM volunteers also aided in improving the facilities of the centre, such as making a door and renovating the volunteer house and school, and building a chicken coop. Volunteers also put up a fence around the centre to keep the children safe and also met and interacted with the local community through sports and games. The experience was educational and eye-opening for the volunteers as they learnt about the economic, cultural and educational differences between their own country and Cambodia.
This rewarding experience required a lot of preparation prior to departure, with students crowdfunding their venture several months in advance. This was done through social media and a physical booth set up on university campus where funders were given a sticker to write wishes and messages for the children helped by CPOC. The money raised from this initiative surpassed expectations which meant that school supplies such as books, stationery and a bookshelf were bought for the centre to be used by the children.
SPARK a Change is our global service initiative with the mission to bring all our Chapters together towards a common objective: to impact and improve the lives of at-risk youth across the globe through literacy, education and real-world preparedness.