Sponsors Kerrie & Bob visiting a World Vision community in Cambodia
Earlier this year World Vision Australia ran two Overseas Experiences trips where everyday Australians who support World Vision had the opportunity to visit World Vision’s work in Cambodia. For both trips all travellers fundraised for World Vision’s work in Cambodia before embarking on their adventure. Married couple Kerrie and Bob were two of the travellers on the first trip, while friends Hayley and Sarah were on the second. They loved the opportunity to fundraise for World Vision and then see the outcome of their fundraising, here are their stories:
Hayley and Sarah
In the lead-up to their trip to Cambodia, Sarah and Hayley fundraised individually and collaboratively to raise a total of $4,620 for the communities they would be visiting.
What motivated you to fundraise for World Vision?
Hayley: Ever since I was little my family has been sponsoring children through World Vision and as soon as I finished school I got a job with World Vision and started sponsoring my own child, Rony. I’ve been so blessed to have been born in Australia with so many resources to have a healthy and happy life, but it’s so unfortunate that not all children can experience that upbringing. The fact that there are people all over the world struggling to simply access clean water, along with many other necessities, is considered by a lot of people something that won’t change anytime soon. Even if that might be true there is always something that can be done to make those communities’ lives easier and maybe one day completely abolish poverty. That is why I fundraise for World Vision, because I want to be a part of the journey to ending extreme poverty for good.
What was involved in your fundraising?
Sarah: The two of us came up with loads of fun ideas to raise money, but our favourite one was a trivia night. We began designing flyers, writing questions, buying decorations, organising food, and inviting our friends and family. We visited different businesses around the area to ask for donations of food or other goods to be used as prizes. I was astounded by how many awesome donations we received from generous businesses, and we were even able to hold a silent auction during the trivia night to raise extra funds. In addition to the silent auction, we held other mini-games and competitions during the night for gold-coin donations, including a puppy kissing booth! We raised a total of $2,484 on the night.
What was the highlight of your trivia night?
Hayley: It was amazing to see how many people were willing to come out and support the cause and listen to why we were so passionate about it. Everyone was so generous and they all really wanted us to meet our fundraising goal. It was overwhelming how much support we had and the total amount we raised.
What was the highlight of the trip in Cambodia for you?
Sarah: While the entire trip was such an incredible experience, my highlights were definitely when we got to visit schools and hang out with the kids. It’s amazing how much Australian and Cambodian children have in common and even with the language barrier we could still dance, play and draw with these kids. I especially loved them teaching me animal names in Khmer, most of which I still remember.
What was it like to see World Vision’s work after having fundraised for it?
Hayley: It was so good to be able to see myself that the money is going where you believe it’s going. Obviously, World Vision is a well-known and reliable organisation, but there’s always that thought of doubt about where your money is going. I can now say with 100% belief that the money raised from World Vision goes on to do amazing things for vulnerable communities.
Every member of the community has a huge appreciation for the work they’re doing as they don’t just come in and take over, they train the locals in particular skills and then they go on to teach others so that the community runs sustainably.
It gave me such a huge feeling of joy and satisfaction that I was able to contribute to allowing these beautiful people to have access to necessary things that they didn’t have before.
How had you been involved in World Vision before the trip?
Sarah: Both Hayley and I started working with World Vision in 2014 for a Christmas fundraising campaign. Although we both knew about World Vision before this, this is where we really got to learn about the work World Vision does and share our passion with others. We both took on a sponsor child of our own during this time and Hayley continued her work for a while after the Christmas campaign had ended.
Kerrie and Bob
Kerrie and her husband Bob have been involved with World Vision for 10 years sponsoring several children and taking part in a World Vision community group.
It was our privilege to assist the communities we visited, by knowing what strategies had been adopted to allow the people to better themselves through learning. This is being dealt with through educating and teaching the adults in health, education, nutrition and dealing with problems that arise during these processes. This in turn can then be passed on to future generations. It was great to see how ready and excited the people were to learn.
What was the highlight of your experience in Cambodia?
The highlight of our trip was a planned day visit with our sponsored child and his parents. World Vision staff were with us for the whole day and facilitated the visit with love and care towards us. We visited his school and spent time with the children in the library at recess.
What do you like to tell people about when you tell them about your experience in Cambodia?
As we have spoken to various groups since our arrival back I Australia, the main point we can’t stress enough to everyone, is the friendliness and willingness to learn of all the people with whom we came into contact.
The beaming smiles on the children’s faces is decidedly evident. An atmosphere of love and care shows remarkedly in everyone as they strive to become more resilient.
If you would like to travel with World Vision yourself you might be interested in a trip that we are running to Sri Lanka in March 2018, click here to see more.