Thursday, 29 May 2008

Students to build homes in Cambodia

North Shore Times
Thursday, 29 May 2008

The thought of working six hours a day with hammer and nails has Rangitoto College students excited.

Sixteen year 12 and 13 students are saving hard to build wooden houses for poverty-stricken Cambodians in September with the Tabitha Cambodia Foundation.

Students Tayla Davies and Jessica Giljam-Brown say they are looking forward to helping people.
The foundation was formed by Canadian Janne Ritskes who helped families in slums get better homes.

One of the foundation’s aims is to provide quality housing above ground level to avoid flooding.
The students must raise $20,000 towards building costs and donations to orphanages, as well as $3500 each for travel costs and expenses.

The trip was instigated by social sciences teacher Sarah Wakeford who took 12 teachers and students last year, some of whom have gone on to do social work after leaving school.

"Our kids come from such a relatively well-off environment, it’s lovely to give them the opportunity to do something for others.

"You get to interact with people in a much more real way rather than buying their souvenirs and eating at their restaurants."

Teacher Michelle Parkinson, who went on last year’s trip, knows all about building houses in Cambodia’s humidity.

"It’s no holiday."

Seven teachers from Rangitoto College and other schools are going on a study tour of Cambodia in July.

Having spent up to six weeks studying Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge and landmines in year 10 social studies, the country will be familiar to students, Miss Wakeford says.

Cambodia has a skills shortage following the Khmer Rouge communist regime in the 1970s, when an estimated two million people died by execution, starvation or torture.

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