For West Valley College's ﬁrst international student-led service initiative, ﬁfteen of our Viking volunteers traveled to the Kampot Province of Cambodia to teach student-constructed curriculum at the Doris Dillon School. The volunteers also orchestrated community-based projects in the children’s nearby homesteads, building sustainable energy and income sources. This trip was created, developed, and completed by the Society of Global Citizens Club.
On January 4th, 2019, our group ﬂew to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, where we spent a few days focusing on cultural immersion to prepare us for our time at the Doris Dillon School. We visited locations such as the Cambodian Genocide Museum and Killing Fields to learn more about Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, the Cambodian History Museum, Royal Palace, and even the King's Memorial to celebrate Victory Day. With such a rich and deep culture, the city offers a critical insight into Cambodian tradition and lifestyle.
Next, we traveled four hours to the Kampot Province, home of the Doris Dillon School where we worked for the last few days of our project. Our inspired members brought forth original curriculum and lesson plans for impactful subjects such as female empowerment, menstrual health and hygiene, science experiments, art lessons, storytelling, and much more. Additionally, a small group of volunteers journeyed into nearby homesteads to assist in building new gardens and constructing water-catchment and storage systems.
Not only were we teaching and forming friendships with these young students, their families, and the school's staff, we also learned so much from them. Whether it was playing the ukulele and singing with the children at our closing ceremony, learning to count in Khmer, their native language, or playing volleyball and soccer with the boys and girls, we learned the importance of an education, that people with so little can be the most generous, and that one small act of kindness can create a lasting impact, even after the act is done.