Making a world of difference

Willetton resident Jesse Tucek with a student from the Mkak village in Cambodia, where his volunteer group built a new classroom.
Willetton resident Jesse Tucek with a student from the Mkak village in Cambodia, where his volunteer group built a new classroom.

Jesse spent four weeks helping build a new classroom for the Mkak village in Cambodia and trekking through the Da Lat Mountains.

He fundraised $6500 for the trip and said it was the perfect way to spend his birthday.

‘It was not exactly a relaxing holiday, but that’s why I loved it,’ he said.

‘Working on the project in the village was definitely my favourite part of the trip. I can honestly say I’ve never worked that hard in my life and I didn’t have any experience with construction.

‘We had full-on jobs, like leadership roles and budgeting, not just looking after ourselves.’

Jesse said he spent time teaching the kids English in between construction.

He said the group then travelled to Vietnam and trekked through the Da Lat Mountains, seven to eight hours outside of Ho Chi Minh City.

‘The mountains were amazing, it’s hard to describe the feeling of being up there,’ he said.

‘It was more hard work after working on the project in Cambodia, but I loved every minute of it.’

Jesse said he travelled with the World Challenge Expeditions group and returned to Perth on December 22.

He will begin Year 11 studies at Willetton Senior High School next month but is already planning his next holiday.

‘I’m not sure where to this time, but I want it to be somewhere I can help out and make a difference,’ he said.