A GROUP of eight altruistic Rossmoyne Senior High School students and two teachers have retuned from Cambodia where they built houses while travelling throughout the country.
The 10-day excursion was a unique opportunity for students to be global contributors by participating in a program that promotes sustainability and civic responsibility beyond their classroom experiences.
Touching down in Phonm Penh, the students visited the Choeung Ek Killing Fields – the final destination for prisoners from Tuol Sleng – where a large stupa filled with more than 8000 human skulls acts as a grim reminder of the atrocities.
Toul Sleng was a high school prior to 1975, however when the Khmer Rouge came to power, it was converted into the S-21 prison.
The students then visited the UNESCO world heritage complex at Ta Prohm to learn about the Angkor temples and the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity – where they saw a variety of animals and learnt first-hand about their efforts to save Cambodia’s wildlife.
Their participation in the Tabitha Foundation Building Program yielded 10 homes, a major boon for the group who had spent the weeks leading up to their departure fundraising the $10,000 they needed for the build.
Chaperone and year 8 coordinator Lisa Smith said the students fully immersed themselves in the tour.
“It was a real eye opener for both the students and the staff… I heard a number of the students say ‘we are so lucky’ on numerous occasions,” she said.