CAC student volunteers for international public health project

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“My job was to clean wounds and dry skin patches, test blood pressure and blood sugar, clean ears, treat tooth decay, trim fingernails and toenails, and provide comfort,” Year 12 Coomera Anglican College student Cambria Hunt says of her recent service trip to Cambodia

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Coomera Anglican College appointed Year 12 student Cambria Hunt as the 2020 College Service Prefect in an awards ceremony earlier this year.

Cambria’s role within the College is to promote service to others; help with fundraising opportunities; organise College events; and, build an awareness of community engagement and the benefits of giving back to the community and volunteering time.

During the Christmas break, Cambria was given the opportunity to join a service project in Cambodia.

The Year 12 student flew out of Australia for the first time without her family, which Cambria said, “was nerve racking and exciting at the same time.”

After navigating a connecting flight to Hong Kong, Cambria finally arrived in Phnom Penh and was whisked away in her first of many eye opening tuk-tuk rides to her Projects Abroad home.

Coomera Anglican College appointed Year 12 student Cambria Hunt as the 2020 College Service Prefect in an awards ceremony in February 2020

“It was such a welcoming environment from the start and I immediately felt part of the projects abroad family,” Cambria said.

Before commencing her work placement, she was able to learn about some of the country’s history by visiting The S21 Prison and The Killing Fields.

“For the people of Cambodia, this represents a very dark time in their history,” Cambria said.

“The genocide occurred quite recently, during the 1970s, and many of the stories told during the day were very difficult to hear.

“I was thankful to be able to pay my respects to those who suffered during those years; it is a part of history that should never be forgotten, and during my weeks in Cambodia, that first day helped me to understand some of the people I met along the way.”

Cambria’s project was public health related and she was assigned to a doctor.

Each day the two of them travelled by tuk-tuk to disadvantaged communities in the outer parts of the city to provide free basic healthcare and medication to those in need, including to Silk Island on the Mekong River to treat children living in very poor living conditions.

“My job was to clean wounds and dry skin patches, test blood pressure and blood sugar, clean ears, treat tooth decay, trim fingernails and toenails, and provide comfort,” Cambria said.

“In doing so, I discovered that I take so many things for granted back home, like having easy access to doctors, dentists and medication – even just clean running water.

“Despite living in these conditions, the people we treated were some of the happiest I have ever spent time with.

“It was so fulfilling to be able to help these beautiful people and the little children were so trusting and sweet, with so little they continually smile.

“It is hard to put into words how it felt to leave, but I know a little piece of me will always be there.

“I hope I can go back one day and to have had this opportunity with Projects Abroad, has changed me forever, and I am so grateful to them and my family for allowing me to participate.”

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