Humanitarian Aide Leadership Programme
Would I recommend the Humanitarian Aide and Leadership Programme? Absolutely! Why? Because it is such an amazing opportunity to grasp a hold of. Fortunately, I was a part of a great group of 15 (9 students and 6 teachers) who were all committed to such an experience I could never imagine. I have never felt so privileged and appreciative of my friends, family, and even the society that I live in compared to those exact same things in Cambodia. I mean, yes – every culture has their own ways of living, and advantages and disadvantages; however, it was so foreign to the things that I’m used to.
For example, the school of children that we visited in Angkor Wat. When I heard that we were going to a school to interact and connect with kids, I was expecting at least a block of classrooms with the usual facilities that primary schools here have, like cloak bays and a playground, but there wasn’t anything like that. Only a small patch of grass for all of us to play on, and one classroom (that seemed more like a chicken shed) with wooden desks and a chalkboard. All the children were coloring in printed drawings when we had arrived – which only made me imagine what a class back here would look like. Instead of having those coloring in pencils and drawings we would be using computers and iPads to be playing YouTube videos and games, and the desks would be replaced with whiteboard desks that would make it easier to draw and learn from than the board. A school was all it was. A young school in a third world country. However, I had so much fun playing games, learning their numbers, and having an insight into their culture while presenting ours as we sang the school song ‘Piki Atu Ki Te Rangi’. That day was an awesome day to present our Leadership skills as different members had to lead the group by example and exchange our cultures with one another.
Another example was when we carried out the Project work with ADRA. Over the span of only two days, we had built and painted a child shelter and playground, 2 gardens and toilets, dug out 1.8m holes for 2 water tanks. We did all of this for a village that had an amazing chief that cared for his people. I was very impressed and proud of the work that we did, despite not being paid back for it; but that wasn’t the point. The thought of the children using and playing on the facilities that we had made for them was such a rewarding moment of the trip. The most fun moment for me was when we were all playing games with the children of the village, teaching them about personal hygiene, and dancing with all of them. The ADRA team were a great support force with us as I feel that they encouraged us to continue working harder, regardless of our lack of work experience; we all worked hard together.
These were only some of the highlights of my experience as I really can’t do justice to the amount of activities we did within those 12 unforgettable days. However, I am proud to have written this article for the Humanitarian Aid and Leadership Programme Trip of 2018. - Agnes Day