Manurewa High School

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Humanitarian Leadership Trip

Twenty three staff and students recently returned from the 18-day expedition to Cambodia and Vietnam more worldly and empowered to lead change.  

The group carried out a huge range of activities and travelled right across both countries - from Siem Reap in the north west of Cambodia to Saigon in the South of Vietnam right up to the north - Hanoi and Ha Long Bay.  For both staff and students it was an amazing expedition.  Highlights of the trip were spending a day with the school's World Vision sponsored children and the rural community in northern Cambodia, painting and entertaining the orphans at the 'Centre for Children's Happiness' in Phnom Penh, where they rescue the orphans from the huge rubbish dumps, spending time with the Lifestart Foundation doing workshops in Hoi An, visiting the Killing Fields and torture museum, markets, Friends restaurant where homeless street-kids have been trained to work.  Going out to the rural communities with the CCH roadshow was deemed very cool and a great way to interact with people who have very little.

The group experienced boat trips, bus trips, overnight train trips, local and international flights, world heritage temples of Angkor Wat, elephant rides and the amazing 3000 limestone islands of Ha Long Bay - sea kayaks, overnight junks.  The Mekong Delta, Tonle Sap lake and river - Vietcong tunnels from the war.  The Imperial City of Hue, cultural dances.  The demilitarized zone in Vietnam - Mines Advisory Group.  Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh.  And of course incredible food...

Trip organizer Mr Phil Muir described it as An amazing trip which will change the lives of many, many people.  We saw people who have been through civil war, famine, genocide, years of poverty and disease.  Our eyes and minds are now open to how we can change others and make a difference - and just how lucky we truly are.  And what a fantastic group of students and teachers.

Well done to all involved and a huge thanks to those people who worked hard to support the group.  And of course not to mention travelling buddy Manu the Kiwi and his little friends, who are staying in South East Asia until Manurewa High School returns.  A trip is planned for September 2013 to Cambodia (8 days) and a longer trip to Cambodia, Vietnam and maybe Laos for 2014.

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