The Service-Learning Trip: What is happening in Cambodia and what are we doing there?

The Service-Learning Trip:  What is happening in Cambodia and what are we doing there?

Take a moment to explore the service-learning trip map. Each destination offers a unique opportunity to connect with our partners there and the culture. Follow the links to learn more about each partner organization.

The journey through Cambodia begins in Siem Reap, where a settling-in process takes place. Acclimating to the culture, learning basic Khmer for communication, and becoming educated on cultural norms is an important first step in the learning experience. After being educated in the United States on Cambodian culture and history, students now have the opportunity to experience the culture first hand by learning through contact.

Angkor Wat, first a Hindu then Buddhist temple, is the largest religious monument in the world (whc.unesco.org). It has become a symbol Cambodia. This is also one of the largest tourist destinations there. Time is spent to reflect at this exquisitely serene temple.

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One of our partner organizations, Anjali House, is also located in Siem Reap. They work with Cambodian street children to provide opportunities that would not otherwise be available to them. Students begin their process of serving the community here.

Phnom Penh becomes the next destination.  The Killing Fields, where it is estimated that 2 million people died, holds a painful reality that is alive in the world.  Emily Wilson, a current 3rd year Art Therapy student, eloquently describes an experience in her blog where she comes in contact with this reality.  Ragamuffin, an organization dedicated to bringing creative arts therapies to the world, also becomes a highlight of this trip.  Their beautiful space provides an opportunity to experience how creative art therapies can aid in the healing process.

Sisiphon is home to our newest collaborative organization, the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center (CWCC).  This addition has become a favorite destination of many students who wish to connect with the women in crisis using Art Therapy.  Please keep in touch for upcoming blog’s about this organization!

The journey ends in the Kep Province where NCAS-I has partnered with WHADA (Women’s Handicraft and Development Association) to create products that can be sold in the United States.  All of the income goes directly to the women who make these products.

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Our Journey continues as each evolution takes place.  We are excited to share this adventure with you as we learn more about the world and ourselves through service-learning.  The richness and resiliency alive within the Cambodian culture is evident in the stories shared by students who have courageously taken this trek to connect to our global community.   The 2014 crew prepares to continue this tradition and build upon the relationships cultivated over the last few years.

It is wonderful to share our journey with you, our community of readers and lovers of the world.  Thank you for the support.

 

Compiled by Whitney Haney and Aiya Staller.

Photos and site information courtesy of Sue Wallingford and previous teams.

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