Going Miles Bringing Smiles: An Overseas Community Service Project – Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Going Miles Bringing Smiles (GMBS) is an overseas community service project organised by Students Care Service (Yishun). Besides providing service to some of the poor in Cambodia, the project aimed to provide experiential learning to our youths and volunteers.
It was a nine-month journey to Cambodia. The team organised several activities and spent time bonding and building team spirit prior to the trip. These included a night hike, carwash day, and an overnight camp at Sembawang Park. The pre-trip activities were essential to the successful completion of the project as borne out during the time in Cambodia when the team worked closely and co-operatively to meet its objectives.
Throughout the 11 days in Cambodia, the youths got to learn much about themselves, their team members, and the people they were helping. Some fed back that they learnt about the importance of teamwork as well as skills in organising activities. They also had the opportunity to stay in a villager’s house for 8 days to experience village life in Cambodia without proper bedding, lighting and bathing facilities. The youths realised how fortunate they were to have a roof over their head and their access to many facilities back home.
The team helped to paint a world map on the wall of a classroom on the island of Koh Kor. On top of that, they taught the Cambodian children simple and basic English and Mathematics. One helpful subject taught was basic hygiene – the importance of washing hands before meals, cutting fingernails and personal hygiene. The youths bought nail clippers for the Cambodian children and teens.
Another helpful service was rebuilding dilapidated huts of villagers who did not have the means to buy materials. Our youths had raised money for this purpose to help the villagers.
The youths got to experience organising a mini food programme to distribute food and basic necessities to families on the island. Seeing how appreciative the villagers were brought smiles and satisfaction them. Indeed project GMBS had gone the extra mile to bring smiles to others and the youths themselves.
Please download a copy of our GMBS Newsletter (1.3 MB) for your reading pleasure.