Hi, my name is Jill and I had the privilege of being a Medical Mentor on the Cambodia Youthlinc trip this year. I have been blogging the trip on my personal blog and wanted to post an update over here about some of our projects. It was amazing to work with such a dynamite group of people. As parents, friends, or participants you should be proud of the hard work everyone did to affect positive change in Cambodia. I will be posting some here and linking you to other posts on my blog.
Diggin’ the Construction Crew!!
We had a very generous donation to help with our construction projects. We had 3 major projects to focus on: building a fence, repairing the old bathrooms and building new ones, and installing water filtration systems.
Bathrooms: Most of the bathrooms in Cambodia are little holes in the ground you squat over, do your business, and then pour water down to flush. We had to use bathrooms at the nice house across the street because the bathrooms at the primary school were completely broken due to previous flooding in the monsoon seasons. We decided to dig up and re-pipe the old bathrooms and then work with some men from the village to build 4 new bathroom stalls. While they laid brick, we worked on digging two 6 feet deep holes. I was amazed at how hard the students on our team worked to dig those holes. They were also incredible at being aware and taking care of each other so no one got heat exhaustion. It was awesome to observe. Some of the primary school kids and local men in the village jumped right in to help too. Hopefully we were inspiring a sense of ownership and pride at the school so that they will take care of everything when we leave.
Later on when the holes were done we had some lessons in cement making and spackling as we covered the brick with cement. To make cement you take one bag of cement, six buckets of sand, and one bucket of water…then you shovel, shovel, shovel, mix, mix, mix. It was a lot of hard work! By the time we left they had even decided to paint the building, plant some trees and flowers in front of it and the men helping us tiled the walls inside. We were happy to leave the school with 8 functioning bathrooms.
Fence: Lots of digging for this project as well. We had little tools we called diggers or chippers, a giant stick for measuring that we called the stick of doom, and our hands to pull out dirt. It was actually kind of fun for the most part. After we got the holes the right depth, we lifted cement posts and got them lined up. Then we filled the holes with sand and cement and our last day started the wire wrapping. Hopefully the fence will keep the animals out of the school grounds and create a sense of property. We were also able to pay for a giant bog to be filled with dirt which will hopefully help during flooding season.
Water Filters: We raised a lot of money to team up with Water for Cambodia through the Rotary club and provide 100 families with clean water. We sent the team out in pairs on motorbikes into the rural parts of the village to install them. I never had the chance to go but thanks to Nicki’s pictures you can get the basic idea. These are the kind of filters where the water goes through sand and then different layers of rocks and comes out much cleaner at the end. They use a giant version of this up in Cache Valley. What a great service to these families to improve their quality of life.
To read about the Gardening project, Library project, and Micro-finance “Cow Bank” please click this link.