My name is Lachie Campbell and I am currently studying my Bachelor of Nursing degree at Federation University in Australia. Working and studying in this field has given me the insight to how essential it is for the global community to understand importance of health promotion. Having the opportunity to lead a health promotion project in Cambodia, a country that so desperately needs it and who are so eager to engage and learn, was such an honour and a privilege.
Cambodia itself is such a unique place. Beautiful country side, temples that have to be seen to appreciate, the most beautiful smiles and laughs and a nation of people that will go above and beyond to help you simple because they can. Conversely, it is a country that is full of hurt, pain, sufferance and corruption following the Khmer Rouge when Pol Pot ruled the country from April 1975 till January 1979.
Whilst in Cambodia our group made up of 18 nursing students completed a Health Promotion Trip teaching subjects such as clean water, basic life support and first aid. We were based in Battambang where in our first week we visited rural health centres every morning and assisted where possible. Being in the health centres and getting to understand how their health system works completely changes your outlook at home and is a harsh reminder on how much we take for granted and how fortunate we really are. Our afternoons consisted of us teaching Basic Life Support and CPR to year 10’s and 11’s at a local government secondary school. These children have the gentlest souls and with very little supply of books, pens, a classroom with no fans that is intensely humid and hot, still have smiles on their faces. They were so eager to interact and learn from and with us.
Week 2 was spent teaching year 7’s and 8’s Basic Life Support and CPR and also teaching at CAD 3. This is a school that would break any ones heart. To watch children whom have nothing at all be so grateful to have the opportunity to learn from you and play with you was an incredible experience. They also taught us a range of new things. Eg: the banana shake song! We also spent time in the community teaching about the importance of clean water, how to boil and store it, and about water born diseases and signs and symptoms of these. We distributed kettles throughout families in the community, which will provide clean water to 333 people!
For me, Global Citizenship is based around someone who has no boundaries or borders as to where they will go to contribute in the world and be citizen of all nations. You may not be able to change the world but you can have a major impact on a community and people’s lives in a short period of time.
Trying to pick a favourite moment is near impossible, as I genuinely loved every minute of it. But a few that stood out were having the opportunity to teach in the schools about health care, CPR and Basic Life Support. Watching the children engage and learn was fantastic and having them reteach us what we had taught was even better. Spending time in the health centres was eye opening and humbling. To be accepted into a community with open arms that doesn’t know you at all was a new experience and to work with the in-country team there and watch other teams members grow in such a short period of time was fantastic to see as well.
Volunteering with CAA has given me the opportunity to see my job in a different aspect and see the global community in a way I hadn’t seen it before. Partaking in a challenge with CAA you will get to see, learn and understand different cultures which will impact and influence you at home, in your local community, your job and your future.