FUNdraising 4 Cambodia

 

In case you missed out my previous posts, I am currently undergoing training for the upcoming MYCorps, Cambodia: Mission 2 programme this October along with 49 other MYCorps volunteers (MCVs). This programme is an initiative under the Ministry of Youth and Sports, supported by the International Youth Centre and EPIC Homes. The NGOs that are partnering in this project are RainWater Cambodia (RWC) and the Cambodian Education and Development Fund (CEDF).

 

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The Pilot Mission and the First Mission focused on building water catchments and latrines in several villages in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, as well as a nursery and playground. This is so as to tackle the ongoing issue of clean water, leading to issues on hygiene and sanitation. In this upcoming mission, the projects aim to further improve these issues as well as the lack of proper schooling facilities in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. The first project will be based in four schools in Phnom Penh, where waste incinerators along with hand washing stations will be built and the existing latrines will be rehabilitated. For the second project, a preschool will be built in a village in Siem Reap.

 

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In order to make the projects work, the MCVs are aiming to raise approximately RM120,000.00 which goes to covering the costs of the projects. The costs mainly covers the construction materials needed for the mission, and any extras will go to furnishing the preschool with furnitures and a playground.

 

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[Photo credits to the MYCorps officials.]

 

 

More importantly, this is something that I vouched for when I found out about the programme.

 

On a personal aspect, it is an escape from emotional mess and problems.
It is a perfectly-timed opportunity to find a bigger sense of purpose in life and to figure out what I want to achieve.
It is a challenge for myself to step out of my comfort zone and to push myself beyond my limits, to put myself out there.
Nevertheless, it is also a temporary break from reality and adulthood.

 

For the bigger part of the reason, I have always wanted to do more volunteering work. Like everyone else, I want to make a difference. I want to give back to the community ever since my volunteering experience from teaching underprivileged children during my college days. Being blessed with the privilege of education, family and a home to grow up in, it is the least I could do to improve the lives of those who are less fortunate; it is our responsibility to the society.

 

I think volunteering gives a different perspective about gratitude. We are well aware that we should practice gratitude everyday; but how many of us say our thank yous? How often do we appreciate the good things that happen to us? How often do we reflect on our actions and the consequences that follow? More often than not, we do not realise how fortunate we are, how blessed we are to be at whatever point in our lives right now. It may not be the best – at least not in our perspectives – but we are so focused on our idealistic perceptions that we forget that there are people who are facing problems with basic necessities.

 

This mission is important to me because it is my belief that everyone should have access to  our basic necessities. Since the genocidal rule of the Khmer Rouge that took away the lives of approximately 1.5 million Cambodians, it has set back the nation development’s back decades. Not only that, health and sanitation issues still remain the nation’s biggest challenge. Most parts of the country lack water and electricity, and the majority of the rural areas do not have plumbing. For the fact that 70% of Cambodians live in rural areas with over 50% of its population not having access to safe drinking water, something has to be done about it. A three-day jungle induction camping experience with limited access to clean water was quite a horrid for us, let alone for those people who have to live with it for a lifetime. A lot of improvement on water sources and sanitation has been done over the years in Cambodia by the government and NGOs, but that is not enough to remedy the problem faced by the nation. As long as the issues on sanitation is not improved, it will continue to curb the nation’s development in areas such as the economy, education, and health access to progress forward as a developed nation.

 

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Hence, the MCVs and I are raising funds to build the incinerators, hand washing stations, and a preschool. We have been working on various of activities to raise funds, such as the sale of pre-loved items, roses and snacks as well as busking. Our crowdfunding site has just been launched to reach out to a wider audience. CLICK HERE to check out our crowdfunding website, where it is furnished with details of the mission and the donation levels available.  🙂

 

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[NOTE: Donations can also be issued and made to the IYC’s bank account, YAYASAN PUSAT BELIA ANTARABANGSA (Maybank account number: 014132424724).]

 

Help be a part of the solution to the problem. Your donation and support means the world to me, no matter how big or small, and eventually to the underprivileged Cambodians – remember that every dollar counts! Do keep updated with us and our progress in Cambodia on our social media platforms and hashtags:

 

MYCorps, Cambodia: Mission 2 Facebook page
Official Facebook page
Official Twitter account
Official Instagram account
Official website
#MYCorpsCambodia2
#FUNdraise4Cambodia



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I will try to do my very best to periodically update my social media platforms while I am in Cambodia. Follow me on my journey of the mission on my Twitter account and Instagram account!

 

A huge THANK YOU in advance for taking your time to read this, for reading more about our mission, for making donations and for supporting us on this mission. Stay tuned for more updates!

 

Day 17 – Halfway done

 

The second week of training camp has come to an end.
That marks two more weeks before deployment to Cambodia.
Two more weeks to the start of the ‘real deal’.
Two more weeks to put endurance to the test.
Two more weeks to making a difference in the lives of the underprivileged Cambodians. 🙂

 

 

Update: got back from camping out in the wilderness for 3 days and 2 nights without proper amenities, ie. no shower, no toilets, outdoor cooking, sleeping in tents, mosquito attacks – the whole package. Not that I am complaining, but it was quite an interesting 3 days spent at the Nomad Earth Camp in Gopeng, Perak.

 

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Our campsite, gobsmacked in the middle of nowhere.

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Planning the menu and ingredients shopping for 70 people – all under 45 minutes.

 

The highlight of the camp is trekking to Bukit Batu Putih the next morning. It was a relatively easy hike with a rewarding view overlooking the Kinta district.

 

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You know what they say about how every cloud has a silver lining? Well, the sunset on our last night was our very mesmerising silver lining.

 

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THIS SILHOUETTE SHOT ❤

 

Side note: with every camp comes a new, different injury that gives a whole new experience. [Got hammered on the finger, the skin broke and blood gushed out. The recovery process is going to hurt real bad – but thank goodness no stitches required!]

 

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The last 2.5 weeks has been truly life changing.

 

The people that I meet,
the lessons that I learnt,
the conversations that I had,
the experiences that I went through;
they superseded beyond my expectations.
Honestly, I am excited for what’s to come.

 

More updates to come!

Day 1 – Dorm Life Begins

 

I have been longing to leave home again.
Not permanently, and not for long.
But long enough to get some space,
to gain some new experiences,
and to broaden my horizons.

 

In the last two years,
I learnt that I have far too much to leave behind.
I realised that sometimes
foregoing dreams is the only option.

 

Not this time.
Not when I fought harder.
Not when I set new goals.

 

 

 

All set for a brand new experience and an adventure of a lifetime! 🙂

 

Run, and never stop

 

[First things first: I AM DONE WITH CLP EXAMS YAAAASSSSSSS FREEDOM IS HERE SCREW WORRYING ABOUT RESULTS I’VE GOT TO ENJOY MY TEMPORARY LIBERATION.]

 

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Fact: I have always hated running.

Competing for the relay events during the annual sports year in high school certainly does not connote that I loved it or that I was good or fit. I was never the best, but not the worst.

I have stopped running since I dislocated my right kneecap (and eventually dislocating both altogether), and it was tough to pick it back up.

It was tough because I could not focus on running for more than 10 minutes, let alone a few kilometres.

I just stopped feeling the joy I used to enjoy from running.

Call it therapy or remedy, but I picked up running again this year.
Like many people, running became my temporary escape.
For a few minutes, for an hour,
I was free from my trouble and worries.

 

 

The initial progress was exhausting, painful, and gruesome – all I want to do after every run was to quit. But somehow, it became a big part of my routine. It became a discipline, it became something that I genuinely enjoy.

Starting my day before 6AM on four mornings in a week doesn’t feel like a chore.
I lay down my running gear the night before a run (for real).
I grew fond of peanut butter and banana toast; a perfect pre-run fuel.
KT Tape and knee guards are my best friends,
and so are my specially curated Spotify playlist and the Nike+ Running app.
The track and the lake are my safe havens.

 

What amazed me is completing my first 10K run under my target time (!!!) at the Standard Chartered Kuala Lumpur Marathon.

 

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From there on, it just keeps getting better.
Weekly 10K runs.
Clocking in more miles and new PBs.
Completing my first run on the road AND my first 16K run.
(Honestly I am amazed at how I did not faint or puked!)

 

In fact, running has also transcend into my outlook on life.

 

It helped me to deal with negativity,
to stay focused on my goals,
to accept defeat but to never give up,
to put in hard work and be persistent,
to believe that I can achieve anything
so long as I put my mind to it.

 

The best part?

 

I have never been happier in a very long while  🙂

 

 

Graduation, a year on

 

Today marks exactly a year since graduation. This realisation that I had past midnight brought out every bit of nostalgia in me. There is a colossal amount of things that I want to write about graduation, so in putting my thoughts in coherence, here is a commemorative post of graduation.

(Also, where did the time went?? I can hardly believe that it has been a year WHAAAAAAT!)

 


 

 

It’s summer in the United Kingdom.
July, an eventful month for most universities across the country.
Graduation banners are being hung up.
Canopies are built to host pre-ceremony and post-ceremony events.
Halls and cathedrals are cleaned up for the Big Day.
Gown and mortar board orders are placed, along with photoshoots.
University grounds are filled with families of students, touring the campus to see where their graduates-to-be spent their lives at in the past year(s).

 

 

The Big Day is here.
The ladies fuss to pair their best dress with the perfect pair of heels, hairstyle and makeup.
The guys make sure their best suits are freshly pressed, their shoes shined and their hair styled nicely.
Time to put on the graduation gown and mortar board.
You feel the bursting pride in you while as you the gown is donned.
Take numerous photos; after all, it is your big day.

 

 

 

The graduation venue is filling up.
Families are ushered to their respective seats, setting up cameras to capture the grand moment.
Graduates-to-be trotted to be seated with the rest of their peers.
Procession takes place and speeches are given to address the graduation ceremony.
Feel the adrenaline rush as you stand in line, waiting for your name to be called to be presented with your scroll by the Dean.
The brief 30-seconds on stage as you shook hands with the Dean and received your scroll has got to be a 30-seconds memory of a lifetime.
You return to your seat, still overwhelmed by it all.
You look at your certificates, see your name printed on each one of them.
You smile at yourself in awe and said,
“I made it.”

 

My family away from home. ❤

 

I think at one point last year I actually forgotten the point of graduation, the main one.

 

 

It is not about making your parents, family and friends proud; on top of it all, the whole point is the mark of your own achievement and hard work. Without your own effort, you would not have gotten this far. What other people, be it whoever, gave you is nothing but support and advice; that’s like a bonus and a safety net. But otherwise, it is all on your own that you have come this far. We get too caught up in impressing ourselves and pushing our limits that we often forget that it is something that we do for ourselves.

 

 

Graduation is something that you should most definitely look forward to. It is one of the biggest milestones thus far in your life on the face of this planet, before the whole land-a-job-with-decent-pay / first-pay-raise / get-married / start-a-family kind of milestones, that you are bound to achieve in due time. Graduation is that big day for you to celebrate your achievements (mind you, achievements are subjective; it encompasses more than just the academic ones). One day when you look back to one of the greatest days in your lifetime, you would remember how far you have made it through, and that should be enough to push you through whatever else that you are faced with.

 

 

Almost always, we’d feel like we are heading nowhere in life. But you know what they say: you really are doing better than you think! All of us, including our peers alike, are all on the same boat. Yes, some may appear more calm and it seems like they have their lives figured out. And there will be those who seem like a total mess without any plans for their next big step in life. But that is all on the surface. Not every one of us gets the privilege of having an insight to someone else’s life to see how they are repairing the cracks on the pathway or laying a new one instead; we are equal with our peers, and we are faced with challenges in varying circumstances.

 

Who isn’t afraid of stepping into adulthood? Ask that to a room full of young people and I am certain that almost everyone would raise their hands in agreement. It is an inevitable, part-and-parcel stage of growing up and life. Everything in life is uncertain and temporary (well, at least most things are) in our 20s. We are really just getting started with our lives. I think the scariest part is not exactly on the part of getting everything figured out; the part that I am most afraid of (and still am) is the transition from schooling life to actual life.

 

 

We are so comfortable in our nice, little security bubble for the longest period thus far – teachers and lecturers were there to guide us through the way, friends who are nice and easy on us, the fact that we have a concrete and uninterrupted plan for about 17-18 years in getting education. Aaaand we get thrown out into the world right after that, expected to get everything done by ourselves. This bit stresses me out the most, but hey, 1) everyone goes through it at some point in their lifetime 2) remember that it is an inevitable part and parcel of life.

 

 

 

Here’s to friends who battled through final year of law school with me.

 

Exploring the city together in our first week, frequent home-cooked dinners, movie nights in Vine Court over winter break (which made us bust our asses two weeks before assignments submission was due HAHAHA), our first birthdays and festive seasons abroad, late night study sessions in the library, supper at Nabzy’s down Leece Street… the list is endless. I can never thank each of you enough for the impact that you made in my life. Thanks for being my family 7000 miles away from home.

 

 

Most importantly, here’s to my family. Mum and Dad, thanks for the privilege to spend a year abroad to complete my studies. I am eternally grateful that I have such a wonderful privilege, to come home with a changed perspective and a growth in character.

Lambs, you are the best companion over the built-in webcam on the Internet throughout my year in Liverpool. Thanks for nonchalant talks, late night crying sessions and Skype calls from the library. You are the best cheerleader in my life, celebrating every little success along the way with me (and to a certain extent, for me!). For the record, your brimming enthusiasm in the things that I do helped me in my toughest days.

 


 

This stroll down memory lane is getting me overwhelmed. I think I have a huge delay of emotions about graduating (yes, I was a tad emotionless last year during graduation), but now looking back at the past year, I am definitely getting a bit weepy.

 

To my friends who are graduating / have graduated this year, congratulations and have a happy graduation! x

 

Still one of the proudest moments in my life thus far 🙂

 
 

[EDITED] Kudos to my awesome sister for being my slave of the day last year and for capturing the best moments of my graduation, lugging along your tripod and camera all over the campus grounds and to Albert Dock. Love you, lambs ❤ (Sorry that it slipped out of my mind for a bit, fats; got too carried away in dealing with my emotions HAHAHAHA).