I, along with 75 of my peers, get to experience what it is like to work in a business and a charity. At our campus (and Berwick and Keysborough), there are 35 students in multiple teams working like a well-oiled machine. Every Thursday, the room is filled with activity: strategic talk and creative fundraising ideas being thrown around and students busily problem-solving. This is what a charity is: people who are passionate about a cause coming together to find a solution in any way possible.

When working with Shine, students have the opportunity improve their communication, cooperation, business planning, brainstorming and organisation skills. I can say that not only have my skills in these areas improved but I have a better global outlook and understanding of issues in the world. Shine has really helped me see how I can help others who are in need by doing small things which amount to a bigger picture. This experience is wonderful because I get to work alongside my peers and, we as a group, can work towards one goal and be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Shine is not-for-profit charity which is led by Australia’s youth. Shine strives to break the poverty cycle in Cambodia while empowering youths, such as myself, to have a better global outlook and become more altruistic. You have now heard all about how amazing Shine is but you may be asking, ‘why Cambodia?

In 1975 the Khmer Rouge over threw the government of Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge was highly repressive and autocratic. Their main goal was to eliminate an entire social order in attempt to bring agricultural reform, instead it lead to widespread famine and genocide. The actions of the Khmer Rouge still affect the people of Cambodia to this day. Little has changed in the way that Cambodians live in hundreds of years (especially in rural areas): housing is still very basic, toilets are holes in the ground and there is extremely limited access to education. Extreme poverty is very common.

With the help of Shine Cambodia the people of Otres can be educated, have safer homes and better sanitation, this will help break the poverty cycle. We believe all children should be educated. All children should be able to choose the future they want. All children should be safe and happy.

It all starts with education. Currently there are 126 students in Shine’s school program. These students need to access services that help them to attend school: medical, dental, nutrition, transport, social work, family support.

Shine’s positive impact is changing lives. It costs $2 a day to give all of our service access to a child. The equivalent cost of half a cup of coffee goes a long way to help a child break free from poverty. So is half of your morning coffee more important than a child’s right to live free of poverty?

Please help our team, help the Cambodian children. There are many ways to support us: give time and skills to help us, donate to our cause or spread the word.

Written by Alex M, student volunteer at Shine.

Find out more at:  https://shinecambodia.org/

Impact Report: https://www.hubersocial.com.au/featured-shine-cambodia/