Kiara Year 11 Youth Volunteer

The trip to Shine was hands down the most rewarding experience of my life.

It epitomised the term ‘life-changing’.

Kiara pictured with Shine students. Photo: Lachlan credit@snapshot.russ on Insta


Our group of volunteers were in tears in the first 10 seconds meeting the beautiful, bright Cambodian children. As we arrived, I stepped off the bus in this unfamiliar country and was welcomed by over a hundred gorgeous, smiling faces with arms outstretched to hug me. It is a feeling I will never forget.


Over the time spent there, the trip opened my eyes to the severely shocking situations and conditions these children are living in. But the most incredible part was to see how happy Shine makes them, despite living like this. The number of children that turned up to Shine on a weekend (over 100) demonstrated how much they love attending.

The organisation is having a very clear impact on the local community. From immersing myself in the work of Shine over those few days, it has left me with a completely different view of life. I was really moved to see the children living in some of the poorest conditions, yet they have all this unconditional love for complete strangers. 

The hard work Shine puts in is absolutely amazing: they feed, educate, hydrate, protect and support those poorest children. The saddest aspect is how necessary the work they provide is for this community. Therefore, I now have an incredibly strong passion for this cause because of this extraordinary experience. The Shine team are incredible and I truly aspire to be like them, they certainly are ‘creating brighter futures’.


Uniting children from Cambodia and Australia. Photo: Lachlan
credit@snapshot.russ on Insta