Mr Daniel Tay from NTU CSA giving food packets to Cambodian children during an earlier recce trip.
Catholics students from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and National University of Singapore (NUS) will head to Cambodia in separate trips this December to reach out to communities there.
Twenty-seven NTU CSA (Catholic Students’ Apostolate) members will visit a pastoral centre in Pailin province, northwestern Cambodia, run by Marist Brothers.
During their Dec 8-15 trip, the students will teach English to the children there, conduct handicraft sessions such as balloon sculpturing and origami, play sports and games with the children and spend a day with them at a nearby waterfall. There will also be cultural exchange performances.
“We are hoping to make this a sustainable trip and visit this particular community for at least a couple more years,” said Mr Daniel Tay, a member of the group .
He added that his group is also trying to help the Brothers purchase a second-hand van.
The students’ inaugural overseas outreach project is called Project CORE (short for Cambodia Outreach Expedition).
Meanwhile, 18 students from NUS’ CMS (Catholic Medical Society) will visit Battambang from Dec 10-16, together with three doctors from the Catholic Medical Guild (CMG).
Mission Srolanh (srolanh means “love” in Khmer) is an inaugural project run by the Catholic medical students, according to project director Joanne Luo.
In response to a request from Monsignor Enrique Figaredo, apostolic prefect of Battambang, the group hopes to provide medical care and conduct health education lessons for 30 land mine victims and teenagers afflicted with poliomyelitis, 80 girls doing vocational studies and 100 families across three villages.
“Additionally, we aim to study medical demographics such as the prevalence of anaemia and malnutrition amongst the local community and therefore develop a sustainable food and nutrition programme,” said Ms Luo. “The data collected from this debut trip will serve to promote continuity of our project as we intend to return to the same location on an annual basis.
“As part of the programme, we will provide the locals with medication and nutritional supplements like iron tablets and vitamins.”
She added that the group hopes to set up a fingerprint recognition system to keep track of people’s medical history and treatment plans. “This would facilitate better treatment management for them on subsequent trips,” she added.