Holmesglen students have assisted with work on a significant international community project.
The collection of Holmesglen representatives, which included staff and students, spent 10 days in Cambodia helping on a range of community initiatives that are designed to improve the future of the local children.
The visiting party included students from horticulture, naturopathy, conservation and land management, and tourism and events courses.
Based in Siem Reap, Holmesglen worked closely with Build Your Future Today founder Sedtha Long. The non-governmental organisation's goal is to provide locals with the educational and economic resources to become self-sufficient.
Each course grouping was tasked with different responsibilities during the duration of the stay. Horticulture students helped plant and cultivate Maringa trees, and test soil and pH levels. Conversely, naturopathy students researched nutritional values and helped run a cooking session.
While the tourism and events students organised important fundraising efforts for the overseas excursion. This included donating money prior, which was then used by the local communities to purchase solar panels and water pumps. Equally, they met with the Sofitel Hotel Manager in Siem Reap to discuss possible collaborations.
"It was an amazing experience and a cultural eye-opener. Interacting with the locals and learning off them was a highlight," participating student Noni Dowling said.
A main aim of the Cambodia trip was for each role to be "student-driven." In addition to working with Maringa trees, students also looked at utilising Soap Nuts. Boiling six nuts in a litre of water, for up to 20 minutes, helps result in liquid soap, which is natural, chemical free and can be used to wash clothes.
"The trip provided an enormous amount of learning and networking opportunities between Holmesglen and the industry as well," Holmesglen teacher Sandra Lutke observed.
Furthermore, the skills learned in the Holmesglen classroom were identified as helping students prepare for the community project.
"We did quite a bit of research beforehand within the group. All the work leading up really helped with the planting of the Maringa trees," David Sautner (conservation and land management student) said.
Local children were also involved with planting seeds and, through recycled plastic bottles, were able to take seeds home for them to grow.
"In terms of what we produced, this was the best trip," Holmesglen Tourism and Events Senior Educator Nicolas Bottiglieri said.