Arden students raise funds for Cambodia

Students from Arden Anglican School in Sydney recently held their annual Camboogie, a major fundraising initiative for the school’s Cambodia and Vietnam Mission Trip, raising close to $6000.

With a theme of ‘Camboogie goes wild’, the event involved three separate discos (for Infants, Primary and Secondary), games, a chill out zone and food. The school’s Colin May Centre was transformed into a jungle themed disco and students embraced the theme, with many coming dressed as jungle animals, in camo gear, leopard prints and more.

In addition to raising much needed funds, Camboogie has the additional benefit of creating event management experience for the student organisers, while strengthening community spirit at Arden.

Mrs Jo Webb, Year 11 Coordinator, said that while she provides administrative support, Camboogie is mostly student run. During the process of organising the event, she found, “The students learn communication skills, meeting deadlines, overcoming obstacles/complications and community spirit. Additionally, it will be exciting for them to be able to see the direct impact of the funds they raise when we go on the Mission Tour.”

Discussing the community spirit aspect, Mrs Webb shared, “When going on a Mission Tour it is really important that students learn to work together as team, so organising an event like this helps build a sense of community, not only with the students going on the Mission Tour but with the rest of the Year 11 cohort. As Year 11 Coordinator it provides a wonderful opportunity to work together with the students to organise the event and it is lots of fun too.

“Camboogie is a great whole school event, so the students across the entire school are able to participate in raising funds for this Mission trip.”

A team of Year 11 Arden students and staff will participate in the School’s 12th annual service tour of Vietnam and Cambodia as part of the Extra Mile Project in the June/July school holidays.

Arden proactively manages and adapts mission itineraries each year. The school has been mindful of the orphanage issues there and has worked diligently to ensure the itinerary factors in the latest research on these issues. The focus of the mission has always been on service-based activities, usually involving physical labour. For example, renovating schools, building houses for villagers and planting mango trees.

The mission has many benefits. For the communities in need this act of service demonstrates compassion and shows that their lives are important to others. However, Arden students also benefit as they broaden their perspectives beyond their domestic horizons and show practical care for others, immerse themselves in a new culture and gain an appreciation of the history and politics of Vietnam and Cambodia.

Students who have participated in the initiative in the past have described how they developed a greater appreciation for their own life circumstances, the community in which they live and the service opportunities available to them as young Australian citizens.

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