STUDENTS from Burnt Mill Academy, Harlow, raised thousands of pounds to travel to Cambodia and do charity work.
The Year 11 students joined with Epping St John’s Church of England School, they spent four weeks at the end of the term learning about the culture and the daily hazards of walking and travelling in and around the country.
The teenagers were put to work in 87% humidity helping to build wells and toilets and shoring up a local dam, before putting on their rucksacks for a four-day trek to the National Park.
The students dedicated themselves to raising £49,400 or £3,800 per head to ensure their place on a trip of a lifetime.
They visited sites including the temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. The schools are now planning a joint trip to Kenya in 2021 for Year 9, 10 and 11.
Sammy O’Brien, head of Year 10 at Epping St John’s, said: “The people there have nothing, yet we noticed how happy they were. Their way of life was so nice. Our technology didn’t work out there, so we were able to switch off too. Instead, we sat around a table playing card games – that is the lifestyle we lack.
“In terms of enrichment, this trip showed students how people in other places live and gave them an understanding of another country. It also gave them that overall feeling of supporting others and making a difference in people’s lives. It brought people out of their shells and gave them a sense of selflessness.”