Inspired by a family trip to Cambodia earlier this year, high school
student Ella Burke wanted to help needy children. CCF was her charity of choice and the teenager used social media to sell handmade earrings to raise money

On a trip to Southeast Asia with her family in April, it was Cambodia that really stood out for Ella Burke.
Based in Siem Reap, they visited the landmine museum and marvelled at the wonders of Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples.
“There was so much to see and learn about. Our time in Cambodia was my highlight of the whole holiday,” says Ella.

Cambodia made such an impression on the 17-year-old, lingering on long after the holiday tan had faded.
Returning home to NSW, Australia, Ella, who is in her senior year at high school, felt strongly that she wanted to do something more beyond simply browsing her holiday photos to keep the memory alive.
“I was really motivated after my trip to Cambodia to raise money for children in Cambodia,” she explains.
“I heard about CCF from my mum who knew about Scott Neeson (CCF’s founder) and she encouraged me to look at CCF.”

After some research, Ella decided that CCF was the best choice for a donation to help Cambodia’s children in need.
“So many [children] are so close to my age and they are achieving amazing stuff with what they have and education is so important that it was in my mind just the right thing to do,” she explains.

When it came to how to fundraise the money, Ella already had a plan.
“I have an Instagram page on which I sell earrings that I make. I make earrings out of second hand jewellery and beads given to me from friends and family,” she says.
Making a new batch of earrings, Ella sold the lot on social media with the majority of the proceeds going to CCF, raising around $350 AUD in the process. Ella kept $50 AUD to buy more jewellery making supplies and donated the rest to CCF.

“I have used the same page to raise money for different causes previously but my CCF donation has been my most significant donation,” says Ella, who works part-time in a local retail store at the weekends.
“Most people were very interested to hear why I wanted to donate to a Cambodian charity. My family was really supportive and agreed it was important. A lot of people were also really excited to find out that I had donated the money.”
“Without my friends and family I wouldn’t have been able to make so many pairs and raise as much money.”

Ella says that she hopes her donation will contribute to a child or children in need in any way possible.
“I just hope my donation will help.”

Ella wants to return to Cambodia one day and visiting CCF in Phnom Penh is high on the list.

“I didn’t actually visit CCF while I was in Cambodia. However, I am very interested in doing so now.”

Kate Ginn/CCF

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