Australian student Ella Bacon turned her skill with a sewing machine to a good cause by making some pencil cases for CCF kids. In Phnom Penh, the pencil cases were filled with stationery items and handed out to children in our community.

Here Ella, pictured right below with her two sisters, talks about her motivation

My name is Ella Bacon. I am currently 15-years-old and I attend Grade 10 at St Margaret’s [Anglican Girls School] in Brisbane, Australia. My family consists of five members, including my two older sisters. In addition, we have a two-year-old cat and a 12-year-old dog.

The decision to help the children at Cambodian Children’s Fund was influenced by my aunty Cath, who is employed at Cambodian Children’s Fund.
Hearing the inspirational stories from my aunty firsthand of some the events that these children have had to endure is not only inspiring but remarkable, showing what CCF provides to these children through their resources.

I originally came up with the idea of pencil case when I was searching for a new pencil case to start a new semester of school. I realized that it has been categorised as an essential [item] for us, however these children at CCF consider this essential as a luxury. This realization sparked the idea of giving a pencil case to reward the hard effort of these children learning through CCF’s educational program and encourage the continuation of their learning.

I made them using a sewing machine, which I learnt and have been using since I was five.

I bought the fabric in Spotlight [home interiors stores in Australia] but I wanted neutral gender fabric so everyone could enjoy the pencil case. I also wanted thicker and good material so it would last a longer period of time.
Pencil cases were one of the first products that I sewed, so I was fairly familiar with the pattern. However, it had been a long time since I made them so I looked on YouTube just to give myself a quick reminder. But after the first pencil case was made, I knew what to do.

The first couple of pencil cases took about 20 minutes but by the end it took seven minutes each pencil case. After all were made I went back to check there were no mistakes and they were of the best quality.

By the time I added zippers, sewed, pinned and set up my sewing machine it took around about six hours to make all the pencil cases.

Due to my past experience with sewing, I did not get any help for my family and friends although my mum did assist with helping me pick the fabric.

My family thought that It was a great to help CCF as due to our aunty, we knew the excellent resources
they provide these children.

St Margaret’s, where I attend school, is very committed to community service, which sparked the idea to do something with CCF. Although my classmates do community service through cooking and cutting grass in their neighbourhoods, I thought it would be an excellent idea to expand St Margaret’s horizons to Cambodia.

I haven’t yet visited Cambodia but my cousins have visited, which makes me want to visit the area. I love adventure and I think I would like Cambodia.

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