Australian twins, Esther and Amy, celebrated their 16th birthday with a CCF twist. After visiting Cambodia and volunteering with CCF on a school trip, the two girls left inspired and determined to make a difference. They raised more than $3,000 for CCF, below they tell us what inspired them

We are identical twins from Melbourne, Australia and we are in year 10 at Korowa Anglican Girls’ School. Earlier this year, we were both fortunate enough to travel to Cambodia with five other girls in our year, to participate in one of the programs our school offers, known as the Cambodian Service Learning Journey.

When we were in Year 8 when we found an interest in Social Service and joined our school Social Service Club. Wanting to do more to help our community, we found Fareshare, which is Australia’s largest charity kitchen. Ever since, we have been volunteering at Fareshare every school holiday and have loved every moment. When the opportunity to work with CCF came along, we jumped at the opportunity as we wanted to explore other ways to extend our interest in service internationally.

While we were in Cambodia, we were able to experience and see CCF’s incredible work in Phnom Penh, including their Junior Leadership Program, Food program, Granny Program, kindergarten class and so much more. In the Junior Leadership Program we taught the kids topics on global environmental issues, such as recycling, pollution and global warming.

Seeing the kids understand and even come up with other mnemonics to remember to recycle was heart-warming for both of us. Throughout the trip, we also volunteered at the evening Food Program and visited the grannies, who were all so kind and thoughtful. We will forever treasure those moments from our amazing journey.

CCF has created an incredible organisation and during our stay in Phnom Penh, CCF’s motto, “transforming Cambodia’s most impoverished children into tomorrow’s leaders” was evident in the Junior Leadership students and the kindergarten students. We both came to the realisation of how lucky we are to form very special connections with the students at CCF. Seeing how grateful the children are for their education and opportunities was one of the most rewarding experiences and will truly be something we will cherish forever.

We decided to support Cambodian Children’s Fund because we wanted to make a difference. We were both so inspired, touched and impressed by the work of CCF during our service learning journey this July. Seeing firsthand how positive and grateful everyone in the CCF community is, was very rewarding. It made us realise how fortunate we are in Australia for our education, and so much more.

For our birthday this year, we thought it would be much more worthwhile to receive donations in lieu of birthday presents, as the CCF grannies, adults and children deserve so much. When we shared the link for our everyday hero page to our friends and family, we sent it to them with a goal of $3,000AUD, but as the days went on, more people were donating and we were taken aback as to how much we had been able to raise. With the efforts of all our friends and family, we were able to raise $3,308.47AUD, which is absolutely incredible.

After going on the most incredible trip and raising funds for CCF, we decided to create a club within our school to raise awareness of CCF’s work. We are so excited for the future, and hope to work more with CCF!

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