One of the most anticipated events on our Community+ yearly calendar is a work-abroad immersion experience trip in partnership with SeeBeyondBorders.
This year fourteen Shapians from all our branches gathered in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh to begin their week long journey helping local communities, learning about their culture, history and the work that SeeBeyondBorders does on the ground to help these communities thrive.
After the 6-hour long bus journey to Battambang, which felt like much less due to the high spirits and endless team camaraderie – including even some impromptu karaoke, the SHAPE team met with the local SeeBeyondBorders crew for a full brief.
During the following days, they built garden beds in four schools – meeting teachers, communities, and students from different villages.
In their short time there strong bonds were formed with the locals, who welcome them into their communities. Many time the group felt like one big family, with meals and laughter shared despite the language barriers.
The Immersion Experience was not only a fantastic trip to learn about the culture of Cambodia and the work that SeeBeyondBorders do, but it was also a fantastic way to bond with Shapians across the country. Not only did we all learn, gave back, experience emotions and found gratitude, we also did it all with a ripper team!
Josie Wild, SHAPE Victoria
On the third day in Battambang, they attended a local school sports festival, which provided an amazing opportunity to connect with the children.
They were split into groups who facilitated an array of activities. The Sack Race was probably the most popular – the children loved seeing grown adults roll and jump on the floor with sacks that hardly fit them.
The team also appreciated the opportunity to see first-hand how our efforts at home support the educational and wellbeing programs that SeeBeyondBorders is able to implement in Cambodia.
For SHAPE, as an organisation that focus on giving back and making a difference in the lives of both our team members and our community, this program is an opportunity to help “shape a better world”.
This adventure is made possible by the continuous support of our local partners, who generously contribute to our on-going fundraisers and bring their sportsmanship to the various event we organise throughout the year.
Below, local SeeBeyondBorders communications officer, Phearid, talks about the experience from their point of view, highlighting how important it is to experience different cultures.