Ani Pickering from Ashmore and James recalls her inspirational experience, helping the community of Cambodia.
At Travel Associates, we consultants travel regularly, often to developing countries. Our spirit of adventure is accompanied by a deep interest in the local people and their cultures.
In February 2010, Travel Associates began supporting the work of Samaritan's Purse, an international aid organisation providing for needy communities around the world. Since then, offices and staff have raised $16,500 through a programme called 'Travel Associates Taking Action.'
In October last year, five agents travelled to Cambodia to witness first-hand the Samaritan's Purse projects that they, as part of a team, were financially supporting. What an amazing experience it was.
We gained an insight into the provision of clean water and learned about wells, water filters, dams, and the risk of contamination. We even had the privilege of helping the locals construct a water filter. We mixed concrete, prepared layers of special sand and gravel then later broke open the moulds to reveal a water filter, capable of turning contaminated water into clean, healthy water. It was so rewarding to share our efforts with the villagers and later, join them in drinking the purified water.
As amazing as the purifying process was, the hospitality and gratitude we received from the village leaders and community is what impacted on us most. There were many tears, but even more smiles... and the memories we made will never be forgotten.
This year, another group of agents will visit the projects supported by Samaritan's Purse in northern Vietnam to further understand their needs and the fantastic work of this international aid organisation.