“We are delighted to welcome and host a study visit of a group of students, parents and teachers from Carmel Adventist College School in Australia”, said Dr. Bhoomikumar Jegannathan, Child Psychiatrist and the Program Director of Caritas Cambodia’s Center for Child and Adolescent Mental Health program (CCAMH). The group came to CCAMH for the first time and it is part of their community service project namely ‘the second chance’. Dr. Bhoomi started his remark by welcoming the group and made a brief introduction about the work in the center.
Student group with parents and teachers at CCAMH on 17 September 2018
Carmel Adventist College is a Seventh-day Adventist secondary school in Carmel, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia. A teacher, Mr. Sepeti Fui, who comes with the group said the objective of the program is lived by the colleague’s motto, “Greatness through Service”. He said the main purpose of the program it twofold. Firstly, it is to create an enriching life experiences for students in Australia with Cambodian children and society. Secondly, it aims to teach students the spirit of giving and sharing others by bringing them to engage in social volunteer work overseas.
For the past 8 years, the school has started its community service project to bring students from Australia to Cambodia. Each group come between 8-9 days, according to Mr. Sepeti Fui. “Students have learnt so many things. By experiences, we are happy to see them enjoying their experiences in Cambodia by sharing beautiful stories they learn during the program”, he said.

Having a chance to come to CCAMH is another new experience and worth study tour for the students, said Mr. Sepeti.

Dr. Bhoomikumar Jegannathan welcomed and briefed the work of CCAM
Normally, students are brought to communities to help local people build houses, schools, tree nursery and others. “We thank Caritas Cambodia, particularly the center to allow us a chance to learn about the program. We are amazed by the service to support children with mental health problems”, said Mr. Sepeti.

Mr. Adam Dirosso, a teacher and team leader of the group said  by bringing students in Australia to leave their comfort zone, the program also aims to educate them to be grateful for what they have and encourage them to have compassion to support others especially  to those who are in need and difficult situation.
Some small actions can have bigger impact and meaning to the life of people, particularly, for those who are grown up with difficulties and who need love and care. Mrs. Annie, 46, a nurse and mother of a student said she is so excited to come to Cambodia with her daughter. When asked why the program is so important for her daughter and the others, Mrs. Annie responded “it is a beautiful thing if we can share even with our small action. The more we can share around, the world is better. I am impressed by the visit in CCAMH which is an amazing and well-run service for children who need special need, care and treatment.   sa03
Mrs. Annie and her daughter during the visit to CCAMH
This is a wonderful sharing by the center to the children on the journey to serve the children in needs”. Mrs. Annie has learnt about the life experience-sharing from her son who came to Cambodia last year and from then she feel motivated to come to Cambodia this time.
This is the first time for all students to come to Cambodia. Anita, 15, from grade 10 finds it so enriching experience to come to Cambodia. “We see how life is, the beauty of culture, and what we can do to help and share with others”, said Anita adding that what amazed her is to learn how Cambodian children make their living and support their families, while in Australia children are fully supported by their parents”.

After the visit to CCAMH, the group will spend a few days in Pailin province on building 2 houses in a poor

Anita (in white shirt) is touring with group at CCAMH
village and doing other community work before ending up with a tour to Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap province. The next group which composts of 35 students from grade 12, 8 parents and teachers is scheduled to Cambodia in November 2018. CCAMH is welcome to host the next group and plans for different activities such as re-painting the playground, engaging activities with the children and others.


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