‘A grateful heart is a magnet for miracles’. I spent just over a month in a little village outside Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2015 at BCI Orphanage. Which opened my eyes, and my heart, to the realities of the world.
BCI Orphanage – A Trip That Changed My Life
The BCI Story
Bridges Cambodia International (BCI) was founded in 2009. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, which aims to help the homeless and underprivileged children in Tekvil Village, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
The aim is to provide the best possible life for these kids. Whether it be in form of shelter, nutrition, education, clothes or health care. With the end goals being for them to eventually leave the home and get places at university or find work or apprenticeships in the local area.
In September 2015 I spent a month volunteering at BCI Orphanage and it’s been an organisation that we’ve worked very closely with ever since.
BCI now holds a huge part of my heart. And throughout my time at the orphanage the bonds I built with the kids is something I’ll cherish forever. They are the happiest, most grateful and well-mannered children you will find and I’m extremely proud to be apart of this little Cambodian family.
Together we learnt english, played football, told stories and most importantly HAD FUN! The kids have nothing, but they find happiness from the smallest of things. They show enthusiasm towards anything you suggest. Whether it be chopping vegetables or going for walks they simply appreciated the time you give to them and that’s what makes them a joy to be around!
Whilst at BCI, I was extremely moved and had never been involved in fund raising or charity work. But now was definitely my time to start. So I set up a GoFundMe page and thanks to friends and family around the world, managed to raise over $800 in just 2 weeks.
After spending the majority of the money on necessities, such as rice, toothpaste and medicine, the leftover cash was used to treat each child to a backpack full of school equipment. I even managed to sneak in a few sweets, toys and football kits.
My Return Trip
There were a lot of tears shed when I eventually left BCI. Both from me and the children. Although a little over 2 months after departing I was back. It was the end of my South East Asia journey and what better way to sign out than with a surprise trip to the local lake. We spent Cambodia’s Independence Day splashing around and creating more memories.
Words can never describe the emotions I felt during my time at BCI. I’ve probably not done it justice in this brief round up. Although the photo’s capture just a fraction of the happiness we shared and how strong these young kids are to keep smiling through whatever life throws at them…