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Mkak - Cycling against poverty in Cambodia

Cycling Route 640

While settling into their first year at Monash, two passionate students are planning to cycle their way across Cambodia later this year to raise funds for children and families living in poverty.

Monash students Davis Clarke and Sam Aslam are busily planning a 1000 kilometre cycling trek through Cambodia in December to help fund the establishment of a new community learning centre in the small village of Mkak.

The multi-purpose facility will allow for the development of a community health care program providing health checks, medical treatment and pharmaceuticals, food and fresh-water supplies as well as a library and computer equipment to enhance learning and literacy.

Davis, who is studying a Bachelor of Science, and Sam, a Bachelor of Biomedical Science, first visited the Mkak village in 2011 and said their experience inspired them to return to help one of the poorest rural communities.

?In December, we will ride over 1000 kilometres through Cambodia on our university break during the Christmas holidays to raise money toward building a large multi-purpose community centre in the Mkak village,? Sam said.

?Davis and I developed a passion for helping these people after we first visited last year during a World Challenge school trip. It involved a community phase where a group of us helped build classrooms and taught English at Mkak Primary School.

?The Mkak Village in one of the poorest and most neglected rural areas of Cambodia with many families surviving on less than US$0.50 a day. The centre is desperately needed to provide the most basic needs like access to regular health check-ups or fresh water, needs that many of us take for granted.?

The project is a joint collaboration between the Humanitus Foundation, an Australian-based organisation working to break the cycle of poverty in developing countries through education and health resources, and their Cambodian partner, Bright Children Organisation who established Mkak Primary School.

?After our experience in Cambodia, we were keen to make a positive contribution to the Mkak village. We approached Humanitus who were already doing work in the region,? Davis said.

?A large focus of the community centre is about setting up a facility which health professionals can use during planned routine visits to Mkak. Funds collected will go towards buying medical equipment, and paying for the health care services.? It is hoped in excess of $30,000 will be raised to fund the project. For further information or contributions, visit the Humanitus Foundation website.

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