My name is Farah Srichandra and I am Junior, Biology major at
It was a true gift to be able to learn one-on-one from excellent leaders about all steps in the process of building a sustainable non-profit organization. The men, women, and children I met at the squatters village were badly in need of clean water, and I am grateful that we were able to help them. They were also lovely hosts and were excited to show us their culture. As they showed me where they worked and lived, I was often struck by the fact that their health is important not only to their quality of life, but often also to their ability to provide for themselves and their families. It was at these times that I realized the importance of JWOC’s mission. The staff at Journeys Within Our Community in Siem Reap were hard-working, welcoming, and totally committed both to caring for the Khmer community and to helping us volunteers become comfortable in a foreign environment. Time and time again they went out of their way to share their own personal experiences along with the rich history of
Ultimately, what I took away from this experience was so much more than just an advanced understanding of the Khmer culture. In this end, this experience clearly reaffirmed to me how important education is for the growth and advancement of these communities. Learning about the Khmer way of life gave me a different perspective on how to view the world. Without LMU’s Alternative Breaks, I cannot imagine how I could possibly have seen and learned so much as an undergraduate about solidarity, Khmer cultures, and my own desire and ability to make a difference in others’ lives. I hope to one day give more to the underdeveloped world and make a significant contribution towards their advancement, access to better health care and reduction of poverty.
—Farah Srichandra, Loyola Marymount University Student, Journeys Within Our Community Volunteer 2008