CCT depends on volunteers so that we can ensure 100% of donations go to our projects in Cambodia.
We rely on our volunteers for everything from the delivery of daily operations, fundraising, to strategic planning and assisting on trips to Cambodia.
Our volunteers are committed to the CCT mission statement and respect the rights, dignity and culture of the Cambodian people.
Our volunteers are not paid for their time and efforts. All of their travel, accommodation, food and transport costs, whilst in Cambodia are covered by themselves.
With the determination and enthusiasm of our volunteers, along with our Cambodia staff and generous donees, we are able to achieve a better education for the people of Cambodia.
We are proud to introduce them below.
Some of our volunteers with the teachers from Ang Seyma Secondary school
One of the incredible women who volunteer for the Cambodia Charitable Trust is Marie Grills. Marie hails from Dunedin where she practised criminal law as a Crown Prosecutor for over 20 years. These analytical skills have been a real strength behind Marie’s involvement as a trustee and member of the programme development team.
Marie has been involved since 2010 and has been on many trips to Cambodia. Marie has actively been engaged in monitoring the delivery of our programmes and interviewing children, teachers and school directors. She has been a great support through numerous official meetings.
We have been very lucky to have Marie as a senior team member, her input has been invaluable.
“Collaborating with amazing NZ experts, the Cambodian Ministry of Education and our Cambodian team, CCT supports the delivery of quality teacher training. Outcomes are being achieved on a minimal budget, often in challenging environments. The beauty of CCT is its ability to be dynamic, so learnings can be incorporated and programs adjusted as necessary.
Being part of the development team and observing the programs in action in Cambodia has been a major highlight of my experiences with CCT.”
“Being involved with CCT is the best thing I’ve ever done”.
Jane Muller has been a volunteer with Cambodia Charitable Trust since 2010. She spent four months in Cambodia with her husband Hugh in 2009 working in a rural village helping a small NGO. The experience affected them both profoundly and they felt improving education for children in Cambodia would have the most profound effect they could think of. On returning home they read about CCT and have been involved ever since. Jane has lost count of the times she’s been to Cambodia with CCT but thinks it’s about sixteen.
Jane is particularly interested in ‘our’ schools in rural Kampot and Takeo provinces and loves seeing them develop and grow so massively as a result of the work of our Cambodia Team, and our New Zealand donors.
Jane also writes some of our newsletters.
“So little support goes so far in a Cambodian school, both financially and in terms of leading schools to achieve more. The School Directors and teachers are so thirsty for knowledge and have so little opportunity for support and development that everything we offer them has huge benefits”.
Devon Harland has been a volunteer with Cambodia Charitable Trust for six years and is a member of the fundraising committee, Friends of Cambodia Charitable Trust. As well as fundraising, Devon looks after the administration of the sponsorship of university students in Cambodia.
She became involved with CCT after seeing a story on TV about Founder Denise Arnold and her work with the Trust. Devon has travelled to Cambodia three times, bringing home to her each time how much her fundraising efforts make a difference to the lives of children there.
There is no task too difficult for Devon. Whether it is reconciling accounts or greeting guests at a function, Devon works tirelessly for the Cambodian people close to her heart.
Photo by Stacey Simpkin.
Helen Conway has been a volunteer with Cambodia Charitable Trust since 2014 after hearing Founder Denise Arnold speak at a Lyon O’Neale Arnold Lawyers’ Wonder Women event. Helen administrates the sponsorship programme for primary and secondary school students, as well as overseeing the upkeep of the CCT website and distributing newsletters.
She has visited sponsored students in Cambodia several times and is impressed with the improvements in the children’s education over the years, as well as the changes and improvements to the schools.
“Often it can be difficult to motivate myself to do administration work. It’s not glamorous and is often quite repetitive, but each time I sit at my computer I can picture the children I have met and know what a difference sponsorship makes to their life”.
“The photo of this mum thanking CCT for having her daughter sponsored is very cute as her happy face is typical of the genuine thanks for sponsorship. If only all the sponsors could see the appreciation and relief their donations bring about.”
Award-winning NZ based photographer Stacey Simpkins is another treasured volunteer, coming to Cambodia multiple times to shoot pictures on location. She has captured more than a decade of progress by the Cambodian Charitable Trust in breaking the devastating cycle of poverty in Cambodia through education.
With her skills and expertise, we have been able to tell the story of CCT’s journey to help those in need via thought-provoking imagery.
Stacey’s photographs have been shared in several exhibitions – Cambodia Rising – A blueprint for generational change. Her pictures are used on our website, in our newsletters and also for many media communications.
On the ground in Cambodia Stacey is a trooper. Whether it is wading into murky ponds or tracking across dusty rice fields in the hot sun to a rural home, there is nothing Stacey won’t do to get the ‘picture’.
Photo by Linda Hart
Photo by Stacey Simpkin.
Fiona & Brian Tait have travelled to Cambodia with the CCT several times. Fiona an ex-nurse (now retired) has assisted in training the health team, showing them how to do eye tests and developing materials to be given to the children and their families on washing hands, hearing loss, brushing teeth and body hygiene. Brian has not only helped Fiona with the health projects, he has also assisted with the installation of water tanks and hand washing stations, fixed swings and carried out general maintenance on playground equipment.
Brian and Fiona have helped in the development of the Days for Girls education programme and the first distributions conducted by CCT. They tirelessly helped to sew the DFG liners (hundreds of them!) and were there on the ground in Cambodia when the first DFG packs were given out to the teenage girls.
They were also key to the running of the CCT shop. Not only did they oversee the volunteers working in the shop they were also instrumental in helping to buy products in the markets, and from retailers, in Phnom Penh. If that wasn’t enough, they also managed the accounting for shop sales and GST.
Asked what drives them to work so hard for CCT:
“Our reward is seeing the children happy and knowing they have an opportunity to improve their lives through education after so many years of disruption in Cambodia.”
Sonia Clark has been a supporter and volunteer with the Cambodia Charitable Trust since 2016 following hearing about the significant difference being made to the children, their families and communities from a colleague.
Sonia and her husband Adam have made several trips to Cambodia to support various CCT initiatives. Through their business experience and connections, they have been able to influence and assist many CCT initiatives
“To assist to empower these vulnerable children through education is an opportunity I relish. Education is a basic human right and has immense positive implications for their futures. It is a privilege to be involved”.
All of our volunteers donate their own travel and accommodation costs when working in Cambodia or in New Zealand and donate their time and expertise. Neither Denise Arnold, nor any of the Trustees or volunteers draw a salary from CCT or take money from the charity for their expenses. They all believe passionately in what CCT is doing.
Where CCT does have administration costs, these are covered by donations, by the volunteers or by Lyon O’Neale Arnold, lawyers in Tauranga, of which CCT founder Denise Arnold is a Director. What costs CCT cannot avoid (bank fees and Xero costs) are covered by specific donations by individuals.
Every dollar donated goes to a specified purpose if the donor has one or the projects in Cambodia where it is carefully spent to get the maximum impact. Where possible supplies are purchased in Cambodia to support the local economy and to make our New Zealand dollars go further.