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Community & Business

30 July, 2023

Local women Cambodia bound

By Tobias Ostini

Mary Imrie and Myra Campbell are travelling to the Kampong Thom province of Cambodia in late October this year.

Kampong Thom province, located in the centre of the country, has a poverty rate of 75.8 per cent which is roughly four times the national rate of 17.8 per cent. An education is one of the few ways to break out of generational poverty.

Mary and Myra are part of a group of 10 women who have been organised by Lake Macquarie-based company Women Embrace Adventure (WEA) who are an organisation whose goal is to promote gender equality in outdoor adventure. Through WEA the women and the projects they are taking part in are run by the charity Restore One. The charity uses all money raised on the schools they set up in the Kampong Thom province.

The money will be used to pay teachers wages and purchase supplies for the project the women will help complete when they visit. The project this year is to build a year seven classroom. WEA and Restore One run this trip and guarantee at least $15,000 for the schools each year.

Mary and Myra’s involvement in this project began when Mary was travelling on the NSW coast earlier this year. She saw a Facebook ad for WEA and looked them up. She then partook in a walk WEA organised in the Newcastle area. From there her interest in the organisation flourished and she found out about the Cambodia trip which is one of WEA’s biggest projects. She was incredibly inspired when she saw how much good the project was doing. She said that when she found out about the project something clicked and she thought, “Yeah that’s for me, that’s what I want to do.”

She then shared the project with her friend Myra who she said was “Equally as inspired.” Mary quoted Myra as saying that she’d “always wanted to go over- seas and travel, but I want to have a project or a reason.”

Mary echoed this sentiment. Now both of them have a reason to go overseas and they’re both very excited and hoping the trip will be as rewarding as they expect it to be.

Each year WEA provides at least $15,000 to Restore One for the schools. Each member of the 10-person group is required to contribute at least $1200 which is $2400 between Mary and Myra.

They have already passed $3000 between them through a 100 club raffle which was drawn by Helen Oates of the Gilgandra CWA, social media advertising and a single “very generous donation.”

Despite comfortably reaching the required amount Mary and Myra decided that they “weren’t going to rest” and are hoping to donate as much money as possi- ble to this very good cause.

To help accomplish this they are going to run a soup luncheon later this month which will be supported by the CWA. 

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