Whaddon teacher volunteering in Cambodia raising money for trip home

Hannah Harries from Whaddon volunteers at a school in Cambodia, working with many orphaned children

Hannah Harries from Whaddon volunteers at a school in Cambodia, working with many orphaned children who are HIV positive. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

A Whaddon teacher who has spent a year working with orphans in Cambodia is raising money for a trip home.

Hannah Harries from Whaddon volunteers at a school in Cambodia, working with many orphaned children

Hannah Harries from Whaddon volunteers at a school in Cambodia, working with many orphaned children who are HIV positive. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

Hannah Harries volunteered with the charity New Hope for Cambodian Children, working at a school within an orphanage in a village near Phnom Penh.

Her last visit home at Christmas was aided by the Rotary Club of Royston, and they are helping her raise money for a return visit home – as she will need to pay a deposit to re-enter Cambodia.

Hannah said: “My brother and his wife, who live in Ampthill, just had a little baby girl named Layla and I am yet to meet her! But of course, a huge part of my heart is here in Cambodia now and I can’t even begin to imagine not being able to return to work with these children.

“I have contacted Royston Rotary, who have been so generous in the past, in the hope that they can help once again. The issue is this –due to COVID, travelling in and out of Cambodia has become very difficult.

Hannah Harries from Whaddon volunteers at a school in Cambodia, working with many orphaned children

Hannah Harries from Whaddon volunteers at a school in Cambodia, working with many orphaned children who are HIV positive. Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant


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“If you leave to go home, then to re-enter Cambodia as a non-citizen you have to pay a deposit of $2,000! This money is then returned if no one on your flight tests positive for the virus.

“I’m trying everything I can to raise this deposit money and reaching out to everyone I know.”

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Hannah joined Lattitude Global Volunteering after leaving Bassingbourn Village College and travelled to Malawi, where she helped build a school. The charity in Cambodia Hannah now works for six years on was founded by John and Kathy Tucker, who aimed to help adults with AIDS but realised they died leaving behind children with no one to care for them, some of whom are also infected with HIV.

At the school where Hannah currently works, three hundred children have tested HIV positive.

She said: “The spirit of the children here – despite all the hardship they have faced losing loved ones and living day by day with incurable illness – is truly inspiring.”

The Royston Rotary Club plans to donate £350 towards Hannah’s deposit money.

Former Rotary Club president David Blundell said: “We were fascinated by Hannah’s story when she came to speak to us last year. She is a truly amazing young lady and we would like to do whatever we can to go on supporting her.”

To help Hannah go to https://newhopeforcambodianchildren.org/

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