ARARAT - Living and working at an orphanage in Cambodia is not the usual way to spend your January break, but that is exactly what two young Ararat women are doing this summer.
Ellie Price and Abby Main have spent the past few months fundraising, prior to leaving for Cambodia last week, where they will live and work at the Child Rescue Center in Kompong Chanang Province for the next few weeks.
During their stay at the orphanage the girls' duties will include teaching, caring and organising activities for the children.
Last year Ms Main told The Ararat Advertiser that Cambodia has an incredibly high number of orphans comparative to population.
"Many children have lost their parents due to HIV, while other parents cannot provide food, accommodation and education for their children," she said.
Over the past few months the girls conducted a number of fundraising activities and have managed to collect more than $5000, which will help to purchase supplies and equipment for the orphanage, such as educational, art, craft and sporting equipment.
The fundraising effort was boosted by the Rotary Club of Ararat last week when the girls were presented with cheque for $500 from the club.
Rotary president Ange Stacpoole said the donation had been organised through Rotarian Shane McMahon, who heard about the girls' project last year and invited them to make a presentation to the club, after which the club was pleased to offer its support.
Ms Stacpoole said the money will go towards building a room onto the side of the orphanage and in future the club hopes to increase its support of the orphanage.
"We are currently corresponding with Rotary in Cambodia to look at furthering what Abby and Ellie are doing over there," she said.
"It seems like it is an orphanage that really does need some help."
To follow Ellie and Abby's work in Cambodia, find their Facebook fundraising page at www.facebook.com/cambodianorphanagefundraiser