It’s amazing hearing from Emily all the way in Cambodia who is doing wonderful things from a health education front, inspiring stuff and real eye opener hearing from her…
Emily is currently in rural Cambodia volunteering in Pursat for the next 6 months, working for an Organisation; Sustainable Cambodia – a Cambodian NGO that works with empowering rural villages on many different levels (safe water, hygiene, agricultural, income generation).
Emily teams with Cambodian health educators on a range of hygiene and empowerment issues, but with dental disease an endemic she shares the important message of good oral hygiene practices with village children and adults.
Emphasis HAS to be on a preventative approach as opposed to reactive dentistry as much of the rural population lives below the poverty line of $2 a day and cannot afford any sort of dental treatment.
Lack of education exists around brushing frequency, technique and how high sugar diets are contributing to rampant decay
The only water safe to drink, is bottled water or filtered rainwater = un-fluoridated
Among the rice paddies, palm trees and heavy humidity, it’s a different pace to Melbourne where she often misses being chair-side with TDC team and the wonderful patients.
The experience is both heartbreaking and heartwarming, but she cherishes the time sharing knowledge among the village children and adults, with only their beaming smiles and warmth as gratitude.
‘In terms of life here in Cambodia, my heart breaks every day. From that though, I’ve learnt a lot more about resilience, impact and positivity. I mainly work with the health education team and the next project of main focus is securing some corporate sponsorship and doing fundraising for toothbrushes and toothpaste to go with oral hygiene instruction. Most villagers have one TB per family, don’t know how to use it, nor understand the importance’
It’s not all work though! Cambodian people are hilarious, warm people and I’ve made some dear friends! The town I live in is also stunning – beautiful temples, rivers, rice paddy fields, traditional houses and waterfalls about.’