Roaming gnomes for Cambodian youth

Emma Oxenburgh, from Trinity North Uniting Church, will be broadening her horizons early next year when she travels with World Vision to visit youth programs in Cambodia. She will travel with ten other  Australians, along with five Cambodians, all aged between 18–25.

Emma is currently studying a double major in marketing and international communications at the University of Western Australia (UWA), and has recently done an internship with Reconciliation WA. She has a keen interest in ethical travel and international community development.

She said that the trip is not a ‘voluntouring’ (volunteering plus travel) experience, but rather an opportunity to learn more about Cambodia and the projects that World Vision supports there.

Emma said she’s keen to add some real life experiences and a human perspective to her textbook experiences gained while studying at university.

“What I learn is very practical and theoretical. I feel like [this trip will] actually go in to put it in practice,” she said. “You’re actually experiencing what you’re learning, and that’s what I’m excited about.”

While in Cambodia, Emma will explore cultural sites, and also see the work of World Vision first-hand, engaging with issues such as trafficking, fair trade, health, youth unemployment and child rights. She’ll also   collaborate in a community project with Cambodian youth.

Emma is currently fundraising for the projects she will be visiting with some creative ‘roaming Gnomes’. Emma’s friends, family and church community have already embraced the idea, as gnomes appear on   doorsteps, with residents asked to pay a ‘ransom’ to either have the gnome removed or passed onto someone else.

The fundraiser has raised $800 at the time of going to print as the gnomes have been seeing the city sights. You can follow their progress on Facebook; search for The Roaming Gnomes.

A Mad Hatters Tea Party will also be held on Saturday 15 October, 2.30pm at Trinity North Uniting Church, Greenwood Worship Centre. Come along wearing your craziest hat while drinking from your craziest   mug. To purchase tickets and to donate to the World Vision projects that Emma will be visiting visit

Heather Dowling

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