Cambodian Housing Funds Raised Ahead of Joint Immersion

The Winning Team at the YML Trivia Night at the Mercy Hub


In December this year, 12 members from Young Mercy Links (YML), both South Australia and Victoria, will partake in a 10-day visit to Cambodia in the first joint immersion between the two groups. Before they go they have set a target of $8000 to raise money for Cambodia’s Jesuit Refugee Services’ Housing Project.


YML has a long-standing relationship with Cambodia’s Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) through our connection with Mercy Sister Denise Coghlan. The JRS advocates for reconciliation in Cambodia after the genocide that took place during the Cambodian civil war and under the Khmer Rouge regime (1975 – 1979).


YML has taken members to Cambodia in both 2018 and 2019 to learn about the history, culture and current peace initiatives within the Cambodian region. After years of not being able to travel, this December, 12 members from YML will again partake in a 10-day immersion in Cambodia. We are very excited as the participants of this trip will comprise of members from both YML South Australia and Victoria; this is our first joint immersion.


Together, we will visit significant landmarks in Phnom Penh to gain an understanding of the impacts of the Cambodian civil war. We will then visit Sister Denise Coghlan and local Cambodian staff in Siem Reap at Metta Karuna Reflection Centre run by the JRS. During our time there, we will support the JRS in the construction of a house for a family experiencing poverty in the Cambodian countryside and learn about the advocacy work of the JRS to ban land mines.


YML has set a fundraising goal of $8000 for Cambodia’s JRS house building project.


‘Paint n Sip’ fundraiser in Adelaide


To effectively contribute toward reaching this goal, YML SA hosted a ‘Paint n Sip’ fundraiser. This initiative was an engaging way to not only raise funds, but also raise awareness about the current hardships faced by many civilians in Cambodia. Here, we successfully raised a total of $3450. Hosted at St Aloysius College and facilitated by their art teachers, this fundraiser was also a great way to collaborate with our local Mercy school. In the coming months as the weather warms, YML SA will also be hosting a ‘Yoga in the Park’ fundraiser for this cause.


YML Trivia night in Adelaide


Likewise, YML Vic held a very successful trivia night fundraiser at the Mercy Hub in Carlton. We had 50 attendees making up nine teams vying for the ultimate bragging rights and the world’s smallest trophy. We raised $2000 to go towards our target through ticket sales, donations, a snack bar, preordered grazing platters and a ‘guess the number of lollies in the jar’. The group will also have a follow up yoga class fundraiser next month hosted by St Aloysius North Melbourne.


Prior to December, our fabulous co-ordinators, Angela Scarafilo and Gaby Kinsman, have organised preparatory information sessions, including a Khmer language lesson and a building skills workshop. The group is enthusiastic to learn more prior to undertaking the well anticipated immersion.



Maya Murali
Young Mercy Links South Australia
Program Support Co-ordinator
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