Perspective and Connection - Me and My Son on the B1G1 Study Tour of Cambodia

Business Stories May 27, 2024

Embarking on the study tour to Cambodia wasn't just a journey—it was a whirlwind of heartwarming experiences that left us with a new perspective and lasting memories. With my 10-year-old son Archer by my side, we leapt from our comfortable lives in Sydney into a world of impact and inspiration.

David and Archer painting the triangle structure for a swing set at Phnum Leab Primary School.

Stories of Personal Aspiration

Our adventure highlights included a visit to Puok High School, where we sat down with students to hear their stories and personal aspirations. Despite facing challenges like nothing Archer and I would ever know, these students are navigating poverty and juggling family pressures to pursue farming duties with resilience that shone through. The contrast of these challenging circumstances was a clear reminder of the power of determination in the face of adversity.

Building a Playground

One of our greatest memories is the day we rolled up our sleeves at Phnum Leab Primary School to build a playground. Whoa! That was something else. I have never sweated like that before in my life… the heat and humidity mixed with the joy from the students was an incredible experience. Digging holes, pouring concrete, and painting swings together turned into a colourful celebration simply by creating a space where the kids could play and have fun. We left knowing as a team we just created a space where their imaginations could soar and a little joy added to a barren and harsh playground.

David and some locals install a seesaw at the Phnum Leab Primary School’s new playground.

The Gift of Bikes

The most individual touching moment was donating push bikes to children who braved long journeys walking from their village to attend school. Through the support of ‘This Life Cambodia’, we witnessed their excitement as 14 kids were gifted bikes and our hearts were truly filled with gratitude, knowing that these simple gifts would make a world of difference in their daily lives. The simplicity of a bike meaning so much to these kids was not lost on Archer.

Study tour participants ride bikes alongside students.

As our journey came to a close, we reflected on the profound impact of our experiences and the connections we had forged along the way. With hearts full of gratitude, we spent the final morning watching the sun rise behind the ancient temples of Angkor Wat. A serene experience to reflect on the week and the opportunity to make a small difference, but memories that would last our lifetime.

A Fresh Perspective

Now we are back home, Archer and I still share anecdotes and funny memories that connect us. He recently changed schools and complained about needing to catch a bus, but a quick comparison to the dusty bike ride or the need to defy the odds and fight for education in Cambodia quickly provides perspective. As a parent, connection is key to communicating with kids and there is no greater bond than an experience like this creates.

Participants explore the Angkor Wat temple complex on the last day of the B1G1 Study Tour.

Gratefulness and Connection

Our B1G1 adventure to see the projects of Cambodia was a testament to the power of giving and the joy of connecting with communities in need. Having my son with me, every moment was an opportunity, reminding us that together our lives aren’t too bad. Archer may want for the next Xbox or sports shoes, but through this experience, he acknowledges these are material items. We can all get caught up in the race for bigger and better, but this experience shows we should be grateful and give more than we take in this world. Thank you to Masami, Paul, and the B1G1 team for the opportunity.

David and Archer with B1G1 founders Masami Sato and Paul Dunn.

Lastly, if you have read this far… I wholeheartedly urge you to sign up for the next study tour . If you’re in a position where you can take someone from the next generation with you - be that a niece, a godson, a daughter, or a family friend, it will enrich your lives together through perspective and connection.

If you’re interested in becoming a Business for Good, complete the Giving Plan below. We’ll send you a personalized plan to help get you started.

David Low

David is an enthusiastic B1G1 member passionate about purpose-driven businesses. A sports enthusiast, he enjoys spending his free time with his expanding family.

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