ONE stall holder at Noosa Farmers Market recently spent two weeks in Cambodia helping make he future a little bright for underprivileged children.
Liila Phillips runs the children’s activities stall at the markets each Sunday and has been helping children in Cambodia, and Vietnam, for more than a decade.
“On this trip I helped 50 children sponsored by local people,” Ms Phillips said.
“People gave me $130 per child and the money went to by a bicycle, school bag with books and pencils, school uniforms and bike repair kit, toiletries and 15kg of rice.”
“These children walk miles and miles to school and have no money and it’s all to support them with getting an eduction.”
Ms Philips said most of the children, and their families, are impacted by AIDS and on this trips 40 of the 50 had HIV.
“I am mainly helping the kids with HIV and especially the ones with no parents as they have died from AIDS already,” she said.
“Half of them had no parents and a grandparent was raising them.”
This is Ms Philip’s seventh year travelling to Cambodia and she is assisted by Red Cross in Kampot to find children in need.
The work Ms Philips does is entirely self funded and it is through word-of-mouth and friends that she raises enough to sponsor each child.
“A lot of people who sponsor a child help again and some have helped for years,” she said.
“This year about 12 people from the markets sponsored a child.”
“On my return I make a certificate of appreciation for each person that has sponsored a child and on that is a picture of them receiving there goods and a short profile about them.”
Ms Philips began helping underprivileged children in 2002 and did 10 years volunteering in Vietnam.
“It started by me seeing a story about sewing bags for Vietnam orphans and went from there,” she said.
“I volunteered in an orphanage and helped kids with education and built houses for very needy people.”
Ms Philips said she is for the continued support.