Walk boosts Peter’s fund for Cambodian ‘dumpsters’

Journey’s end: Peter Harris (right) at the outskirts of Santiago and )left) with Liz Sayers who also

Journey’s end: Peter Harris (right) at the outskirts of Santiago and )left) with Liz Sayers who also completed the walk. - Credit: Archant

An Ely-based education consultant certainly went the extra mile to raise for an orphanage in Cambodia - and he got the blisters to prove it.

Peter Harris was sponsored to walk 130 kilometres in five days across the Camino, the pilgrims’ route to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, the latest in a series of challenges to raise funds for the Centre for Children’s Happiness (CCH ), an orphanage and school in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.

CCH’s latest project is housing and a community centre for up to 60 families. Building is nearly complete and Peter has set himself a target of $10,000 to finish the work.

“The hills made this a tough challenge, and it was unseasonably hot - over 30 degrees,” said Peter. “On day three my phone app recorded 33.5km and 47,108 steps. I’d picked up a couple of blisters by then and it took all my willpower to keep walking and that stretch took 12 hours.”

But it proved worth it as Peter has raised well over half his $10,000 target and the next fund raising venture will be a dinner with a Cambodian menu on 9 November.

Peter, who came to Ely as founder director of King’s International Study Centre, has supported the work of CCH for the past ten years. It gives a home and education to children, most of them orphans, living on or near the ‘smoking mountain’ - the city’s rubbish dumps.

“I travel all over the world and I am often in Asia, but nowhere has touched my heart quite like CCH which houses, nurtures, feeds, clothes and educates the ‘dumpsters’,” said Peter.

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There are over 80 children living in the homes and a further 70 from impoverished families nearby who go to CCH for an education. Six former ‘dumpsters’ have won full scholarships to study at universities in the USA and some older children are also supported to go on to vocational training, in the Cambodian coastal resort of Sihanoukville.

He is always happy to spread the word about CCH and has already lined up talks to community groups in Ely, March and Soham.

Any individual or group who would like to hear more about Peter’s appeal and the work of CCH can contact him via PJHELY@gmail.com