GWU Student Develops Business Plan for Disabled Children in Cambodia

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Tessa Walsh (‘19) Gains Practical Experience for Career in Missions

BOILING SPRINGS—A seven-week summer internship in Cambodia gave a member of the Gardner-Webb Swim team an opportunity to gain practical experience for a career in missions. Tessa Walsh (’19), a global studies major and business administration minor from Blacksburg, Va., worked with Lina’s Hope, a Christian non-profit organization that cares for children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities.

She chronicled her experiences by writing a blog and a journal. In one journal entry, Walsh explained how this trip differed from others she has taken. “This trip wasn’t about me. People didn’t stop and go out of their way for me as much, rather I was working for them,” she wrote. “I was given tasks to do, projects to accomplish, and jobs to complete. I enjoyed that and it fostered my task-based personality.”

Walsh learned the language and observed the culture. She assisted with caring for the children, developed two videos, created a photo display and organized a playroom at the center. Her main project was to help the children at Lina’s Hope develop a business plan to provide additional income for the center. The children decided they wanted to plant a garden and sell the produce.

Through a GoFundMe account set up by Walsh, the group collected donations to buy seeds, soil and wood to make raised beds. The children will sell the vegetables to their cook first and then sell drinks and whatever produce is left to the community. “While I won’t be there while this is happening, I’m praying that the kids hold on to their dream and follow through,” Walsh stated in her journal. “They sent a picture recently, and it appears to be headed in the right direction.”

Lina’s Hope is a school and therapy center for children with disabilities, specifically brain injury, in Kampot, Cambodia. To learn more visit the Facebook page, click here.

To read Tessa Walsh’s blog, “Life in Cambodia,” click here.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).