The community hall was completed in 2018, and built in honour of Gavin and Lea and their children.
During the past 12 months, the Rhodes family have been rallying friends and colleagues to raise money to build the hall, which provides a central gathering place for local children and families. They took part in events such as the City2Surf in Sydney as part of their fundraising efforts.
How has fundraising helped the Rhodes family heal?
The hall is now the home of the village youth group, a meeting spot for community leaders, and a venue for teacher training, sanitation and hygiene education and other awareness-raising initiatives.
For the Rhodes family fundraising for ChildFund has been a healing experience, allowing them to channel their grief into something positive.
The hall is the second project the Rhodes family have supported in this village through ChildFund. In 2015 they built a preschool – the first of its kind in the community to provide early education to children – also in honour of Gavin and his family.
Geoff says the success of their fundraising efforts for ChildFund has been because their supporters have been able to see tangible results.
“The most important thing for them is that they know that if they donate money to a Rhodes fundraiser they see a concrete result,” he says. “The money doesn’t disappear into an enormous pit where no one knows where the money has gone.”
And for Geoff and his family, despite the terrible circumstances, they now have a lifelong connection to Laos, with further plans to support children and families in the country already in discussion.
“We can’t support the world, but we can help give one village a boost,” Geoff says.
What could you do to help one village?
Geoff is right when he says it’s impossible to support the world, but have you ever thought about how could you help one village?
Imagine a hungry child fed, an unsafe water supply filtered, and a thriving community of happy, safe and educated children. That’s what you can provide by donating a charity gift to a community in need.
All it takes is one gift:
- Water filter: A source of clean water is essential for any community to thrive and survive.
- Fruit trees: Seeds will grow into mango, banana, guava and orange trees, enough to feed several families in the community.
- 20 library books: Unleash the power of imagination and help children learn with a new collection of books for the village school.
- Pigs: These farm animals are a precious asset for families in need. Pigs produce piglets, which once sold will help pay for medicine, school fees and more.
There’s one more gift you can give, which will change the life of an entire village in Vietnam, Laos or Myanmar. ChildFund Australia offers a community sponsorship program, where you’ll help to tackle the root causes of child poverty in a single village, and create a self-sufficient community.
Why donate? Because helping one community can change the world.