Last updated 14/12/2012
Delia Murphy is a 20-year-old on a mission to end poverty.
The Glen Innes resident returned home last month after a self-funded trip to visit World Vision projects in Cambodia.
She is an intern for World Vision and says ending poverty has been her crusade for as long as she can remember.
"It's lovely how my passion has developed into something. It was hard going against the grain without a real career. I felt a bit like a salmon for a while."
She spent a week in November travelling with World Vision chief executive Chris Clarke, development senior adviser Seth Le Leu and two other volunteers.
The team spent the first day getting to know the history of Cambodia, which included a visit to the infamous Killing Fields where they saw a display of more than 9000 human skulls.
They also visited the Museum of Genocide on the site where Tuol Svay Pray High School was turned into the S-21 Prison by the Khmer Rouge in 1976.
Miss Murphy says while she was horrified by what she saw the positive attitude of the people blew her away.
"It's a nation that wants to forgive but not forget. There's something in their culture that we just don't understand."
A highlight was being able to dance and play with Chi Kreng village children on one of their last nights in Cambodia.
"Watching Chris teach the children some of our own childhood dances was amazing. We had a lot of fun with them."
Miss Murphy graduated from Epsom Girls Grammar in 2010 and spent two years working, travelling, and volunteering as the World Vision youth and schools co-ordinator once a week.
Next year Miss Murphy will begin a BA in political studies and sociology at Auckland University with the hopes of doing a postgraduate programme in development.
World Vision chief executive Chris Clarke says Miss Murphy was an ideal candidate for the Cambodia trip.
"We want young people saying ‘I want to make a difference here. I want to give something of myself'. We want to keep it grassroots."
Go to worldvision.org.nz for more information about the World Vision internship programmes.
- © Fairfax NZ News