Bow student’s Cambodian trip to help children

Rebecca Knill helping an infant in Cambodia

Rebecca Knill helping an infant in Cambodia - Credit: Archant

City University graduate and qualified language and speech therapist, Rebecca Knill, travelled overseas to put her skills to good use helping children in Cambodia.

Rebecca, 22, of Vivian Road, Bow, spent four months helping children who were born with cleft lips and cleft palates with their speech development and worked in hospitals across the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.

She worked with infants in the Children’s Surgical Centre and the National Paediatric Hospital, where she also trained local Speech Advisors and gave advice to parents.

Rebecca described speech and language therapy as “vital to children’s development,” as it can also affect their ability to feed, which can lead to malnutrition.

She said: “It is rewarding to have been able to provide advice, resources and therapy for infants with cleft lips and palates, and deliver training to hospital staff so the treatment programme can be maintained in the future.”

There is an extreme lack of resources and awareness for speech therapy in Cambodia and the role of qualified volunteers like Rebecca is crucial in helping children with the condition develop their ability to communicate.

Grants Officer for Tower Hamlets Schenell Stephens said, “Congratulations to Rebecca for using her acquired skills and education to make a positive difference to the lives of children and the parents in Cambodia for years to come.”

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Her project was funded by a volunteering grant of £300 from the Jack Petchey Foundation.