Travel With A Purpose
Love in Cambodia
Volunteer in Cambodia
Cambodia is one of the most exciting countries in Asia, offering beautiful landscapes dotted with rice paddies, sugar palms and beautiful beaches, all accompanied by a rich cultural heritage. It is also one of the most popular overseas volunteering destinations in the world. It is located in south East Asia, neighboured by Thailand to the west, and Laos to the north and Vietnam to the east.
Capital City: Phnom Penh
Population: 15 Million
Currency: Riel (KHR)
Total GDP (PPP) (2013): US$43.20 billion
GDP (PPP) per capita (2013): US$2,776
Major exports (2013): Rice, Fish, Rubber,
Garments, and Forestry Products.
About the Cambodia Program
Location: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap
Duration: 1 week +
Starting time: 1st and 3rd Monday of each month
Accommodation: Volunteer Guesthouse
Meals: 3 meals daily
Working in a School or childcare
Medical and Health
Teaching English to Buddhist Monks
Microfinance and Income Generation
Painting and Construction
We hold a one day orientation session. It takes place on the first Monday of your volunteering placement. The itinerary for the orientation including: introduction, getting around in Cambodia, Cambodian history, practical information, cultural dos and don’ts, a basic Khmer language lesson, group discussions, market exploration, lunch, mobile phone and/or sim card purchase, city tour and welcome dinner at a Khmer restaurant.
Working in a School/Childcare
The Cambodian government is currently not able to provide all its citizens with education. Both young children and adults are keen to develop their skills, especially English, as a way out of poverty. This has led to a large requirement for volunteers to help teach specific skills, including English, but also computer literacy, mathematics and arts, among others.
Volunteers teach English at a level suited to their skill and experience. In this programme, volunteers may work on their own, teaching a whole class or small groups, or alongside other teachers and volunteers. In some schools volunteers prepare and correct tests and exams.
After many years of war in Cambodia, many children were left without their parents or other family members. As a result, orphanages were established to help foster and raise the Cambodian youth. Even after the wars, many children are sent to live at these centres due to their family’s poverty and because their parents hope they will receive a good education in the orphanage. We want to try our best to support families in keeping their children at home while also helping the children still living in child care centres.
Volunteers working in centres help with the general work. The type and duration of work depends on the project chosen and the centre location, with a standard volunteering day being 4-6 hours. Depending on your individual interests and skills as well as the needs of the local staff, your daily activities might include caring for the children, playing games, helping with homework, teaching English, drawing pictures, teaching geography or sports, singing and teaching songs or creating activities. Volunteers may also need to help with practical tasks including preparing meals and cleaning up.
Caring for Disabled Children
As the health care system in Cambodia is still very basic, treatment for people with disabilities is lacking. It is difficult for families to care for their disabled children at home, so a large number of disabled children live in care facilities. The centre provides more appropriate living conditions for the children including housing, food and nursing. Daily medical care is also available. Recreational activities are created to improve the living environment. Volunteers assist the local staff to help care for the children.
Volunteers will help in the centre wherever it is needed. Volunteers work approximately four to six hours a day. Most centres expect the volunteers to play with the kids, create activities for them and help with tasks including feeding, moving and cleaning up. Volunteers may assist with rehabilitation and therapy exercises depending on their skills and experience.
Medical and Health
The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Cambodia is among the highest of any Asian country. We advocate for community action against HIV/AIDS, bringing together health centres and community personnel to work together and to focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and support.
Volunteers work with the local staff and are encouraged to introduce new ideas and activities. Depending on the needs of the organization, volunteers also help with creating marketing materials as well as administrative and operational work such as basic website maintenance and report writing.
Working in a Hospital
During the Vietnam War at the end of the 1960s, Cambodia was hit by civil war. Subsequently, the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot seized power and started experimenting with social engineering, completely destroying the social structure in Cambodia. Many doctors and educated medical professionals were killed. Nowadays, medical facilities and services in Cambodia do not meet international standards. Volunteering in Cambodia is an excellent way to become involved in some of the poorest medical institutions in the developing world. Cambodia has a limited number of internationally-run hospitals that can provide basic medical care and stabilization.
The responsibilities at the hospital will vary depending on your background and previous experience. Volunteers generally work alongside the nurses and doctors and will have the opportunity to observe work in many departments.
Teaching English to Buddhist Monks
In Cambodia, Buddhism is the national religion. 95% of the Cambodians believe in Theravada Buddhism, and the monks hold an important place in society. Buddhism is more than just a religion for Cambodians. Pagodas (Buddhist temples) are also important for education; many monks have the opportunity to study which they would otherwise not have. During the Khmer Rouge period the majority of monks were killed and most all temples destroyed. After this, Buddhism once again became the state religion, and even now every Buddhist boy is expected to be a monk for a period in his life. Volunteers will teach English language classes in the pagodas.
Volunteers teach approximately 3-4 hours per day. Volunteers teach English to the monks, both old and young. The level of English will vary depending on which class they are assigned, but the goal is to improve the monks’ English conversational skills. Volunteers should prepare a lesson plan for each lesson. It is important to note that the monks are highly respected, and the same respect will be expected from you, regardless of your religious beliefs.
After the Vietnam War, the Khmer Rouge Regime and several years of civil war, Cambodia has many problems to cope with: a weak democracy, rampant corruption and extreme poverty are some of the most pressing. Nevertheless, Cambodia’s economy is growing rapidly and plenty of local and international NGOs are working here to help put an end to these issues. By working with these NGOs we hope to give you a better understanding of the issues at hand and how to work towards solving them.
The local NGOs usually have limited financial resources. They often struggle to run their programmes and to raise funds from international donors. Many staff members are volunteers themselves, receiving no or a very small salary. All NGOs urgently need support from volunteers to work in fundraising, proposal writing, organizational development, administration, and community development. Your responsibilities as a volunteer depends on your skills and interests as well as your length of stay. For example: If you only stay a few weeks you will mainly help using your English skills, supporting an organization by writing proposals for fundraising, case studies and reports. You may also help with IT skills, teach English to the staff or do research on the success of the programmes or future plans. Besides this you may visit the projects to get to get a first-hand idea of the problems that people are facing. If you stay for a longer period you will have chance to work within the human rights programmes. You organize the projects, observe them and evaluate them with the NGO.
Women play a key role in family and society. In both Cambodia and the rest of world women are responsible for raising children, caring for the family while often being the breadwinner of the family. Volunteers on this programme will work towards improved social and gender equality through advocacy, communication and promoting sharing of information. The programme is designed to help women exercise their rights while building competence, with the end goal of improved participation in social, economic and political life. Empowerment of women is seen as a key issue at both a federal and local level, but at-risk women still often rely on the support of local NGOs due to a lack of education and resources.
There are a wide variety of options available, with information about them available on request. Volunteers must be capable of and comfortable with working both in a team and independently. The type of work assigned depends on previous experience, skill set, availability as well as the needs of the placement organisation. English is often the most valuable skill for organisations for tasks such as proofreading and writing emails and proposals as well as general office assistance. Those staying longer with more skills may be required to help with or run specific projects, arrange campaigns or implement new initiatives. Field visits to where the organisation is working are often arranged.
Microfinance and Income Generation
Location: Phnom Penh
Duration: 4 to 24 weeks
35% of the Cambodian population, equivalent to the entire population of Finland, live under the poverty threshold. NGOs have started setting up microfinance projects to strengthen the private sector and local economy. Microfinance institutions lend money to the poor, primarily women, in the form of microloans. These microloans allow the recipient to start a small business or expand their current one.
Volunteers help with making business plans, writing proposals, assisting the programme directors, visiting the beneficiaries of the loans and interviewing communities that are part of the project. Depending on local needs, volunteers may also become involved in providing business consultations and training on opening savings accounts, running small businesses, evaluating loan applications, performing risk analyses, monitoring projects and overseeing repayment.
Painting and Construction (for group of 5 or more)
Location: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap
Duration: 1 to 12 weeks
Cambodia’s infrastructure is in an extremely poor state. Many buildings have still not been rebuilt after the many years of civil war. Many schools, hospitals and orphanages are not safe or suitable to use. Volunteers help improve buildings for the local community while experiencing the local culture and landscape.
Volunteers work four to six hours a day improving the atmosphere through exterior and interior artwork, painting, and renovations. Volunteers are also encouraged to paint educational and colourful designs to brighten up the building. The tasks depend on the construction need and the skills the volunteers bring.
Pre-departure Information & Visa Guidance
Administration and Cambodian salary support
Food and accommodation for volunteers
Donation to the volunteering place
Orientation, City Tour and Welcome Dinner
Onsite support from our local team
Free registration of another Asia Internship program within 2 years
Note: All programs require a Registration Fee of $200 USD on top of the Program Fee. A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
This registration fee allows you to participate in any of our other program without paying another registration fee within a period of 2 years.
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