Teaching English to Buddhist Monks in Cambodia
Volunteering in Cambodia is a great opportunity for volunteers who wish to make a difference in the lives of a community where poverty is a major concern. CW Abroad offers volunteering projects in orphanages, hospitals and clinics, but also in the field of IT and social work. There are also environmentally-oriented projects, and others focused on town planning and architecture. Alternatively, volunteers may teach English or other trades to children and young people in the community.
Being a volunteer in such a culturally different location is certainly a challenge. Schools, hospitals and other facilities are poorly resourced, and the funding sources are limited. This is why it is crucial that volunteers are creative to bring initiative and flexibility to each project.
This is a one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to broaden your international experience, either to prepare for higher education or for personal growth. Be a volunteer in Cambodia and help this population who needs help of any kind.
What’s included in our fair-cost policy?
All our programs include a fixed price Registration Fee of US$249 and a Program Fee that varies according to the duration of the program and the services included.
The Registration Fee covers the costs of all that Connecting Worlds has to do in order to organise the experience in an efficient manner and offer each participant a quality program. These costs include marketing, staff salaries, travel costs of staff who visit and inspect each of the programs on offer and Connecting Worlds’ solidarity fund among others. We need this fee just to sustain the organization.
The Program Fee is the total cost of everything related to the services that the volunteer will be able to take advantage of upon arrival to the destination of their choice. For example, accommodation, meals, transfers, the donation made to the volunteer project, welcome orientation and constant 24/7 support. The payment for this fee goes directly to the country in which the volunteer will be stationed, directly benefiting the local community. It’s a fee which helps organisations that work in the country associated with the program at hand to move forwards with their projects and generate work opportunities for the local community.
Thanks to our fair-cost policy, the volunteer benefits from not having to pay high fees and our local partners benefit from being able to invest in their projects and keep things moving forwards. Connecting Worlds also benefits from keeping the costs of its programs as low as possible because we get the opportunity to support local communities and make a difference in our own small but important way.
Buddhism is the national religion in Cambodia, with a 95% of the population believing in Theravada Buddhism. Pagodas (Buddhist temples) are not only important for religious reasons, but also for educational purposes. In these places, monks have the opportunity to study, which would not have been possible if they were not monks, so Buddhism is more than a religion in this country.
After the catastrophe caused by the Khmer Rouge period, most monks had been killed and most all temples were ruined. However, Buddhism managed to become the national religion once again and most Buddhist young men are expected to be monks at some point in their lives. Monks are highly respected in society.
Volunteers will teach at the Pagodas for 3 to 4 hours a day, both to old and young monks. They will have to prepare a lesson plan for each class, to develop the students’ elementary English abilities and help them improve their conversation skills.
Every volunteer program starts on the first and third Monday of every month. The duration of each program may be from 2 to 24 weeks. Participants must be at least 18 years old to volunteer, unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. It is necessary that all volunteers obtain an appropriate volunteer travel insurance and submit a clean criminal background check to CW’s local staff as soon as they arrive in Cambodia.
Our programs in Cambodia allow our volunteers to live and participate in the natives’ daily lives and activities, while helping the ones in need achieve a better quality of life.
Our local Cambodian team will host Orientation at the volunteer house in Phnom Penh. This will take place in the morning of the day you wish to start and volunteers will be told everything they should know about their program in Cambodia: an introduction to the country, their culture, customs, rules, social expectations, safety in the village, touristic attractions to visit, and information about the project. This orientation event will also be an opportunity to meet other volunteers and make connections to socialize or travel together on a weekend.
Accommodation in this project may be in volunteer houses or home-stays with other fellow volunteers. Volunteer houses are equipped with electricity, water and Internet access, and rooms are normally shared with one or two other volunteers. Bedrooms may have single beds or bunk beds, and, because of the warm climate, they will usually include only a bottom bed-sheet and a pillow.
Volunteers may also stay with host families, who have been approved by the CW Abroad’s local team. Most home-stays have electricity, water and western bathrooms. Some rural houses cannot offer electricity or water because of droughts.
As part of their participation in this project in Cambodia, volunteers are offered three meals a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Breakfast normally involves fruit and bread. A typical lunch meal will consist of rice or noodles with meat or fried vegetables. Dinner may be quite diverse at a volunteer house, but if you stay with a host family, a traditional Khmer dinner may include all sorts of salty, sweet, sour and bitter flavors in soup, rice, vegetables and meat. Dessert may consist of fresh fruits with sticky rice. If you have any special dietary requirement, let us know in advance upon application in this program so the meals can be arranged for you.
Depending on each project, volunteer work an average of three to six daily hours from Monday to Friday. Some flexibility is possible and on volunteers request they can negotiate some modifications in their schedules, in order to accommodate their traveling plans.
Evenings and weekends are free and volunteers can use their spare time to socialize and visit some of the cultural attractions available in the city and its surroundings. Just to mention a few options there are the Mela House, a fantastically original Arts, Communications and Media Center near the Phnom Penh’s riverbank and the Royal Palace, both located in the city center and within walking distance from one another.
They can also venture a bit farther away from the buzzle of the city and relax at the beautiful beaches in the Southern Provinces of Sihanouk Ville and Kep or Kep-sur-Mer, as was called during the French Colony.
On arrival at the airport volunteers will be received by a member of our local staff and led to their accommodation place.
Before starting the volunteering activities at their respective projects, they will receive a two-days course where they’ll be filled in with all relevant details about the local culture and history, some basic rules and safety tips, a brief introduction to the Khmer language and go on a city tour.
-Cambodia is a small country bordered by Thailand to the west and northwest, Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the south.
-Their flag is the only national flag that shows the image of a building: the Angkor Wat!
-There are over 14 million Khmer citizens in Cambodia.
-Children under 15 make up around 50% of the current population in Cambodia.
-The four-year rule of the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979) led to what is known as the Cambodian Genocide: at least one-fifth of Cambodia’s population was killed. They were mostly members of ethnic groups, people from the cities, and religious leaders such as priests, and monks.
For more information, visit the following link:http://www.cwabroad.org/cambodia-p-49.html
|Volunteer duration||Program Fee USD*|
*Please note: All Volunteer programs in Cambodia attract a refundable* Registration Fee of USD 249 on top of the program Fee. A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.You can calculate the value of your currency in US dollar using this currency convertor.
*Please read our refund policy.
What do my fees pay for?
Registration Fee: Discounted program fees, Support and guidance from CW staff, program marketing costs, staff salary, pre-departure assistance, CW Solidarity Fund, administration costs, travel costs to inspect programs and communication costs with volunteers.
Program Fee: Accommodation at the volunteer house, 3 meals per day, airport pick-up, orientation, program supervision, in-country 24/7 volunteer support and in-country administration costs.
What’s no included: Air tickets, Vaccinations, Certificate of Good conduct, Visa, Local travels, transfer back to the airport at conclusion of program, Personal expenses and International Insurance against sickness, accident and 3er party liability. In addition to providing health insurance, the plan must cover medical evacuation and repatriation. Our participants in Cambodia generally find USD 30 to be sufficient for basic weekly expenses.