Volunteering 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.
Volunteers on the Teaching English project work with children who do not have the opportunity to learn English, a most sought after skill for jobs in Cambodia. They will work in orphanages and schools where assistance is needed to improve the students’ English skills.
The high levels of poverty and unemployment have rendered many parents unable to afford education for their children. In some cases, volunteers will not only teach English, but also share their knowledge in other subjects they know, such as Information Technology, Mathematics or Art. These schools in Cambodia are open all year round except for public holidays.
Volunteers’ responsibility within the program will increase the longer they participate in the program. They will have to plan their classes and devote some time to that planning every day. Still, as CW’s local team guides them, volunteers are not required to have experience in teaching or hold any qualifications. However, we encourage volunteers to complete some relevant training before arrival, such as a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) certificate.
Our local partner works in cooperation more than 40 local NGOs and they can offer volunteer placements for many projects including education, assisting the community, raising awareness against HIV/AIDS and other health issues, or developing environmental sustainability.
NGOs in Cambodia are usually economically limited and have difficulties to receive help from international funding sources to run their projects. They need the support of many volunteers, to raise the necessary funds by writing proposal letters, and to research, administer and develop the organizations as well.
In this program, volunteers work varies based on their skills and interests, but also on how long their stay is. They may work from 3 to 8 hours every day. If they decide to stay for less than two months, volunteers will most probably assist with their English language skills at the NGO; that is, they will be writing proposals, reports or teaching English to other volunteers, among other activities.
If volunteers stay for more than two months, they will be able to become better involved and more independent within the Organization. They may also have the possibility of being part of some field-based research.
It is worth mentioning that NGOs are assigned volunteers based on how suitable and needed they are. Volunteers have to join the project for at least 5 weeks and bring their own laptops. We consider each volunteer’s interests, educational background, skills and experience. They should be at least 19 years old and have relevant studies or job experience, in the area they are willing to be work in!
Volunteers on the Childcare project are sought after to assist children that live in orphanages or daycare centers. HIV is a serious issue in Cambodia, and many children have lost their parents because of it. Many other children live in poverty and their parents cannot afford their education and basic needs.
As part of this project, volunteers work from 4 to 8 hours and have a 2-hour lunch break every day. Their activities are mainly focused on preparing meals, cleaning, looking after the children, teaching and helping them with their homework, and carrying out other artistic, sporty or creative tasks.
Most placements will focus on education and children will be taught to read and write in Khmer and develop their English language skills as well. Classes may cover topics such as hygiene, morality and Khmer traditions, as well as include visits to the beach or other nearby locations.
The Special Needs Care project in Cambodia is ideal for volunteers who are looking for a rewarding experience in relation to children and education. The main focus of this program is to work and interact with children with special needs from 5 to 18 years of age.
This is a more challenging program, as volunteers will have to assist physically or mentally challenged children whose conditions may include cerebral palsy, autism, Down syndrome, and blindness. Volunteers will teach these children in small groups for the most individualized teaching and attention.
Some activities that volunteers are needed for include dressing, feeding and washing the children. As disabled people are often rejected in Cambodian society, children are always very pleased to meet friendly volunteers and be in their company. Volunteers may also help local teachers in preparing their classes, and those who have skills and experience in therapeutic treatments will be able to work individually with the children at the care center.
The 1960s meant the destruction of the Cambodian social structure. During the Vietnam War, Cambodia suffered a civil war and the Khmer Rouge seized power leading to the Cambodian genocide. Unfortunately, many medical doctors and health professionals were killed at that time and now Cambodian health services cannot comply with international regulations.
Being a volunteer in Cambodia is ideal for those who wish to help some of the poorest medical institutions in Southern Asia. The responsibilities of each volunteer will vary based on their educational background and experience, but in general terms, they will work together with nurses and doctors and will be able to observe how work is carried out in many departments.
To be able to participate, volunteers are required to have completed at least one year of medical school, nursing or some other health-related training. Volunteers who wish to assist in the Surgery department are required to have at least 3 years of previous experience.
The main objective of this project is to promote education to prevent HIV/AIDS and to bring support for those who suffer from it. The number of victims of this disease in Cambodia is among the highest in Asia, so our aim is to make health centers and the community staff to work together for the same cause.
Volunteers will mainly assist in creating marketing materials and other administrative work such as maintaining the website and writing reports, although these activities will depend on the needs of the local organization. CW’s local team encourages volunteers to bring and introduce as many new ideas and helpful activities as necessary.
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.
Volunteers for the Medical health Care Program must provide relevant certifications to prove their professional qualifications and experience.
A good command of the English language is required for most programs.
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*|
For Medical Project, there is an additional fee of USD 200 for the first month and USD 100 additional fee for each following month. This money is used to support the hospital.
*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.