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Volunteer work in Cambodia

Looking for places to volunteer for a few months from April 2010 in an orphanage or teaching English.
14 years ago, December 28th 2009 No: 1 Msg: #97615  
Does anybody know of any volunteer programs which help the children of Cambodia but dont cost obscene amounts of money. I will be in cambodia for several months from April and would love to help the kids of Cambodia. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks Reply to this

14 years ago, January 20th 2010 No: 2 Msg: #100409  
Hi Dicko,

Im currently doing my internship at a company called Kamworks. It's not a big company and it's located like 15 miles from Phnom Pehn. The village is called Sre Ampil, there's allso an orphanage here with a little school. If you're interested I think it would be best to go through Kamworks and see what's possible. You can google Kamworks for contact information.

Good luck!
Sander Reply to this

14 years ago, January 21st 2010 No: 3 Msg: #100567  
talk to Andrea at Local Adventures Cambodia has offices in Phnom Penh, Lotus Lodge in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

No money asked for to vollenteer you will be expected to cover your own needs for housing and food but that is very small money and he will point you in the right directions to save cash. Reply to this

14 years ago, January 21st 2010 No: 4 Msg: #100593  
we volunteered in siem reap in cambodia in a school that teaches the local kids english. was a very rewarding time and a great bunch of kids and staff. its free to volunteer and you can do it for as long as you want. we done it for 2 weeks and it was one of the highlights of my current trip. here is the link if your interested

http://www.shcccambodia.org/ Reply to this

13 years ago, March 8th 2010 No: 5 Msg: #106042  
Hi Dicko,
I'm actually going in 11days to Cambodia to do volunteer work at Wat Opot Childrens Community at Takeo. Its an orphange for children that have been affected or infected by the HIV virus. There is no cost to volunteer just a donation and of course your time. They house and feed you.
Visit their website www.watopot.org
I will be blogging my trip so feel free to come to my page and have a read. Reply to this

13 years ago, March 9th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #106082  
We were just in Phnom Pehn and there are loads of posters and adverts asking for volunteers to help out at orphanages, teach English etc. for no cost. So consider picking something up when you arrive.

Reply to this

13 years ago, March 11th 2010 No: 7 Msg: #106210  
You really need to talk to some people there in Phnom Penh as many of the adverts are pointing at places that will sell your labor to the locals, IE they will be charging for the english classes and you will not be making any money.

I saw a lady just 3 days ago a semi retired dentist and she brought with her a dental chair and her tools and she is doing simple procedeures out on the Isalands off of Sihanoukville I saw her at the Ecosea Dive camp on Koh Rung Samleom, right now she has moved over to Koh Rung and she is doing work there now at one of the little very spartan villages. She just invited herself and is only asking for accommodation and a place to set up her chair VERY COOL!

One of the things that I noticed was that these fishing villages are not growing any fresh fruit like bananas or Papaya these islands would also support coconuts and mangos, maybe a thought if you wanted to do some vollenter work would be to teach them how to start them and grow them from scartch and plant a few for good measure. The good that that project would generate would be generational and very benefical to the communty. Reply to this

13 years ago, March 11th 2010 No: 8 Msg: #106211  
Hi Charley

You posted the above message twice, so I deleted one of them!

Reply to this

13 years ago, March 23rd 2010 No: 9 Msg: #107060  
N Posts: 8
hi, theres is an awsome orphonage in phnom penh called the lighthouse orphange, we volunteerd there back in november last year, the kids there are so amazing. you can teach english there or simply just turn up and play with the kids. they have plenty of projects going on. like this year they are going to build a vege garden and a new shower block with the donations from people who have visited.
highley reccomend going there. check out there website to.

Rose Reply to this

13 years ago, March 23rd 2010 No: 10 Msg: #107073  
Sorry bout that not a very good connectin right now in Cambodia.

I wonder about these programs that seemed to be geared towards getting contributions. The King Father Sihanouk commented in the past about raising a generation of beggars, that really resonated with me. Having lived in the kingdom off and on for over 10 years, I can see the truth of that statement. The concept of begging is ingrained in all levels of this society.

Malop tapan (misspelled I am sure) in Sihanoukville does not take short term vollenters and the reason is simple, they feel that short term interaction might make the person who is doing it feel good, but is actually detrimental to the long term development of the children, it would be like losing your favorite teacher once or twice a week. Think about it, how many times did your teachers change when you were in school? and what it was like in the classroom when the subsititute teacher was there?

If you want to feel good and do some good, donate the money to organizations like Malop Tapan, Don Bossco or Beat Richner Hosiptal Fountation and find some other way of teaching a man to fish, rather than giving him a fish. Reply to this

13 years ago, June 7th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #112613  
B Posts: 897
Donate time and food and effort NOT money. Unfortunately Al Jazeera did a story on Orphanages in Cambodia that are fronts for child exploitation. Chuck your post hits the nail right on the head. Applying eurocentric value and ethics systems to Cambodia doesnt work because there is an entrenched culture of begging at all levels - It may make US feel better but western volunteers and donations are not going to make a dent in the social problems of Cambodia because they have a different view. As you say, teach a man to fish...then make sure some organisation is in place to make sure his fishing gear and boat arent stolen/swapped/taken by corrupt police and officials. Teach a man to fish sustainably...thats a different story. I was only in Phnom Penh for a very short time and understand why our tuktuk driver insisted on not giving money, not letting the kids dance for you, just give Rice - that particular orphanage which is mentioned here was one featured in the Al Jazeera story on youtube - "Cambodias fake orphans". I lecture in Australia so I took school supplies and toys and bought a 40kg bag of rice.
Sometimes what we see as horrific living conditions arent always what the locals see as horrific living conditions. Its a long way from Papua New Guinea to Cambodia but I learnt a lesson in PNG that gave me a little view of how people see things differently. While theres all these NGOs and religious organizations visiting the country handing out aid a little man in a dug out spent an hour hanging off the back of the boat until he built up the courage to come and say what he wanted. He wanted to tell me he was the richest man in the village...why? because he had caught a big fish, his garden had vegetables and he had enough to feed his family and his neighbours family. Put a different slant on things.

I still visit orphanages every time I travel but I am going to do my research on which orphanages to visit now after the experience in Cambodia. Good luck to you and big blessings because if you can put just one meal on the table or blow bubbles with a child and make them laugh for an hour...a little bit of somethings better than nothing.

Reply to this

13 years ago, June 8th 2010 No: 12 Msg: #112735  
We would highly recommend giving some time to the children at the CCH Orphanage in Phnom Penh, we taught them twice during our times in Cambodia and it was one of the highlights of our trip.

The work the people do at this place is just incredible and the experience will be something you will never forget, we can't recommend doing something like this enough... we loved it so much we went back for more!

If you want any specific details on how to do it etc drop us an email. Reply to this

13 years ago, February 8th 2011 No: 13 Msg: #128508  
N Posts: 1
Do not work for Catherine Phua who is the Director of Quality Learning International in both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. People like this should have no place in the education system. She is from Singapore and follows Chinese Culture and exploits teachers from the filipines. Hires on the basis of skin colour... WHITE gets the job... do your self a favour and look for a school that actually provides Quality education. Reply to this

12 years ago, August 17th 2011 No: 14 Msg: #141987  
Hi guys
Yes! Cambodia is poor country need to assist, life in city, look it's seem ok, but travel out city, owh you still there are so many poor and missery life. Last year more 60 students included teachers from Oak hill school in sydney of Australia rised up money and has build 4 house for poor people on river bank of Mekong river. Next year they come back to Cambodia to build a school for poor village close by that. So what they do is, school teacher contact with delasalle brother in Vietnam or Cambodia who getting to know and reaching where is really poor and really in need, so Delasalle brother is going to make quotation of construction cost then report to school teachers and rise money. what student able to while spend holiday there, actually construction works is all most done, so student just and finish the rest, and actually able to see every single coins have significant and themself contributed power and proverty for better future of poor community. Reply to this

12 years ago, August 17th 2011 No: 15 Msg: #142011  
I agree with littlewing. Volunteering in Cambodia, especially for orphanages and youth programs, is risky -- not only for you but for those you 'help'. So many children are exploited so that volunteers can 'help' them.

A friend gave me this guidebook before I went to Cambodia: http://friendshipwithcambodia.org/programs-education.php -- It highlights socially responsible places to stay, eat, and purchase souvenirs. It also has a section on how to volunteer responsibly in Cambodia. Small disclaimer; the friend who gave it to me volunteers for the nonprofit that published it. But because of that, I know that each organization it supports is visited every year by Friendship with Cambodia's Executive Director, to make sure that they maintain ethical business practices.

Anyway, I would definitely buy it before visiting Cambodia to make sure that you support ethical businesses while in the country. And I would be very careful about volunteering in Cambodia. Do a lot of research first.


PS: I think they offer annual trips as well that support the programs mentioned in the guidebook: http://friendshipwithcambodia.org/travel.php Reply to this

11 years ago, October 1st 2012 No: 16 Msg: #161631  
only 23% of children in "orphanages" in cambodia are actually orphans. men posing as heroic members of their community borrow children from their families, put up a website claiming desperate financial need, and advertise their neighbor's kids as orphans. volunteers roll up in tuk tuks and hand out money and gifts to the directors. the directors pocket the money and the kids see very little benefit. in one case the director instructed the children to cry when the volunteers came. clever tourists thinking they can avoid this scam by giving books rather than money can think twice. the book stores in siem reap buy these books from ngos and then resell them. it is widely known in cambodia that school supplies are converted back to money and resold. it's actually worse than giving money because now you are paying the director and the bookstore. see more at http://scambodia.99k.org/ Reply to this

11 years ago, October 2nd 2012 No: 17 Msg: #161675  
B Posts: 897
Ben - excellent and sad list of Cambodia being ripped off by the NGOs and its own government. And yes, tourists and volunteers unwittingly contributing to the problem. I wish there was a solution but I do not see one. Reply to this

11 years ago, October 9th 2012 No: 18 Msg: #161827  
thanks for your interest. i am working alone in cambodia with a group of families. i have interviewed with perhaps 20 schools and ngos and i have not found one that is clean. there is another twist in the scambodia story.

there is a huge org called "anyato apsara" that governs the angkor wat park, which contains maybe 15 villages in its domain. my village is among them. if the heavy rain knocks down a grass hut in my village the family must get permission from "anyato apsara" to repair it. getting permission can take weeks. people who cannot read or write must travel 10 km to file forms, paying fees when they have no money.

now, to make the angkor wat park a cleaner more beautiful experience to achieve more tourist revenue, anyato apsara is relocating people from their home villages in the park to random other places. actually tourists want to look at some poor people, but according to apsara authority, they don't want to be overwhelmed by poor people.

i was at a funeral service when a tuktuk driver brought a tourist to look at the service. he thought the tourist might enjoy watching a funeral. the owners house was partly hidden by a tarp because his kitchen had collapsed and he was secretly repairing it when there was a death in the family.

i was surprised recently to find that cambodia did not even appear on several lists of the world's poorest countries. just in a moment of ignorance i asked, what could be worse. turns out there are eight separate armies fighting it out in the congo. no food, no education, just violence, rape, and looting. so, ok, things can get a lot worse. my kids at least have a chance to study. so i should be grateful for that. but still think we can do better here. scambodia is a huge tourist trap. but it's not the police corruption you have to worry about. it's the ordinary people who will squeeze you.

In response to: Msg #161675 Reply to this

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