WHY we need you in Cambodia
HOW can you help?
WHAT you can do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: AGRICULTURE & FARMING
LOCATION: SAMRAONG, CAMBODIA
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (SHARED ROOMS)
MIN DURATION: ONE WEEK
MIN AGE: 18+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
Cambodia is primarily an agricultural country in which the majority of the population are in the farming industry. However, there is little knowledge when it comes to the science and art of cultivating plants and livestock. This program aims for locals to pursue and develop agricultural partnerships to increase the resources available to them, and to be used more efficiently.
Green Shoots Foundation is an international NGO in collaboration with CIDO (Community-Based Integrated Development Organisation). They lead an agricultural skills training program at a local agricultural training centre in Samraong, Cambodia.
The centre provides a free training course on the importance of agriculture and how it is essential to the country, as well as education on sustainable farming methods as a way of bettering both current and future generations. The centre also educates and shows which vegetables or crops are best for planting.
The aim of this project is for local farmers to learn about sustainable farming methods and to continue to use these methods on their own farms.
The project takes place on a dedicated site, around 5-6 km from the volunteer house. You will need to cycle 15-20 mins each day to and from the accommodation, so knowing how to ride a bike is a must!
Your main tasks will be training local farmers and youth on agriculture. We are looking for volunteers with a keen interest in outdoor gardening and basic building work. You must also be willing and able to work in the sun, not be too scared of insects and bugs and be able to do some heavy lifting. For the majority of activities, a local coordinator will be present. They will have knowledge in agriculture and be able to assist you with any questions.
All meals are provided at our accommodation. During your lunch break, you have the option to consume your packed-lunch on site or go by bike back to the accommodation site.
Additionally, this program will give you the chance to experience the authentic countryside of Cambodia by living amongst locals and helping out the villagers on their farms.
Samraong is a rural village, located North of Siem Reap and right on the border with Thailand. The city of Siem Reap is about 120 km away from Samraong, currently about 4 hours by car, depending on the condition of the road. During raining season the trip may take considerably longer. The rural location allows greater cultural immersion and to really live like a local and gain a deeper travel experience.
- Provide access to vocational training in horticulture, integrated farming and other sustainable farming practices and sustainable technology
- Improve practical application of rural development skills in-line with environmental preservation
- Enhance the capacity of young farmers for enterprise development
Food & Accommodation
You will stay in a dedicated volunteer guest house, with max 4 p/room. Every room has its own Western style toilet and shower. The accommodation is basic, but clean & comfortable with local staff sure to go out of their way to ensure you’re happy! Wifi is included in public areas . There are no safety deposit boxes however the rooms are lockable. There is a private bathroom per room. Bed linen is provided, however volunteers should bring their own towel. Mosquito nets and fans included but no air con.
There are bikes available, which you can use to explore the area during your free time! There are ATMs in Samraong, as well as a bank. There are numerous local shops where you can get all the basics you might need during your stay. Depending on the location of your accommodation, these may be accessible within a 10 – 15 minute bike ride or walk.
*For participants desiring more comfort and/or privacy, families, couples, and more mature participants, we recommend upgrading to a comfort room, which also has air con. These rooms have more amenities and may be in a different location than the standard rooms, which means that it may be noticeably quieter.
During your stay the meals will be typical Cambodian style, which includes plenty of rice and noodle dishes. On a few occasions there may be meat, but generally speaking there is no western food served. Vegetarian options are available. 3 meals will be provided on weekdays, and 2 meals on weekends (usually breakfast and dinner).
- Airport Pickup
- Local Transportation
- 1 Day Orientation
- 24/7 In-Country Support
- Project Materials & Equipment
- Pre-departure Expert Advice
- Preperation Tools & Checklists
- Certificate of Completion
This project can be hard work and you will be outdoors in the heat, so a reasonable level of fitnes is required. Volunteers with gardening/ building backgrounds are especially welcome!
- 3 meals p/day & 2 p/day at weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Volunteers are strongly encouraged to take up the 1 week introduction to Cambodia to ease volunteers into the lifestyle and pace of Cambodia. You will get to know your town and it’s facilities and everything required to make your stay comfortable. Most volunteers benefit greatly from having a deeper understanding of the local culture, language and customs before commencing your chosen project.
The introduction week is not mandatory however so for those who want to get straight into it, no problem, a brief orientation will be provided, showing you the local area and explaining the general norms/ do’s and don’ts, etc.
Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.
A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Siem Reap International Airport (REP). You must arrive between 06:00 – 16:00 on Saturday or Sunday.
If arriving outside the pickup times on Sunday, you can book a private transfer for US$50.
If arriving on Saturday, you will need to pay US$50 for an extra night’s accommodation, or arrange your own accommodation for the night.
If arriving during the week, or on Saturday outside of the pickup times, we charge US$50 for any extra night’s accommodation before your program, and another US$50 fee for a private transfer.
Alternatively, if arriving early you could wait at the arrival’s terminal for the pickup time, book accommodation at the airport and meet us during the pickup times or make your own way to the project (we will advise on how to do this).
From the airport to Samraong, it takes 2 hours by taxi, and from the airport to our local centre in Siem Reap around 15-20 minutes by tuk tuk.
Monday to Friday – 8am-5pm.
A typical day during this program may look like this:
- Join the training session with an introduction to integrated farming
- Join the construction at the centre and engage in land preparation
- Engage in a personal project: workshop and group work
- Make a model of crops or vegetable beds
- Visit local families who are working with vegetables
- Help the families with their daily vegetable work
- Prepare earth block mixture (clay) and materials for binding
- Dinner back at the accommodation
Here are a few things to do in Cambodia…
You can’t make a trip to Cambodia without visiting Angkor Wat. This is a stunning temple. Head there for sunrise to get the reflection over the water. Angkor Wat can easily be reached from the friendly backpacker town of Siem Reap.
Koh Tonsay or ‘rabbit island’ is situated a 33 boat ride from the town of Kep. This small paradise island has no wifi, only a handful of cafes and that’s about it! All the accommodation are simple wooden beach bungalows, which just adds to the simple way of living. This is a great chance to get away from the crowds, enjoy the sunset over the ocean and to really and truly relax.
S21 Prison & Killing Fields
The Khmer Rouge era was a tragic and horrific few years in Cambodia’s past, where millions of people were killed or sent away to work at various camps. Visit the S21 prison, where people were held as prisoners. This is quite a saddening visit but one that allows a better insight and understanding into exactly what happened during this time. The killing fields are situated just out from the capital. Again, a sad but very humbling visit.
This beachside town is popular with backpackers, for its lovely beaches and great nightlife. The best beaches are found off from the mainland, where there are plenty of island-hopping tours.
The main town closest to Angkor Wat, this is very backpacker friendly, with plenty of cheap places to stay of you want to visit on a weekend. There are many bars, clubs and entertainment in the evenings. During the day you can visit the nearby temples, floating markets, get a fish pedicure in town or a relaxing massage.
There are plenty of hiking and trekking trails available in Cambodia. There’s lush jungle, gorgeous waterfalls and plenty of wildlife. You can head into the Cardamon mountains, Mondulkiri province or head to natural waterfalls on the outskirts of Siem Reap or Phnom Penh.
This countryside town is known for it’s colonial buildings and artsy vibes. While still quite rural, the town has lots of cafes and western places to eat, as well as markets of all kinds. Head out into the country and check out the bamboo train. This used to be a very basic wooden panel which you sat on to ride through the countryside. It has now been updated with proper seats but still a fun and unique thing to do!
- A certain level of fitness as this program can be quite manual.
- Must know how to ride a bike.
- Modest clothing (long sleeves and long pants offer the best protection when working outdoors, at the minimum- clothing should cover knees and shoulders)
- Please bring work gloves, work shoes or boots, water bottle, hat and sun protection.
Although the Kingdom of Cambodia is rich in natural resources, decades of war and internal conflict have left it one of the world’s poorest countries. The average salary in Cambodia is less than US$1.50 a day, and around a third of people live below the national poverty line. Poor living conditions are particularly prevalent in rural parts, where access to safe drinking water is barely above half. Human traffickers exploit the vulnerable with heart-breaking cruelty.
Cambodia’s poor people number almost 4.8 million, and 90 per cent of them are in rural areas. Most of them depend on agriculture for their livelihood. Two thirds of the Cambodia’s 1.6 million rural households face seasonal food shortages each year. Rice alone accounts for as much as 33 per cent of household expenditures. Rural people are constantly looking for work or other income-generating activities, which are mainly temporary and poorly paid..
Involvement Volunteers programs in Cambodia enable you to experience Cambodia as a local, participating in their daily activities while offering yourself in the benefit of those less fortunate. All the projects are grass rooted; working with local people for local people. Within all the projects we value the education factor and the intercultural exchange very highly delivering an educational experience for volunteers.
Cambodia is warm and tropical throughout the year, with a wet and dry season and temperatures ranging from 21 to 35 °C.
December to Febuary are considered the best months to visit, due to the cooler climate (although still warm).
March to June is very hot, sometimes over 40 degrees but it’s usually dry.
June to September is hot, humid and monsoon season. The positive of travelling in this season is that everything is so grean, prices are cheaper and there are less tourists.
October and November also have showers but the weather is slightly cooler. Showers are usually predictable and happen for short bursts in the afternoons.
Cambodia has a rich culture, with around 97% of the population following the Buddhist religion. They have many great temples, including the most famous one, Angkor Wat, which is a must visit. Cambodian people have a great respect for their elders and put an importance on having a strong family unit. They are very kind, a little shy but very friendly and will be eager to learn about your culture back home. Cambodia also has a dark past and you will see many reminders of the Khmer Rouge era where millions of innocent people were captured and killed. Despite this, Cambodia nowadays has a relaxed, friendly and welcoming vibe, with lots of arts and culture.
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IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.