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WHY we need you in Cambodia
HOW can you help?
WHAT you can do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: MARINE CONSERVATION & DIVING
LOCATION: KOH SEN ISLAND
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: TWIN SHARE ROOM
MIN DURATION: 4 WEEKS
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: PADI OPEN WATER CERTIFICATE
A PADI open water certificate is required to partake in the program.
For those without a certificate, you can obtain one through the program at the following additional costs. Paid direct;
- PADI Open Water: USD$400
- PADI Open Water Advanced: USD$350
- PADI Open Water + Advanced Package: US$700
(Subject to currency flucuations)
Located just 15 KM’s from the mainland this untouched and uninhabited island is a tiny paradise away from all the hustle and bustle. Only 330m x 900m in size, the surrounding waters are pristine and untouched and home to a bounty of sites for divers of all experience levels.
With coral reefs and plenty of marine life, the island is basically undiscovered and completely off the tourist trail. Here you will experience genuine Cambodian culture and unspoiled natural habitat.
For beginner divers, you’ll have the chance to become a fully qualified diver including emergency first-aid response course and first hand coral reef surveying experience. As a volunteer you’ll also have the opportunity to participate in community projects which assist the tiny island in ensuring economical and ecological sustainability.
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.
- Introduction and update on the project from the team
- Introduction to the island and Khmer customs, language and culture
- PADI Open Water course and/or advanced (if applicable)
- Introduction to marine conservation and ecology lectures
- Classroom species ID skills and test
- In-water species ID practice and exams
- Coral reef survey methodology and dry run
- Coral reef surveying and underwater data gathering
- Community projects with local people on the mainland
- Khmer language lessons
- Community projects
- Data collation and entry
- De-brief and presentations
***This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.***
Food & Accommodation
Accommodation consists of bunk beds in a twin share room at the project base on the Island of Koh Sen. Bathroom facilities are shared amongst participants.
All food is included during your volunteer stay. The meals will be typical Cambodian, including plenty of vegetarian rice and fish dishes with some western style meals also included.
- 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
If you have a love for the environment and enjoy working outdoors, this could be the project for you! We welcome experienced divers, although if you have not got your PADI open water certifiate, you can optain one on the project, for an extra cost. For anyone interested in learning more about how to keep our oceans clean and free from pollution, this would be a great experience to gain some first hand skills.
- 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.
An arrival airport pick-up from Siem Reap is included in the cost of your placement. The ground coordinator in Cambodia picks up participants at the airport if you arrive during the weekend. The participants will be arranged to stay in Siem Reap overnight if your flight arrives after 14.00 hours as there is no available taxi from Siem Reap to the homestay centre. A Tuk Tuk will be used for transporting from the airport to the Cambodia guest house and/or bus station. Arrivals after the weekend need to make their way to Samraong, Cambodia on their own accord. Projects commence every Monday.
Once in Samraong Cambodia, you can easily get a motorcycle or scooter to go anywhere, or you can borrow a bike at the centre. Many roads in Cambodia are not very good, so you should be especially careful when driving at night.
Schedule can vary due to needs at the time and/ or the weather. You will mostly be learning to collect data and survey to coral reef. You can get involved in some community projects also for a deeper volunteering experience.
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 PADI open water certificate is required to partake in the program (you can obtain this whilst here).
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.