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 30 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.
Location of Volunteer Programs
The majority of placements are centered around the rural cultured regions in Samraong, with the conservation and/or diving programs in the south western beach regions of Sihanouk Ville and Kampot and various islands.
Samraong is the capital of Oddar Meanchey province, which is Cambodia’s newest province. The province is located North of Siem Reap province and borders 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.
Oddar Meanchey province was the last stronghold of the infamous Khmer Rouge, who stayed in the mountainous area of Cambodia on the border with Thailand as long as 1998! While de-mining efforts have cleared away mines in the cities and villages in Cambodia, there are still some less-inhabited areas that have not been reached. ‘Danger Mines’ signs should be taken extremely serious, even when you need to pee urgently (in the road may be less elegant, but much safer!). Walking through fields or other places where you don’t see any locals is not recommended!
Accommodation & Meals
You will be housed in a clean and comfortable, dedicated volunteer guest house staying with up to 20 other volunteers in single gender rooms with max 4 p/room. Every room has its own Western style toilet and shower. There are limited laundry facilities so please expect to wash your clothes by hand. There are communal indoor and outdoor areas for socializing and eating. The accommodation is basic, but clean & comfortable with local staff sure to go out of their way to ensure your happy!24/7 Program Support Wifi is included (speeds can vary).
All participants are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint in Cambodia, especially water, paper and electricity.
You will be expected to clean up after yourself, and to play your part to keep the accommodation neat and organized.
3 meals per day are 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.
24/7 Program Support
Throughout your stay, you will have the support and guidance of our local ground operator program coordinators in Cambodia, they will provide you with competent assistance and help with anything that you may need. An operations manual is provided to every volunteer upon arrival. The manual includes everything you’ll need from local staff details and contacts to emergency circumstances, evacuations procedures etc. We will also provide you with a 24 hour emergency telephone number so that you can always reach a member of our ground operator team in the event of an emergency.
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.
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.
Requirements & Expectations
You are welcome to come with a group, with a friend, with family or own your own in Cambodia. If you are coming on your own don’t worry you will make lots of great friends! Cambodia is a popular destination and you can expect to meet many like minded volunteers. Generally, volunteers must be 18 years of age, however we can cater to as young as 16 years old depending on the application There is no upper age limit. Volunteering is becoming increasingly popular with many mature guests, some of retirement age looking to give back to developing communities.
Our programs are designed for proactive individuals with a mindset of supporting the less fortunate. When volunteering in Cambodia, the more you put in, the more you will get out. A high degree of patience and understanding is also necessary as it’s likely that in Cambodia conditions will be very different to your home country.
Weekends & Extra Tours
Weekends are always free for relaxing or sightseeing of your choice. Our ground operators will help you organize additional trips in Cambodia with special (non tourist) rates which can be paid directly in local Cambodia currency.
As the majority of projects are centered around a public school, public school holidays should be noted as follows. If teaching is not available, work on construction projects and other activities will be organised. The teaching program runs all year round but we have two main holidays;
- April 11 to April 15: Khmer New Year
- September 26 to October 07: Ancestors day holiday
GoGetFunding is a Crowd funding site which offers a simple and professional online fundraising solution to help fund a portion of your trip or even a donation toward your chosen project. Simply create a fundraising page to share your story via social media platforms such as facebook & twitter.
Some of our past volunteers have raised over $2000+! Why not give it a try? If you use the above link, our logo will be displayed in your profile to help us share our message through your social network community.
- Arrival Airport Transfer (Siem Reap)
- 3 Meals p/day (Quality authentic Cambodian cuisine)
- Accommodation (Volunteer Center – Single gender dorm rooms)
- Training & Supervision as required
- Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
- 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
- Certificate of Completion
- Comprehensive project guide
- Discounted travel deals & flight layby options!
What’s Not Included
- Travel Insurance (Mandatory)
- Airfares & Visa fees
- Tours, Souvenirs, Spending Money
- Some daily local transport (depending on program eg. $2 p/day)