With over 60 children attending on any single day, you and other like minded volunteers are needed to help run the school and provide the education the children all so desperately need and want.
Our rural community school was established in 2012 with the aim of providing accessible education and English development to children in the surrounding villages. The project has grown so much that we are now expanding, and are currently in the process of building a large school with accommodation so that we can welcome more children and provide even more opportunities to the local community!
This amazing community programme receives no sponsorship or grants from the government or other organisations. We rely 100% on donations and amazing volunteers like you to carry on the great work that goes on!
With the opportunity to learn and develop their English, which is so important in the rural areas, children are prepared to travel long distances (some up to 5km each way) everyday for their daily education.
Learning English is seen as a necessity in Cambodia nowadays, with it bringing an overall higher standard of living and the only way to achieve the better paying jobs. Many new larger employers that pay higher wages, expect to see English qualifications on CVs, even if it’s not a requirement for the job itself!
Not long ago, the foundations of the education system in Cambodia were destroyed under the reign of Khmer Rouge. This has resulted in Cambodia having one of the poorest literacy rates in the whole of Asia, especially amongst women.
Since then, the government has invested a lot of time and money into rebuilding the education system but as with the majority of developing countries, change is slow. Many problems still persist, including classrooms being very overcrowded, lack of qualified teachers and high dropout rates – especially in the more remote areas.
Our rural community school provides free education to children from low-income families that are living in extreme poverty in Trang Village, just south of central Siem Reap. Not only this, but our amazing programme also provides two nutritious meals per day to all children that attend.
Conversing with fluent, native English speakers greatly improves their language skills and will help get the children set for their future employment and on reaching their true potential.
The vast majority of children that attend have no other form of education and rely totally upon our worthwhile programme. Our key focus is on teaching English, although you will still have the opportunity to teach computer skills, maths as well as creative activities such as art and dance.
The large outdoor spaces are ideal for playing sports, educational games and of course playtime – everyone’s favourite!
You are encouraged to make the lessons as creative, fun and engaging as possible and can include literally anything! You could tell a story, sing some songs, get messy with arts and crafts or get competitive at football.
You will teach children across all ages throughout the day (from 4 to 14 years old) with class sizes varying from 10 to 20. You will get the amazing opportunity to see the same children each day where you will get to build a good rapport with and watch your hard work pay off!
This project is so unique on many levels. After teaching within the community school, you can head over to the orphanage to help with homework or simply relax and play games with the children!
With 10 to 20 children per class and over 60 children attending each day, you can be sure you will be kept busy! We currently have two sessions per day, with 20 children attending in the morning and then 40 children in the afternoons.
You will typically be teaching from 08:00 to 17:00 each day from Monday to Friday with a long lunch break in the middle. The fun does not stop here though, as you still have plenty of time to play and interact with the children that live in our orphanage.
Working alongside three fantastic teachers, you will be able to get fully involved with all day-to-day activities and you will have the incredible chance of leading your own classes everyday. This will not only enhance your C.V (if you’re looking for a career in education), but also give you a great sense of achievement. Although this may be daunting at first, our local team and other volunteers can show you the ropes or if you would prefer you can just assist with everything.
You will get plenty of time to plan and prepare your lessons and there is an office full of resources and textbooks that you are welcome to utilise.
Some of the highlights during your time here will be:
- Teaching your own English classes along with other subjects such as maths
- Be creative with arts and crafts, singing and dancing
- Build great relationships with the children as you see them so eager to learn and smiling
- Get competitive with playing sports and other games outside
- Make lifelong friends with like minded volunteers
- Help with homework and play games with the children within the orphanage on-site
- Give a lending hand with the vegetable plots and tend to the chickens
- Assist with any building projects that are ongoing
There are some basic resources available, but you are more than welcome to bring further materials that everyone will love and appreciate.
Although an advantage, no previous teaching experience is required to join this programme. As long as you have lots of positive energy and are enthusiastic, then your efforts will contribute massively to the local school.
While you’re in Cambodia you will be living in our volunteer accommodation that is located just a 20-minute tuk tuk ride from the centre of Siem Reap. Here you will find everything you need, from local restaurants, shops and ATMs.
Although the accommodation is basic, it is very comfortable and being located next to our community school you will get to experience life as a true local. Each bedroom has single beds with up to2 other volunteers per room. You are provided with mosquito nets, bedding and a much needed fan.
The western style bathrooms are shared and the water is cold – not that that is a problem as Cambodia is hot and humid all year round!
There is plenty of fridge space where you can store items that need to be kept chilled, but you should note there is no free cupboard space.
Our local team live right next door and are on hand at all times in-case you need any assistance.
You will be staying with other volunteers from all around the world where you will make some great new friends.
You can leave valuables with our local team to ensure they are safe and unfortunately there is no Wi-Fi so its best to bring an unlocked phone.
Wifi – No
People per room – Up to 3
Single sex rooms – Yes
Nearest ATM & shops – 20 minute drive
Airport Transfers – 90 minutes
Breakfast and dinner are provided at the volunteer house from Monday to Friday and are included within the programme fee. You will need to purchase your own lunch, which we advise you to budget around £2 per day. Volunteers usually head into town or the local market to stock up on food supplies.
Meals are aimed to be as varied as possible across the week and you can expect some of the following meals:
Breakfast – Toast, eggs, noodles, tea & coffee
Dinner – Chicken curry, pasta, noodles, jacket potatoes
What are the requirements to join?
We welcome all volunteers from any background, religion and nationality, as long as you have no criminal convictions and are able to supply a clean criminal background check. In order to join the programme you need to be at least 18 years old on the programme start date.
Individuals need to have a good level / understanding of English but it does not need to be your first language. As some programmes can be quite strenuous, we recommend that you should be physically fit.
What date should I arrive and leave?
You should arrive into Siem Reap International Airport (REP) on your selected Saturday start date.
Please ensure your flight lands before 20:00pm so the pickup fee is included.
The programme ends on the Saturday of your final week and you should depart the accommodation and continue on your onwards journey.
On your last day you will need to travel back to the airport for your onwards journey. The return transfer is not included within the programme fee but our local team can arrange this for you.
Are there any age restrictions?
The only age restriction in place is that you have to be at least 18 years old before your programme start date. Anyone over this age is welcome. Generally the average age range for our programmes is 18 – 25, although this is by no means definitive.
When should I apply for the programme?
You can apply for this programme at anytime, however we advise all volunteers to apply as soon as possible to have the best chances of securing your placement on your selected dates.
Generally speaking, you need to book at least 60 days before your programme start date, although if you are wanting to apply after this, please contact us and we will do our best.
What duration would you recommend?
On gaining feedback, we believe 4 – 6 weeks is the ideal time to get settled in and really involved in the placement. This also allows you to make the most of free time and explore the local areas and participate in any activities.
Can I volunteer if I live outside of the UK?
Yes of course. We welcome volunteers from around the world, no matter how far away from the programmes you are.
The majority of volunteers that we host, come from the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
Can I go with my friend / partner?
You can travel and volunteer with friends, family and / or your partner.
If you are wanting to request to stay in the same accommodation please outline this in the special requirements section within the application form.
Is it safe to travel to these destinations?
We regularly visit and participate in each and every one of the programmes we offer to rigorously check all aspects of the project and accommodation are safe and that all procedures are being followed. These include but are not limited to checking the living conditions within the volunteer accommodations, checking the neighbourhoods you’ll be staying in, tasting the food you’ll be eating and going on any weekend trips recommended by us or our local team.
We monitor the stability of all of our volunteer destinations on a daily basis and have constant contact with our overseas teams to ensure that our volunteers are safe.
All volunteers will receive a comprehensive volunteer handbook when you choose to join us on one of our programmes. This detailed document addresses a large range of issues such as health, safety, visas, as well as going into details about local cultures and traditions.
When you arrive in-country, you will be given a safety briefing during your orientation that will cover things like emergency procedures, how to use local transport and any cultural differences.
Our in-country team are on hand to help with any issues or to answer any questions and please do not forget that our UK office is available 24/7 in case of any rare emergencies.
While we can never guarantee your volunteer experience will be 100% trouble free, we have taken all of the necessary precautions to minimise all risks and to ensure the programme is as safe as possible.
Before You Depart
When do I pay?
To confirm and guarantee your placement on one of our programmes, you need to pay the registration fee of £129 within 7 days of receiving confirmation that your application was successful. The remaining balance is then due no less than 60 days prior to your programme start date.
Payments can be done all at once or be spread out over several months and can be paid via BACS (bank transfer). We do accept additional payments methods, such as debit and credit cards, although there may be additional fees.
Do I need any vaccinations and / or malaria tablets?
As we are not trained medical experts we cannot tell you exactly what vaccinations or other medication you may need for your trip. You will need to consult with your local doctors or travel clinic.
You can also find additional information on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights?
All flights need to be booked by you, although we can point you in the right direction on where you may be able to find the best prices.
Before booking any flights, we strongly recommend that you wait to have confirmation that your application was successful.
How do I arrange my travel insurance?
We have teamed up with Endsleigh to create an affordable and comprehensive travel insurance policy that is suitable for all of the programmes we offer. You will receive information about this policy along with your volunteer handbook.
If you decide to purchase your travel insurance from an alternative provider, please ensure it covers you for everything you will be doing. Adequate travel insurance must be in place no less than 60 days before your programme start date. Without proof of this insurance, we will not be able to accept you onto the programme.
When will I receive my volunteer handbook?
You will receive a welcome email from us as soon as you have paid the registration fee and your placement has been confirmed. The welcome email will include the volunteer handbook that provides a wealth of information that will help you better understand all aspects of your upcoming trip as well as details about our insurance policy.
Please note, that all material is sent via email and hard copies cannot be sent.
On Your Trip
Can I arrange a private room?
The majority of our accommodation only offers shared rooms that are usually same-sex. However, if you would prefer a private room please let us know and we will at least try for you.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
We will try our best to cater for any dietary requirements. When you submit your application please include any required details within the dietary section and we will liaise with our local coordinators.
Are there any public holidays that would effect the project?
Although we try to be as clear as possible of all holidays that affect project availability, due to the nature of some countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change.
If such a holiday falls when you are on your placement, this is generally a good time to experience unique festivities where you can join in with the locals.
What is the dress code at the projects?
We ask that all volunteers take the approach of a smart and responsible image during your time in the communities and on projects. It is best to also take some older clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
Generally, it is best to avoid tight and very short clothing and anything that may have offensive slogans on it. Its recommended that you take some nicer clothes for weekends or any free time you may have.
We do not wish to impose strict regulations, however we do ask that you respect the local culture and do your best to adhere to the clothing guidelines within the volunteer handbook.
How much spending money will I need?
For general expenses and some travelling, you should find that £50 – £100 per week is sufficient. However, this can vary greatly depending on the amount of activities or trips you do and if you are eating out during the week..
Will I be able to travel whilst on the programme?
There should be plenty of time to travel while on your placement and we actively encourage that you do! The local coordinators will be able to give you lots of travel tips and provide any help needed for your independent adventure.
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