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people and places

Community Centre Supporter

Volunteer with a program that supports communities living in extreme economic poverty - enabling them to keep children within their families

About the Program

A wide variety of abilities and skills will be welcomed by this holistic community support project. The project enables responsible volunteering with children as each placement will be specifically designed to make good use of the volunteer's skills and expereince, within the broader community.

  • education - early childhood development, basic literacy and numeracy
  • teaching assistants to work with the excellent local teachers
  • artists & musicians - particularly guitars and drums
  • sports coaches
  • health professionals
  • human resources practitioners to help with organisation, employee and community members development
  • marketing and promotion
  • small-business skills
  • practical - DIY and construction and electrics,sustainable energies and horticulture, arts and crafts

This program offers a responsible alternative to the volunteer who would like to work in childcare but is rightly concerned about the ethics of short term volunteer work abroad in an orphanage.

About the Community Centre

The Community Centre meets the needs of families who are on or just above the poverty line in 3 farming and fishing villages between Siem Reap and Tonle Sap Lake. Life in these villages still revolves around subsistence farming and fishing.

Every week day, 250 children and young people, aged between 3 and 24, attend the English language programme and 30 young people and adults are learning in the vocational training section. Training is given in domestic electrics, weaving and wood-working skills, supported by adult literacy classes. A crèche is provided for younger siblings and the vocational training students’ children. There is a junior football team who compete in local tournaments.

This program has built immense respect within the local community. The challenges are huge - poverty, loss of natural habitat and traditional income, lack of resources, children's need to work, chronic health problems, a violent history. For many, the centre is their hope for the future, whether through a child's education or a micro loan to fund a livelihood initiative.

Context 

Cambodia's bloody history has had a massive effect on the country’s infrastructure, as well as on its citizens in very specific and personal ways. During the Khmer Rouge rule, Cambodia experienced a traumatic and unforgettable genocide that changed the country forever. Approximately 1.7 million people were killed in a little less than 4 years.

Thirty years later, Cambodia still struggles to provide basic education and healthcare for its people. Literacy is a significant issue, with the majority of Cambodia’s illiterate population living below the poverty line, in remote and rural areas. Without improving the access to and quality of affordable education and healthcare, there is very little hope of Cambodia pulling itself out of poverty. Thje lack of clean water and adequate sanitation is still a major health risk in the majority of rural villages.

More than one third of Cambodians live below the poverty line, struggling to survive on less than $1 a day. Economic poverty is especially pervasive in rural areas and among children, who constitute more than half of the country’s population.

According to UNICEF, Cambodia has the highest infant and under-five mortality rates in the region, at 97 and 141 per 1,000 live births, respectively. Vaccine-preventable diseases, diarrhoea, and respiratory infections are among the leading causes of childhood death. Maternal mortality is also high.

Cambodia's main income generating industries are  textiles and tourism. The long-term development of the economy after decades of war remains a daunting challenge, as the population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the countryside, which suffers from an almost total lack of basic infrastructure. More than 60% of the population still gets by on subsistence farming.

Suitable for

Singles
Couples
Groups
50+

Typical day

This will vary according to the individual placement outline written for each volunteer to maximise the use of their skills and experience to meet local needs.  

If they are working with teachers and children, they will repeat the work they do in the morning with a different group of children in the afternoon - children attend school for half a day only, and come to the community centre for the part of the day when they are not at school.  Within each part of the day, volunteers will attend two sessions to support the teacher and class they are working with.  The first session is an English lesson, conducted by the Khmer teacher - volunteers will provide classroom support.  The second session follows a curriculum of topic-based work, and will be led by volunteers.  They will receive details of the topics to be covered during their placement in good time before arriving in Cambodia.

If volunteers are working with adults or the local community they will follow an individually tailored timetable.

Details on Arrival

Volunteers may join at any time throughout the year.  The centre remains open during school holidays but is closed for some national holidays, most notable Khmer New Year and Pchum Ben, and for some national festivals, some of which are announced at short notice.  Volunteers will be notified during the application process (as far as possible) of any times of year when the centre will be closed.

Program Requirements

In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s).
Language Skills
You need to speak English (intermediate level)
Health Declaration
required
Criminal Background Check
required
Education Requirements
at High school level
Required Documents
'Letter of Motivation' and 'references'
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
We work closely with the local people who manage this project, and they have identified their primary volunteer needs:
- teachers and classroom assistants
- healthcare professionals
- practical skills eg gardening
- art, drama, music specialists
- sports coaches
- therapists - physio, speech and occupational
- marketing, proposal writing and fund-raising
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

Any questions? Just ask. We at people and places are happy to help you.

Free-time activities

There are lots of tourist activities in Siem Reap - ranging from the bars and restaurants around the Old Market to visiting the World Heritage Site temples at Angkor Wat (not to be missed!).  

You will be given a bicycle to use while you are there so you can explore the countryside around town.  

If you want to travel further afield, for example a weekend trip to Phnom Penh, our local partners in Siem Reap can advise you and help you book transport and accommodation.

Yoga/Meditation

Included Services

What's included?
The fees include:
  • Bed and breakfast accommodation in a locally owned guesthouse
  • Airport transfers
  • Full local orientation
  • Child protection workshop
  • Social event
  • Local SIM card
  • Project and placement liaison
  • Contribution to project
Airport Pickup at Siem Reap

When you leave the arrivals hall our local partner will be there to meet you, holding a board with your name on it.  You will then be driven to your accommodation - about 30 minutes away.

Accommodation

You will stay in a small locally run guesthouse, used by many volunteers of all ages.  

You will have a single room with en-suite facilities. Some rooms have a fridge - if you would like one you only have to ask. Air conditioning is available for an additional cost.  

There is a social area/dining room downstairs where meals are available all day long. There is no pool at the guesthouse but a small hotel just a couple of minutes walk away allows people from the guesthouse to use their pool, as long as they buy a drink.  

The guesthouse owners are extremely friendly and will help you organise any trips you want to take part in at the weekends. The guesthouse is situated about 20 minutes walk away from the tourist centre of Siem Reap - or 5 minutes if you use a bicycle.

Bedroom (Single)
Food & Beverages

Breakfast - meals can be bought at the guesthouse but there are also many good places to eat nearby where you can eat for $6.00 or less

Internet Access
Good access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.

No worries, Volunteer World supports you in raising funds, checking your visa regulations and travel insurance. We also assist you in finding the cheapest flights for your journey.
Costs (Prices in USD)
4 weeks (min. stay)
$1,464.00
5 weeks
$1,620.00
6 weeks
$1,776.00
7 weeks
$1,932.00
8 weeks
$2,088.00
9 weeks
$2,244.00
12 weeks (max. stay)
$2,712.00
Average fees
$296.00/week

You can volunteer at the project site in Siem Reap/Cambodia between 4 weeks and 12 weeks. Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated and subject to exchange rate fluctuations. people and places will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with people and places during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Get ready to volunteer in Cambodia

Check out first

Visa Regulations
Depending on your nationality, you have to arrange your visa for Cambodia. Please check the visa regulations for Cambodia.
Travel Seasons
Find out the best time to volunteer in Cambodia and receive information on weather and climatic conditions.
Living Costs
Living costs vary with each destination. We give an overview of what you should plan as an estimated budget to volunteer in Cambodia.
Budgeting
Generally, volunteering abroad involves certain costs. In case you need financial support, we will assist you to fundraise your volunteer program in Cambodia.

What's next?

Airport
The nearest airport is Siem Reap (REP) in Siem Reap. We assist you to find cheap flights to Cambodia.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Cambodia provides security and is a plus to have.
Vaccine Checker
If you are intending to volunteer in Cambodia you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Cambodia.
Free-time
What can you do in leisure-time in Cambodia while you are not working at your volunteer opportunity?
Phum Mondul 1, Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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