Cambodia

Reach Out Volunteers

PLEASE NOTE: The activities listed in my review could be subject to change. They are included just to give you an understanding of what you could be doing. Thanks!

I volunteered with Reach out Volunteers in Cambodia during December 2017. I did the program Essential Cambodia and Elephants which is a two week program based out of Siem Reap, Cambodia. During this time you volunteer in a local village (I did Chonlorng Village which is on the outskirts of Siem Reap) in my first week. During the second week we volunteered at Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary helping to care for elephants and other animals there.

The first thing I would say about my experience is that it was incredible and I had the best time. It was my first volunteer abroad trip and I must say I am incredibly pleased with the experience and I really feel like you are contributing positively to the local community. I went to Cambodia for the elephants but I came away with a deep appreciation for Cambodia, the people, the culture and a deep respect for the country that I didn't previously have before.

The first week: Volunteering in Chonlorng Village

During my first week we volunteered at a local school started by ROV in January 2017. At that time they had 50 students and now in January 2018 they have 215 kids and counting. All of the classrooms and school facilities have been built by local villagers and ROV volunteers. One aspect I really enjoyed was the fact that on the construction projects the main people in charge are the local villagers helping to provide employment for them. As a volunteer your main job is to assist them.

During my time we started the construction of a jungle gym for the kids. Our week included mixing concrete, chiseling, sanding, nailing the gym together, digging holes and just general construction. Also during our time we were given the opportunity to help teach the kids. At the school they primarily teach English to the children. In Cambodia to have a good financial future it is essential you can speak English. I discovered a new found love for helping teach kids that didn't previously exist. These kids are some of the most studious, thoughtful and engaging kids I have ever met.

The local teachers in charge are local villagers and you are their assistant although they do leave you to teach the kids by yourself or with another volunteer. One thing I really liked is that your program fee pays the local teachers, buys the building materials, pays local villagers to cook you and other volunteers lunch.

At the end of the week you say goodbye and can choose to make a donation to the school (school supplies are mainly what they require and schoolbooks). It is also easy enough to buy school supplies in Siem Reap so if you don't have anything prior to going, don't stress I was in the same boat.

One thing to know with ROV is that construction is a large part of any program in Cambodia. If teaching is more up your alley I would recommend picking the four week teaching course with them. There was a girl in our group who did that and she absolutely loved it.

The Second Week: Cambodia Wildlife Sanctuary

We spent our second week (monday-friday) at the sanctuary where we helped dig elephant holes, clean enclosures, garden, help with building the local dams, getting food for the elephants from the forest, preparing the food for elephants, visiting the monkey sanctuary, free rein with the rescued dogs and the two big highlights of feeding the elephants and going on a forest walk with them!

While your interaction with elephants is limited I think it was actually really good because it meant that these elephants really could focus on what's important- relearning wild behaviors after the horror's they have been through. I would also really recommend the staff at the sanctuary they were phenomenal and really helped make the experience incredible.

Pros:

-The in country support and my team leader were sensational and I couldn't have asked for better. My team leader was the best, he was on hand to provide support when required but wasn't overbearing. Best of all he was constantly upbeat and caring.
-They are a non profit
-Meals three times a day even on weekends with a $5 limit. In Cambodia that limit is generous and you can get amazing meals from $1.50 US, it just depends on what you choose to eat, western food is significantly more expensive.
-Airport transfer to and from and all accommodation included in really nice places.
-Good, friendly communication with the main office prior to your program beginning should you have any questions.
-There are some really awesome add ons
-You get the chance to go to Angkor Wat, the Cambodian Circus and a couple of other things all included in your program fee prior to going which is awesome.
-A lot of local people are employed by ROV through being the main people in charge, the local Tuk Tuk drivers that we use everyday, the teachers at the school, team leaders who are local Cambodians, the people who cook you food. It really is reaching out and not just helping the young children at school.
-You have a decent amount of free time in the evenings to browse the markets, go out in the nights and experience the nightlife etc. The markets in Siem Reap are also really interesting and a must do!
-You can add on other programs as well easily which is great.

I'm sure I probably missed a couple of things but these are the main things I could think of!

Cons:
-Compared to a lot of other programs with other organizations they are quite expensive.
-The communication about your team leader could be a little better prior to the program beginning (I am unsure perhaps if because I changed my date, I may have missed something).

RECOMMEND?
Absolutely I would recommend ROV despite their price and I look forward to volunteering with them further. I hope in the future they add even more programs because that would be sensational! Volunteer with ROV you won't regret it!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Jan 16, 2018
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
8

Globalteer

Globalteer placed me in the Trailblazer Clean Water Project. Very good, very worthwhile.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Jan 13, 2018
Overall:
1
Support:
1
Value:
1

Projects Abroad

WOW! What an amazing experience that i will never cease to forget. I was apart of Projects Abroad's; High School Project in Cambodia that started on the 10th of December and unfortunately came to an end on the 23rd of December.

I had once in a lifetime experiences over there that i could never get anywhere else and nothing will ever compare to it! I had made friends I will be in contact and we are actually all planning to meet up at the end of this year! Never would i have ever thought that something like this could create the friendships it did.

So why was my project so good? People ask and i give them the answer of well; I was surrounded by people of the same age, value, beliefs and goals. Not only was our trip full of volunteering which was so rewarding we helped to refurbish two kindergartens but we, were also tourists at the same time, we explored many local attractions and traveled all the way to Siem Reap to have a tour of the magnificent temples. So not only were we doing something rewarding we were also learning about the culture and history of Cambodia.

I would fully recommend this company to any teenager looking to give back to a community, make lifetime friends, but are also looking to learn about a new culture and country

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Jan 12, 2018
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Globalteer

I went to Siem Reap in Cambodia and had a great time at the Helping Hands project. It is in the countryside where the kids really need the projects help. the kids are given breakfast every day, given clean water, education, sports and lots more stuff. the kids really enjoy the project and you can see that it is a really important part of their lives. Siem reap is a really great place to hang out too, lots to do and I made some great friends volunteering.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Dec 6, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

My two weeks of volunteering in the Public Health program in Cambodia through Projects Abroad was hands-down the most amazing experience of my life. During my time there, I practiced hands-on medicine in a way that directly and immediately helped impact the lives of people living in some of the poorest regions of Phnom Penh. We worked with kids in the mornings and adults during the afternoon, and in our free time, most of the volunteers explored the city or even ventured to other cities on the weekends. This program is also an excellent program if you are interested in practicing medicine in a setting outside of a hospital or clinic: we set up temporary free clinics each afternoon where we saw patients from different parts of the city. Sometimes we worked out of an out-of-use clinic, used a day care center belonging to a partner organization, or even worked on the street or out of someone’s house. While this may sound unappealing to some, I will say that it definitely adds something extra to the experience. We one day were working in the street when it started pouring rain, so we ended up being shepherded into someone’s hut. It was literally a single-room home that had barely any extra floor space when the bed was lying on the floor instead of propped on the wall. However, we managed to fit all 6 volunteers/program staff, plus about 5 patients at a time, and we spent nearly 4 hours working with patients and bonding in our small, cramped but oddly cozy ‘clinic’. As simple and potentially insignificant as it may seem, this is one of my favorite memories and one that I know I will remember for many years to come.
While the incredible people I met, the work I did, and the unforgettable memories all play an enormous role in my reflection of this experience, I know that the program itself is to thank for most of this. The volunteers were incredibly well taken care of, and there was never an instance where I felt that the program had been ill-prepared to handle the situation; we always had a safe place to stay, clean/safe food and water, and ample opportunities to communicate with our program leaders if we ever needed extra help or support. Leaving a small town in Alaska to travel to a developing country on a continent I had never been to before was, understandably, only marginally less than terrifying, but the constant support from the Projects Abroad staff—which starts nearly the moment you send in your application—helped alleviate my concerns and was one of the factors that helped me decide to proceed with my volunteer experience. I have no reservations in entirely, whole-heartedly recommending this program to anyone wanting to volunteer abroad.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Nov 30, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
9

Involvement Volunteers International

Highlights of the trip:

To be honest, every single thing I did was a highlight and meant equally as much to me. The whole experience I had in Cambodia is a blessing! If I had to pick out some most significant memories and skills I acquired, it would have to be my new Cambodian high school friends and learning to do brickwork. Although I signed up for the construction project placement, I did take on a bit of teaching for an evening class because the original teacher got in a motorbike accident and I volunteered to take over in the meantime. It was due to this unexpected opportunity that I got to meet several of the local high school students, who are now friends I cherish. On the other hand, I did, as expected, learn construction skills. I had never worked with cement, trench-building, or brickwork before. But with the help of the construction coordinator and the other volunteers, we were able to accomplish a long drainage trench that would prevent puddling in the new school area.

Comments on the team, food and accommodation:

The team, food and accommodation all contributed to making this volunteering experience in Cambodia unforgettable. The coordinators and staff at the project site were extremely friendly and easy-going. Not only were they flexible with our various requests, they were also very organized in helping us arrange transportation during the weekends, and providing us any other things/assistance we needed. They made us feel comfortable by acting as our friends and often contributed to our conversations, bringing smiles to our faces and warmth to our hearts. Moreover, the food was both nutritious and abundant. We always had fruit and enough rice, vegetables and other dishes for everyone. They were able to provide both regular and vegetarian/vegan items based on the requirements of the volunteers. Finally, the accommodation itself was decent. The rooms were large enough for 3-4 people and the beds were comfortable. Most importantly, the owner of the accommodation is extremely friendly. Although he could not speak English, he always cared for us in his way, and showed us incredible hospitality.

Any improvements to help us be better:

I really enjoyed the program and could think of few things that need improvement. The one thing was that I did not know that we could leave the program site during the weekends and come back on Sunday evening. Many of the other volunteers left to spend the weekend in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and other places, which allowed them to combine volunteer work with spare time/sight-seeing. I think it would be good if the welcome pack could include a few sentences about this, and that the local coordinators helped to arrange the transportation/taxis, so that future volunteers could make better plans for their stay in Cambodia.

Thank you,

Angela

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Nov 19, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
10

Globalteer

Great project, lots of support and the Helping Hands project was fantastic. Lots to do and Siem Reap is such a wonderful place to volunteer. We worked as assistants to the Cambodian teachers in English classes but there was loads of things to do with the kids. The project is in the countryside and you can tell how important it is to the kids and community. Globalteer have a big office in Siem Reap next to the hotel so we always had support and help. The hotel was really nice and even had a pool. I would definitely recommend this project and will be back!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Nov 17, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

I really enjoyed this opportunity to work abroad. This is my second time using Projects Abroad with my first experience being a nursing internship in Nepal. This time around was a Public Health internship in the capital city of Phnom Penh. I traveled with my wife who was working with English Education and Projects Abroad was able to accommodate us with our lodging as well as transportation so that we were able to stay together during our time there. I had an excellent experience working in different districts in and around Phnom Penh, and I was able to truly experience the culture in the short time that I was there. The work mostly consisted of distributing medications to individuals as well as providing health education and giving cursory physical assessments. While I greatly enjoyed the work, we also had a great time traveling around Cambodia to such places as Koh Rong Samleoum, Siem Reap (Ankor Wat), and Sihnoukville. We were also able to tour the S-21 and the Killing Fields which are essential pieces to an important time in the development of the country. I highly recommend traveling with Projects Abroad for a safe and inclusive experience as well as traveling to Cambodia both to discover more about the past and yourself!

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Nov 7, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)

I have recently finished a 3 week program with IVHQ in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This experience was more than I could have ever imagined. For starters, the organization and local staff were extremely helpful and welcoming. They provided us with a clean and safe living environment in the volunteer house. Living with 13 other volunteers was a beautiful way to meet like-minded people from around the world and build lasting friendships. The childcare facility that we were working with was a lovely short bike ride from our home. Each morning we were greeted by the excited, smiling children when we arrived. there was no better feeling that that. The children were always to excited to see us, and being with them, and being able to teach them a few things, was an amazing feeling. The nuns that we were working alongside inspired me to be a better person and to want to lead a more humble life. They were amazing with the children and so thankful that we were there.
If you have the opportunity to take a few weeks out of your life and donate them to others, I would strongly suggest it. The experience will be so meaningful to you, and those that you help.

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Oct 12, 2017
Overall:
10
Support:
10
Value:
10

Projects Abroad

Having to teach English to kids it's always hard if you don't have any language in common. They don't completely understand you, but when you finally think of a game with which they can both enjoy and learn English, you and the kids begin laughing and playing, as well as learning.
Honestly, I didn't had the opportunity to feel that because I'm very bad at teaching and talking, and for me it's very difficult to be funny and play with kids. But despite that, everytime I took the camera and the kids saw me, all of them went to surround me so I could take them (lovely) pictures. That feeling that you have when you see the kid smiling and laughing with his friends when you show him the picture you just took them in priceless. I don't think I will feel this anymore, unless I go back.
I want to share some of that pictures, including a special one: Our Local Coordinator's birthday celebration.
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bz5w-lCV582bWTVLSkxPXzlfNzQ

Program: Volunteer Abroad
Location: Cambodia
Posted: Sep 21, 2017
Overall:
9
Support:
9
Value:
9

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Cambodia