Community support in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Although a busy and popular tourist destination as the base for trips to the famous Angkor Wat temples, Siem Reap has very real poverty and social deprivation.

Working with an inspired local NGO, this project has a truly holistic approach to providing support for families living in extreme economic poverty - health care, education, training, income generation and more are offered through the community programme.

Virtually any and all volunteer abilities and skills will be welcomed by this project, with each placement specifically designed to use whatever experience the volunteer brings.

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What to Expect?

The project

The project's 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 (soccer) team who compete in local tournaments.

- Community support is provided in the form of rice aid, house repairs, installing water wells/pumps, water filters (for clean drinking water), toilets and hygiene packs.

- Children are encouraged to attend state school and the project assists with this by providing school uniforms, supplies and bicycles.

- Micro-loans are provided for setting up a small business.

- A programme of health education is being established.

- A small area of land has been given to local families with no land, to grow vegetables.

The project is run as a locally registered, non religious, non political NGO, managed by a committee of local village representatives, staff representative and expat founders. With the exception of the Project Manager, who is English, the project and Community Centre employs only local staff.

This project 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, this project and the Community Centre offer hope for the future, whether through a child's education or a micro loan to fund a livelihood initiative.

The team's goals for the future are to:

- increase outreach work with families, disadvantaged young people and the elderly

- produce saleable goods under fair trade conditions, providing incomes to the craft workers and funds for the development and running of the centre

- open a community library

- develop the health education programme

- build a kitchen and provide a nutritious lunch to 100 needy children

- expand the art programme

- research and develop effective sustainable energy systems

Living Conditions

You will live in a locally owned guesthouse. Breakfast is included and evening meals can be arranged in advance or during your stay - however there are a large number of local restaurants within walking distance where you can eat for $6.00 or less. You will have a single en-suite room with air conditioning and fans, tea and coffee making facilities and a small fridge, TV and wireless internet. We can also arrange accommodation in a local boutique hotel with more facilities - please ask us.

  • Program ID: # 2090
  • duration:
    1 to 3 Months
    More than 3 Months
  • location:
    Siem Reap
    Cambodia
    13° 22' 5.6748" N, 103° 51' 13.536" E
    KH
  • Fitness level:
    Light Impact
    Moderately Fit
    Very Fit
  • Closest Airport:
    Siem Reap (REP)
  • Costs From:
    $1500 to $3000
  • Program Type:
    Community Development Projects
    Women's & Youth Programs
  • Click Here for More Info

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