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Cambodia - Sustainable Community Development

Improve the educational experience of underprivileged children, both in and outside the classroom, by teaching English and Health as well as working on construction projects. A truly worthwhile experience in the north-western Samraong district of Cambodia.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectSamraong, Northern Cambodia
Project LengthMin 1 week - Max 8 weeks
Arrival AirportSiem Reap-Angkor International Airport
Volunteer WorkTeaching, health education, and renovation work
Number of Participants5 - 10 international volunteers
Age17 - 70
Age Exceptions This project accepts volunteers who are younger than 18 years old with a letter of consent from a parent or guardian.

What's Included

AccommodationVolunteer house in Samraong
FoodThree meals a day (excluding lunch on the weekends)
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersIncluded on arrival day
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, lunch on the weekends, visa (if required)


Samraong is the capital of Oddar Meanchey Province, Cambodia's newest province, which is on the border with Thailand. To this day, the town is recovering from a long civil war, which resulted in decades of isolation. Most people visit Samraong to do much-needed development work. Samraong is about 120 km away from Siem Reap (about 4 hours by car). 


About the Project

In 2008, this organization joined forces with Oddar Meanchey’s provincial government and began partnering with NGOs to initiate several volunteering projects in the Northern Cambodian countryside. In cooperation with the provincial education department, this organization has brought volunteers to work in local schools in Samraong and its surrounding villages.

Most of the volunteer work is carried out at a local school designed, built and run by a native Cambodian who works tirelessly to address the lack of resources and services available for underprivileged communities in the area (the school offers free education to those who cannot afford it). Founded in 2008, much of the school was built by volunteers and local builders and now has over 230 students from six surrounding villages. The students range from 6-15 years old, with class sizes from 25-30 students. 
In addition to construction, renovation and teaching English, this organization cooperates with the provincial public health department to provide health education to the local community. 


Volunteer Work and Contribution

Volunteers will be placed at different project sites, based on the demands and needs of the community at the time of volunteering as well as their personal preference. 

  • Teaching English on an informal basis
  • Providing workshops for the students about cultural exchange
  • Helping with arts-and-crafts activities
  • Organizing games and sport activities after classes
  • Creating environmental awareness activities
  • Hosting hygiene and health sessions
  • Painting 
  • Working with the children in their vegetable garden (the food is then used in their meals)
  • Building tables and chairs
  • Constructing and renovating the playground
  • Making pathways
  • Building toilets
  • Repairing the school walls
  • Building new classrooms

Health Education: This project is available at an additional cost of $250 a week. Volunteers wishing to join this project must have a medical background and will assist with education on the following topics:

  • Sanitation
  • Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's)
  • Health and care for the elderly
  • Hygiene

Holidays: During some holidays, volunteers will be primarily involved in repairs and renovations and other outreach programs since school will not be in session. The main holidays are as follows:

April 6th - April 20th 2016 and September 26th - October 7th 2016

A typical day: After breakfast, you'll get a head start on your morning activities, which might be teaching English, assisting with renovation tasks, or promoting health education. Your afternoon activities will resume after lunch and will typically end around 5:00 pm. After dinner, you can relax, explore, or hang out with fellow volunteers. Saturdays and Sundays are free to spend as you wish. 


Living Arrangements

AccommodationsDuring your volunteer placement,  you will stay in the main volunteer house in Samraong. The house can accommodate up to 28 people with 4 people in each room. All rooms come with a fan, shower (no hot water), mosquito net, and a Western toilet. It is about a 10-minute bike ride from the volunteer house to the hospital. 

FoodFrom Monday-Friday, three meals a day are provided. On the weekends, only brunch and dinner are provided.  The food will be Cambodian fare, including plenty of rice dishes.

InternetFree WiFi at the volunteer house.

LaundryThere are limited laundry facilities so expect to hand wash your clothes.


Culture Week (highly recommended)

For an additional fee you can extend your stay for a week with a program designed to introduce you to a great stay in a new country. As part of this week, you will receive basic language classes to help you get around the country without a hassle. You will also have the opportunity to take some traditional cooking classes as well as travel to some of the finest temples in the area, engaging in Q&A sessions with monks to enhance your understanding of Buddhism and its customs. Throughout the week, there will many opportunities to interact with the local residents, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the community.


Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum age 17
  • Good level of English
  • Motivation to work with children 
  • Positive and flexible attitude
  • Police clearance form
  • Medical background preferred if doing Health Education Project

Here's an excerpt of Megan's experience:


"Any amount of time spent helping these kids is great of course, but the longer you stay the more meaningful and purposeful your efforts become. Most volunteers were very sad to leave and wanted to stay longer, so I would advise to plan for a longer stay if you can."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog

Here's an excerpt of Bella's experience:


"Friday’s are a bit different because that’s test day, the children LOVE this though, as they get to see what they’ve learnt through the week and after an hour or so of tests are free to play. One Friday it was so hot we all ran through a fence at the back of the school and jumped in to a huge pond to cool off. All the kids who could swim were jumping in with us and the ones who couldn’t we were hugging and splashing."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog

Here's an excerpt of Delia's experience:


"Overall, one cannot but be impressed and humbled by the whole experience and you will come away (with difficulty and a heavy heart because of the love and lessons those children with so very little have taught you in such a short time) inspired to take back home some of those simple “rules” and customs of teaching, so often lost or forgotten in our modern obsession for league tables and political correctness."

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Dina's experience:

  "We would call them to the board and have a short conversation: “Hello how are you? – I am fine thank you and you?” (all the kids know these two sentences). But then we would continue asking, “Where are you from?” And they would just answer, “Where are you from?”… They laughed right after and from that we understood straight away that they had no clue what we were talking about!"

Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!

Here's an excerpt of Jolanta's experience:

  "While I loved teaching it proved challenging at times because of the language barrier. The books and materials were not in English and I had to work with 8 to 25 children everyday. The children were so sweet and appreciative that no matter how hard or difficult a day was I couldn’t help, but smile and think of their darling faces."
Read the rest of her story on the GoEco blog!


Check out our Volunteer Blog at blog.goeco.org to read experiences written by GoEco volunteers from all over the world!

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