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Cambodia - Teaching and Community Development

Volunteer for children in a local community and experience Cambodian culture firsthand. This is a unique volunteer program, which volunteers can design in part by themselves and even join an exciting eco-trip after their placement.



Fast Facts

Location of ProjectSamraong, Northern Cambodia
Project LengthMin 2 weeks - Max 8 weeks
Arrival AirportSiem Reap-Angkor International Airport
Volunteer WorkTeaching, gardening, and renovation work
Number of Participants5 - 10 international volunteers
Age17 - 70

What's Included

AccommodationEco lodge with shared room
Food3 meals a day
SupportLocal in-country team and 24hr emergency support
Airport TransfersIncluded on arrival when volunteering for 2 weeks or more
Pre-Departure Kit Full project details will be sent following registration
Orientation Introduction week in Samraong
Insurance Comprehensive travel health insurance with volunteer abroad coverage

What's Not Included

Flights, personal expenses, visa (if required)


Samraong is the capital of Oddar Meanchey province, located 120km North of Siem Reap province and borders Thailand.

According to figures of the UNDP, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in South-East Asia. Over 75% of the Cambodian population lives on less than 2 USD per day, with the figures for the countryside dramatically higher. Basic infrastructure is lacking and education levels are generally low. However, despite these problems young Cambodians are very dynamic and eager to engage themselves!


About the Project

In early 2008, GoEco's partner organization decided to start up several volunteering projects in the Northern Cambodian countryside working with local and international NGO's as well as the provincial government of Oddar Meanchey.

In cooperation with the provincial education department, volunteers have started working in local schools in Samraong, the capital of Oddar Meanchey, and in the surrounding villages. Considering the state of the school buildings, volunteers are not only engaged in basic teaching activities, but also in the basic renovation of the school.

It is recommended to join a cultural orientation with the local organization as your first week.


Orientation Week

The Orientation Week is the first step towards a great stay in a new country. It is designed so that you can begin to understand the Cambodian culture. It is a fun filled week that is dedicated to getting to know Cambodia and some of its cultural aspects first hand. You will also get time to meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with the Cambodian customs. Given its objective – learning about the traditional rural Cambodia culture, it is appropriate that this week takes place in Samraong. There are many opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture such as visits to local villages, touring temples, local fairs, and some amazing natural scenery sites that you can explore during your free time.


Volunteer Work and Contribution

In cooperation with the full time volunteer a special program will be created for all volunteers involved in this initiative. Activities can include a combination of:

  • Teaching English on a non-formal basis
  • Working with the children in their vegetable garden (for their own consumption)
  • Creating activities for the students including workshops for cultural exchange
  • Art and handicrafts activities
  • After school sports
  • Environmental awareness activities (Clean Up the World)
  • Basic construction to improve the children's livelihoods

The schools are located in the town of Samraong and the villages around it. In 2015, the school holidays are from April 6th - April 20th and from August 1st - October 1st.  You can still volunteer during these times but your focus will be on community and construction projects in the area.

***Note: Cambodia is a tropical country with occasional violent storms, heavy rains, and floods. During such times, the above schedule may be subject to change.


Living Arrangements

Accommodations: volunteers will be housed with local home-stays or in a guest house where this is not feasible (for example in the case of larger groups). The doors and windows are screened (to protect  from mosquitoes). There are fans in the rooms. For valuables, we have lockers available. The camp is situated close to the Samraong city center where volunteers will find all the amenities they could need i.e. internet, shops, hospital, pharmacy, banks, and restaurants. Please note that Cambodia is still a developing country and that the facilities may not be the same standard as volunteers are used to in their home country. 

Food: all meals are included during the stay. The meals will be typical Cambodian fare, including plenty of rice dishes

Internet: available in town for a small fee.

Laundry: there are limited laundry facilities so expect to wash  clothes by hand. 

Please note: all participants are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. Volunteers will be expected to clean up after themselves, and to play their part to keep the accommodation neat and organized.


Minimum Requirements

  • Min age 18
  • Good level of English
  • Motivation to work with children and meet new cultures
  • Positive and flexible attitude


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!



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!


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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