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Cambodia - Teaching and School Construction

Help improve the school experience for underprivileged children in and around Samraong and get Cambodian culture firsthand!



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)


The rural town of Samraong, capital of Oddar Meanchey province, is located 120 km north of Siem Reap province. The locals there have a relaxed and slow-paced way of life, which is often a delight for visitors. The town, though small, acts as a popular base for many travelers coming from Northwestern Cambodia. Samraong is also the town closest to the O'Smach/Chong Chom border with Thailand. 


About the Project

Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in South-East Asia. Over 75% of the 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. In 2008, this organization joined forces with the provincial government of Oddar Meanchey and began partnering with local and international NGO's to assist with 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 surrounding villages.


Orientation Week

This orientation is the first step towards a great stay in a new country. It is designed to expose you to Cambodian culture in the best way possible. This week is dedicated to getting to know the language, culture and customs. You can expect basic language classes to help you get around. You will also be able to try traditional cooking classes so that you can make delicious Cambodian meals at home. You will be taken to the finest temples in the area and have the exciting opportunity to have a Q&A session with monks to enhance your understanding of Buddhism and its customs. Throughout the week, there will be a lot of opportunities to interact with the locals so you can learn more about them and they can learn about you.


Volunteer Work and Contribution

The followings projects are school-focused with an aim to improve the education, facilities and overall experience for the underserved children of Samraong. You will select one of three placements. 

Teaching: The organization recently opened up a school in the Pul village of Samraong. The schools offer several subjects to underprivileged children who would otherwise not have access to education. Some of your duties may include:
  • Teaching English on a non-formal basis
  • Working with the children in their vegetable garden (for their own consumption)
  • Providing workshops for the students about cultural exchange
  • Helping with art and handicraft activities
  • Hosting sports after classes
  • Creating environmental awareness activities
  • Holding hygiene and health classes
  • Assisting with small construction and renovation projects
Construction: This projects aims to improve the quality of life for under-privileged citizens in and around Samraong. The main project site is the main school, but you will also assist the local people with other development construction projects. There is a focus on light construction work and some of your tasks may include:
  • Helping paint the school buildings
  • Working in the vegetable and flower gardens
  • Assisting with building tables and chairs
  • Constructing and renovating the playground
  • Making pathways
  • Learning to build toilets
  • Repairing the school wall
  • Help build the new classrooms

Please note, construction and renovation work is available in more places when required in the local area. Tools and equipment as well as instructions will be provided

Health Education: The organization has partnered with provincial public health department and several local schools to assist the development of health education. The objective is to improve the health of young Cambodian children through teaching medical-related topics in their schools such as sanitation, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), bodily health and care for the elderly. Keep in mind that you will be working with blackboards and whiteboards, but you are encouraged to be as creative as possible with the resources you have.  You will go around to different schools each day teaching on these various topics. Please note, your project coordinator will schedule your program with the school principals.

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.

A typical day: You will work about 4-6 hours, Monday to Friday. Your daily tasks will vary depending on which project you are assigned to. Weekends are free for all projects. 

***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: You will be housed in a local homestay unless you  are part of a big group in which case you will stay at a guesthouse. The doors and windows of both accommodations are screened to protect you from mosquitoes. There are fans in the rooms and lockers for your valuables. The camp is situated close to the Samraong city center where you will find 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 you may be used to in your home country.

Food: All meals are included. They are typical Cambodian food (plenty of rice dishes).

Internet: Free WiFi is available. 

Laundry: There are limited laundry facilities so expect to hand wash your clothes.

Please note: You are expected to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity. You will be expected to clean up after yourself and ensure your accommodation is kept 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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