About me and my work in Cambodia
I'm currently living in Siem Reap at the Sun Sothy Guesthouse and volunteering for Kids-Care Cambodia/PROtectKids Kambodscha. I'm an assistant teacher at the organization's school. In Germany (University of Heidelberg) I study English, History and Art to become a teacher. So, I'm helping out in the English and Art cllasses here in Cambodia and I take care of small groups of children to give each child its full attention.
The project I work for operates on sound principles and it brings benefits for all concerned. The children profit from the interaction with other cultures and since I take care of small groups a full attention each child is guaranteed. Regular local teachers still work at the school, so that no jobs of local people are taken away. Also, I, as a volunteer, already know that this voluntary work will bring benefits for me: I'll have a rewarding experience whilst also bringing useful support to the project and the children it serves.
Kids-Care Cambodia is run by a couple that has an extensive knowledge of the education and poverty issue and they are addressing. Roger Valkenborghs is a kind-hearted Belgian, who is very dedicatedt to his non-profit projects. He is married to Sun Sothy, a charming and powerful local woman. Both of them are a great support to cope with life in this country where so many things are different. They manage the project very well and keep it financially transparent. All the money that is donated goes directly to the children! They are also very honest when it comes to volunteering and they do not want volunteers, who are motivated to come to a foreign country and give up their time, and inevariably their money, to pay an extra fee for working for the project. I only pay for accomondation at the great guesthouse and the fresh excellent food that Sun Sothy cooks every day. (http://www.sunsothy-guesthouse.com/index.php)
Infos Volunteering at KidsCare Cambodia.Org
Many young people would like to do volunteering, but you always have to consider a few things before you do volunteering, e.g. you have to make sure that you don't do more harm than good. Roger and his wife Sun always make sure that volunteering at their schools is RESPONSIBLE VOLUNTEERING.
This well elaborated article addresses issues that come along with non-respnosible volunteering:
Infos Volunteering at KidsCare Cambodia.Org
The KidsCare School in Siem Reap (Cambodia) welcomes volunteers of all ages who are willing to dedicate their time and skills to support students and teachers.
Educational programs you could support as a volunteer:
Teaching (English/Arts/Music) as an assistant teacher in a classroom:
Lots of Cambodian children want to go to school and are willing to learn. Unfortunatly, not all children can attend classes, since public education is not free in Cambodia and most families are too poor to spend money on education when they are even struggling to feed and shelter their children. Luckily, KidsCare Cambodia can provide free aducation to the sponsored children.
As a volunteer you could assist the local English teacher in the classroom. There are too many children in one classroom, so that the teacher is unable to take care of each student and his or her difficulties individually. Especially the youngest, who do not know how to write yet, need a lot of help. There is a great range in the student's learning progress: Some are older and have studied for a longer time and are very quick when they work, others, like the younger students, need a long time for finishing their excercises. So, some students that work quickly are bored when others are still working hard on their tasks. As an assistant teacher your job would also be to balnace out this inequality.
You could also come up with songs, games or art projects to help the teacher teach English in a playful way.In fact, it is KidsCare's philosophy to have fun at school and to provide a joyful education, it is not about studying a lot wtihin a short time.Most of these children experience a lot of misery in their daily life, so that KidsCare tries to provide a happy escape at school. I, for example, taught the teacher how to play Bingo with the children. This was not just a fun game but also a good excercise to repeat the numbers in English.
"Give a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you will feed him for life."
KidsCare-Cambodia cares deeply about the sustained effect of the provided help. KidsCare does not only give what is most urgently needed for survival, but more importantly also helps people to build a safe future for themselves. This is mainly done through education of children and their parents. This is why part of the new school's property is reserved for gardening. As a volunteer you could teach the children how to plant vegetables and crop, so that they learn to pruduce products themselves they could actually live off.
- Have an interest in working with children
- Only apply for a volunteer position you have had a specialized training for ("You would never built a house if you have never picked up a hammer in your life before.When working with people, especially children, the issue is significantly more serious.")
- Have some experience in your professional field (teaching
- Stay for at least one month
- Business visa (25$, also available on arrival, but you need a passport photo)
- Organize flight and transportation to Siem Reap yourself
- For approximately 250$ per month you can stay in the volunteer's house (bedroom + fan, bathroom, kitchen) on the school's compound, but you can also organize an appartment yourself. The volunteer's house is not yet built, so we can not make precise offers. However, it is certain that the volunteers have pay for accomodation and food themselves.