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01869 338890

Volunteering: Orphanage & Community Projects - Cambodia

Julie worked in the orphanage and community projects such as rural village schools whilst living in a rural Cambodian town with breathtaking scenery and mysterious temples.

Julie at the orphange in Cambodia"I really enjoyed my time at the project, getting to know the children at the orphanage; they were all so lovely and wanted to spend time with the volunteers. It was great that you were able to choose to be involved in many different aspects of the project.  I thought that the project was very well run, and the fact that it is a community project, not just the orphanage means that it helps support so many local children, they have also recently introduced lessons to teach the local police English, so the project continues to grow.

A typical day would involve cycling to the orphanage in the morning, assisting with two of the English classes: going to the 'coffee lady' for coffee and noodles before cycling on to teach the Monks in the afternoon. Later I would return to the orphanage to spend some time with the children: back to the orphanage for evening meal and then would spend the evening on the veranda chatting to other volunteers!

I particularly enjoyed helping to teach English to the children at the orphanage. It was also really rewarding spending time teaching English to the Monks as they were so keen to learn, and were such fun! I had a really brilliant time, made some good friends, got to know people in the local community, spent time with the children, and had plenty of free time to explore Cambodia. I still miss it!!

What did you find most challenging?
I guess, when you get there you realise that what you do is such a small part of helping the project. But I came to the conclusion that if everyone did a little bit it would make an enormous difference.

What advice would you give others considering doing this placement?
Just go with an open mind and be prepared to 'muck in'.  This project is not aimed at people who As a volunteer you could use your initiative and create activitiesneed to be told what to do, but it does give you many choices as you can choose what aspect of the project interests you, for example you may want to spend time at the rural schools, or spend all your time at the orphanage.

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad?
It's a great opportunity to see another country, and not just be a sightseer, you feel as though you get to know the local people, and have an insight into their life, and in some small way you feel as you're making a difference to the lives of the children, so the more people that volunteer the more their lives improve. I had a brilliant experience, and it has had a much more lasting impact than just going on holiday and seeing another country.

Why did you choose PoD?
I really liked the PoD website, the Cambodia project was just what I was looking for, with plenty of opportunities to get involved in many different things. There was a lot of support from PoD from a friendly chat on the phone. Becky was particularly helpful as she had been to the project and was able to answer very specific questions. There was plenty of literature explaining everything about the project, and as a first time volunteer I really appreciated this support. I would have no hesitation in recommending PoD to friends and family."

If you would like to find out about volunteering in Cambodia with PoD please visit our project page http://www.podvolunteer.org/Child-care-and-orphanages/orphanage-cambodia.html

If you would like to apply for a place volunteering with PoD in Cambodia please visit http://www.podvolunteer.org/how-to-apply.html

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