School Volunteer in Cambodia
Whether you are backpacking Cambodia, on a Gap year, want a holiday with a difference, or just have a week or 2 to give back to the local community you visit, we welcome you. This volunteer project in Samraong, Cambodia gives you the chance to help in a community-funded school where you will teach disadvantaged children English, gardening as well as several other creative skills. You will also provide instruction on hygiene, sanitation, and health and safety.
The basis of the School Volunteer Program Samraong is unique; this project truly offers volunteers a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Each day, over 400 children arrive at this school in Samraong, and every one of them is eager to learn. They are extremely grateful with any help given to them, and they truly appreciate the volunteers and teachers who educate them. This school is unique because it was designed, built, and now operated under the guidance of Cambodian manager.The school is fully funded by the community and relies heavily on both the goodwill of the local populations and the work of volunteer teachers.
The students at the school hail from the Prul village, as well as from five other surrounding villages. Their ages range from 6 to 15 and the majority have only a basic grasp of the English language. Although the school is community sponsored, it is fully equipped with the basic teaching resources, including blackboards and flashcards. There is an adequate supply of paper and pencils, although we do encourage volunteers to bring learning materials – pencils, art supplies, paper, chalk – with them to donate.
The school was built largely with the help of previous volunteers and local tradesmen; that being said, the school is not yet fully complete, and future volunteers will have the opportunity to help with various construction and renovation tasks during their time. It’s also possible for volunteers to create educational art, which can be used to brighten up the walls and classrooms.
Aims & Objectives
- Improve village children’s educational prospects
- Provide learning tools that empower students to create a better future for themselves
- Gain invaluable, practical experience in teaching
- Facilitate a cultural exchange which broadens the perspectives of all engaged
- Assist the local staff by providing an extra hand
While the main focus of this teaching program will depend on the needs of the school during your stay, there are certain responsibilities that you will probably come across during your time in Cambodia.
For example, you will be teaching the students English to help them develop their language and speech skills – this teaching is incredibly beneficial, especially as bilingualism, especially English, becomes more and more essential for those looking to join the Cambodian workforce.
Since the school has a vegetable garden that provides some of the children’s food, you can expect to help in its maintenance and harvesting depending on what time of the year you volunteer. You will also participate in environmental awareness activities designed to instruct the children on how best to build a sustainable local environment. You are also likely to help with the construction and renovation of the school, as well as other buildings in the local community.
Last but certainly not least, you will create activities for students that want to learn more about your culture, play sports with the children after classes, and lead arts and crafts lessons to encourage create development and expression.
Teaching time with the students is divided into two shifts; the first is in the morning and runs between 08:00 and 11:00, whilst the second is in the afternoon and runs between 14:00 and 17:00. Our staff normally recommend that volunteers commit to one teaching shift a day, with the rest of their time dedicated to the various other tasks that make up this project.
Schedule: During evening volunteers have free time, no program activities are scheduled unless mentioned otherwise. During free time you can explore the local area, relax with your fellow volunteers, or spend time immersing yourself in the local culture. There are also various chances for sightseeing and exploring, both locally and further afield.
Samraong, which name translates from Khmer into “impenetrable jungle”, is a town located in northwestern Cambodia, close to the border with Thailand. You will be located in a small, rural village located in the outskirts of town. This remote location will give you a taste of what rural Cambodia looks and feels like, while at the same time allowing you to explore some of Cambodia’s highlights, as Siem Reap is located only two hours away.
The accommodation in Samraong is simple and natural. There are no laundry facilities, so expect to wash your clothes by hand. However, there are some places that you can do laundry in the town for a small cost. All locations have a communal area where you can eat, relax, meet fellow participants or use the free WiFi. Requests for specific locations or room configurations cannot be guaranteed.There are bikes available, which you can use to explore the area during your free time!
- Available Room Types
- Persons per room 4
- WiFi in public areas
- lockable rooms
- Private bathroom
- Bed linen
- Mosquito protection
- Private rooms available on request
Your meals will be typical Cambodian style, including plenty of rice dishes, meat and at times, western food. Vegetarian options are available.
Three meals on weekdays, Two on weekends
There are ATMs in Samraong, as well as a bank. There are numerous local shops where you can get all the basics you might need during your stay. Depending on the location of your accommodation, these may be accessible within a 10 – 15 minute bike ride or walk.
Sights & Surroundings
There is a nearby park where you can relax or play volleyball with locals during your free time.
Further away is Siem Reap, which is two hours away from the accommodation. Participants often opt to head there during the weekends to explore the famous Angkor Wat and more!
Trip Country Info
Capital: Phnom Penh
Currency: Riel (KHR)
Time zone: UTC +7
Once known as the Khmer empire, Cambodia is perhaps best known for its monumental temples, especially that of Angkor Wat – finalist in the election of the new 7 wonders of the world in 2006. It is without doubt a country of incredible beauty, scattered with these temples, fertile rice fields and a rich and interesting history. For this reason it is unsurprising that Cambodia has taken a firm place on the tourist map. Having been a protectorate of France for almost 100 years, the country gained its independence in 1953. Following this however, Cambodia experienced years of civil war, turmoil and political corruption, as well as suffering from its involvement in the Vietnam war.
Despite holding this dark history, Cambodia really is an extraordinary country and has prevailed due to what has been described as the unbreakable spirit of the Cambodian people. The people here are known for their friendliness and their smiles.
Gap year travel to Cambodia is on the rise as more and more people discover its culture, traditions and historic treasures. A relatively unexplored country compared to its neighbours, Cambodia opened up for tourism very recently.Troubled by extreme poverty, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with over 75% of the population living on less than 2 USD a day. Things such as infrastructure, healthcare, and education are lacking in quality and are often not available to their fullest extent.
With a wide range of volunteering opportunities, Tru Experience wants to help you find the volunteer experience that’s perfect for you whether you are looking to work & travel in Cambodia or go on a road trip across the country. By visiting Cambodia, you can find yourself in a world where you can help those less fortunate than yourself while exploring the many cultural treasures of the nation and getting to know the people in a way that can’t be compared. If you are looking for a gap year holiday in Cambodia, a road trip, conservation work, teaching, community work or other work & travel in Cambodia have a look at our latest experiences below.