How to Find the Best Short-Term Volunteering Opportunities in Cambodia
Want your trip to Cambodia to be more meaningful than beach parties and temple hopping?
Abandon the trodden tourist track and volunteer.
Even if you only have a week or two to spare, there's still a lot you can do to make a difference.
Here are some of our tips for finding a reputable volunteer program and some of the best opportunities to choose from.
What to look for in your short-term Cambodia volunteer program
This is the most important thing to look for when choosing a volunteer program. You don't want to support fly-by-night organisations. You want your money and time to go towards programs that are making a real difference and have a long-term impact.
Ask the organisation to explain how they measure the sustainability of their projects. It's also important to understand how your role as a volunteer will impact their short-term and long-term goals.
2. Community Impact
Volunteering isn't always glamorous. Sometimes you need to get your hands dirty to make a genuine difference.
While it's a great ego boost to say you're helping to build a school in Cambodia, your feelings should always be secondary. You need to make sure that whatever you're doing positively impacts the community.
Ask the volunteer organisation how they identified the need for the project and how the locals are involved.
3. Value for money
Whether you’re volunteering for two weeks or six months, it's going to cost you.
Even if there is no program fee, you're still going to have to buy food, pay for excursions and other living costs.
Before deciding on a program, do your research and get a break down of the program fee. Any reputable organisation will gladly give you this information to show how your money is spent.
While it's great to volunteer for free, don't rule out the expensive programs either. The high fee often means you get a bunch of extras like language lessons, cultural activities, access to staff on the ground, food, boarding and day trips.
3 of the Best Short-Term Volunteering Opportunities in Cambodia
If you to help save the environment and it's wildlife, volunteering in Cambodia has a plethora of options.
Our favourite is Projects Abroad's conservation project. You'll help collect valuable information about the marine life, clean beaches and scuba dive almost every day.
With high illiteracy rates, teaching English in Cambodia is a great way to help those in need. Be prepared to come with loads of energy and creative lesson plans.
Global Aware offers one-week volunteer programs to teach disadvantaged children in Siem Reap and other nearby rural areas.
As Cambodia is a developing country, there is a growing demand for housing, sanitation and clean drinking water. Construction is one of the best short-term volunteering options as you'll be able to SEE the impact of your project.