As a Cambodia childcare volunteer with PMGY, you will educate and work with children between the ages of 4-7 years at a time before they begin formal schooling. International volunteers with children in Cambodia help to brighten up the lives of young children in Takeo Province. As a Cambodia childcare volunteer organise educational activities and games that will positively promote stimulation and productiveness in young ones.
CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE UN'S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL NO.4 - EDUCATION
MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT TO THE LIVES OF UNDERPRIVILEGED CHILDREN
COORDINATE & ENGAGE IN FUN ACTIVITIES MAKING A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE PROJECT
LEARN ABOUT LOCAL COMMUNITIES IN A DEVELOPING COUNTRY
EXPERIENCE THE UNIQUE & INTERESTING CULTURE OF CAMBODIA
BACKGROUND TO THE CHILDCARE PROGRAM
The first few years of a child’s life are fundamentally important. This time is critical for forming the foundation that helps shape their future health, happiness and learning achievement. As a Cambodia childcare volunteer, you will have the opportunity to think and act creatively. As a consequence, you have the chance to make a positive impact on the lives of young ones within the local community.
Tourism in Cambodia contributes a tremendous amount to the economy. This means those who are able to converse in English with foreigners have far more prospects than those who do not. Exposure to the English language at a young age helps initiate the development of this life-long skill of multilingualism. Engagement with native English speakers, therefore, provides a great starting point for this. Our PMGY childcare project in Cambodia helps local children develop skills that they will benefit from for the rest of their lives. This includes an introduction to the fundamentals of the English language, assistance with social integration and the development of motor skills.
Each day as a childcare volunteer in Cambodia is different and you will get out of the project what you put in. It is a good idea to join the project well prepared with lots of ideas for activities so that you can get stuck in as soon as possible. Volunteers with children in Cambodia will have the opportunity to think and act creatively. As a consequence, they make a positive impact on the lives of young ones within the local community. If you need motivation for gap year volunteer programs, then our projects in Cambodia provide some fantastic opportunities.
CHILDCARE VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLE
Hope School - Our main program in Cambodia is based in Takeo Province, south of the country’s capital city, Phnom Penh. The kids attending the childcare program are from villages nearby. The childcare centre is located on the same campus as our team’s teaching English program for older children and teenagers. It is hoped that the younger children will continue their journey with our team in the future. The childcare project, therefore, aims to also help with this eventual transition and integration.
Our team’s community education program was established in 2010. The aim was to provide accessible English classes to children in underprivileged villages. The opportunity to learn and develop English is so low in this rural area that children are prepared to travel 7km each way for a one hour lesson each day. The school usually has over 150 children attending each day.
As a volunteer with children in Cambodia, you will be based within a classroom setting. This responsible volunteering project focuses on developing core English skills, promoting social interaction and routines from a young age. Our international volunteers will work to advocate all of these aspects through itineraries set by the local staff. For volunteer work in Cambodia, there is an office of resources and textbooks that you can use to assist you. A volunteer with children in Cambodia is encouraged to introduce creative and engaging ways to manage the class.
YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL CHILDCARE DAY
On the childcare volunteer abroad program, you will be required to prepare, deliver and lead activities and basic English lessons to support local children. Volunteers with children in Cambodia can expect to spend 3-4 hours on the project each day. The typical hours of work as a Cambodia childcare volunteer are 1-4pm. Time on the Cambodia volunteer work will include various roles and tasks for the volunteers.
Days will usually begin with a lively and energetic first hour of songs, games and basic hygiene tasks like teeth brushing. After burning off any excess energy, approximately 1 hour will be dedicated to learning. This may include activities such as learning and recognising the alphabet, understanding phonics and the coaching of basic greetings. Combined, these tasks help to familiarise the children with this foreign language. Furthermore, it advances their learning ability for other subjects in the future. The day will usually end with various activities that focus on practising fine motor skills and dexterity, perhaps through arts and crafts or group games.
Volunteers and coordinators have also introduced a Fun Friday aspect to the program. For this, fellow volunteers can come together to organise entertaining activities for the children. Sometimes volunteers will organise and fund an afternoon trip outside of the program for the children. Volunteers usually contribute a small expense to facilitate this, but contributing and participating in Fun Fridays are by no means compulsory.
When you volunteer in Cambodia, you should spend time planning for each day. This will allow them to get the most out of their project time. This also provides focussed learning activities for the children. As a Cambodia childcare volunteer, you will also have the opportunity to assist or lead an older class on our English Teaching project. However, this is optional and not a mandatory requirement of the program.
The project is located on the same grounds as the house for participants on our volunteering programs in Cambodia. Participants therefore only have a short walk to project each day. Free time can be used to prepare sessions, chill in the Volunteer House or explore the nearby villages.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WORKING WITH CHILDREN IN CAMBODIA
Accommodation Setup - Our Cambodia volunteer programs are based in a rural setting in Takeo Province, approximately two hours south of Phnom Penh. The accommodation is very basic, based in a remote location and in a dormitory-like form. There is a sense of community on the program, with volunteers responsible for the cleaning and upkeep of the living area. This includes completing morning chores. This can involve tasks such as gardening, cleaning and renovation work. Together, this contribution from volunteers helps to maintain a happy and clean living environment for everyone.
Resources - On the childcare project in Cambodia, resources can be very limited. Volunteers are recommended to bring materials to the project each day to maximise their productivity and day to day involvement. It is therefore important for volunteers to prepare well in advance to get the most out of their childcare volunteering experience in Cambodia.
Placement Settings - PMGY does not provide volunteer opportunities in orphanages in any of our locations. Research and studies have shown that visiting and volunteering in orphanages has the potential to generate an industry that separates children from their families. In turn, putting children at increased risk of neglect and abuse. Therefore, we do not support these institutions with our volunteer network.
Instead, we focus on offering alternative childcare volunteer opportunities whereby children come to and from the placement setting each day. In other words, our local teams collaborate with childcare projects which do not offer any form of residential care. These are safe, responsible, and vetted projects, where participants continue to provide valued assistance supporting local staff.
Weekends - Your project work in Cambodia runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Cambodia Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.
CHOOSING A VOLUNTEER TRIP
Can people from outside of the UK or USA volunteer with PMGY?
Of course! Although PMGY was founded in the UK, with offices now extending between the UK and US, we welcome participants of all nationalities onto our programs. Within the last decade, we have hosted tens of thousands of volunteers from across the globe. From France to Italy, Mexico to India, Namibia to Russia and Ireland to China – these are only a handful of the countries volunteers have joined us from! We want everyone from across the world to have an equal opportunity at experiencing a different perspective on life, and make friends across the world.
Why are PMGY’s fees so much more affordable than other organisations?
The PMGY International Team works hard to ensure that our fees are kept as low as possible. Consequently, this makes our experiences affordable and accessible without sacrificing the safety and quality of the overall experience.
Registration Fees to join our programs are assigned to the high levels of comprehensive support that we are renowned for. This includes telephone and online support staff available 24 hours each day, as well as detailed hand-guides and interactive webinars. Therefore, the remaining Program Fees to join the program go directly to our in-country teams, covering everything for your time volunteering. In general, these fees are reflected in your accommodation, meals, airport pick-up, in-country support and project upkeep during your time abroad. Furthermore, we make sure our fees are transparent, which is something our volunteers really appreciate.
Similar organisations offer fancy brochures, run large high-street offices and are usually owned by larger travel organisations with many shareholders. As a result, participants are charged an extremely high price to cover all of these overheads. Therefore, at PMGY, we have embraced the online age by focusing everything around an online presence. We have done away with out-dated brochures, an unnecessary high street presence and we are an independent organisation without any outside financial interests.
What are the requirements to volunteer in Cambodia?
PMGY welcomes childcare volunteers in Cambodia of all nationalities, religions and backgrounds. The minimum age to join the program is 18 and there is no upper age limit. Furthermore, all volunteers need to have a good level of English, although it does not need to be your first language. Of course, you do not need to speak Khmer. However, you will find that learning a few words in your days with us in Cambodia will go a long way.
All childcare volunteers in Cambodia must be able to provide a clean criminal background check in advance of volunteering with us abroad. Thus, we are unable to accept anyone who has any previous criminal convictions. In general, no formal experience or qualifications are required for the projects, just lots of energy, enthusiasm and preparation! However, medical and healthcare projects usually require additional documentation before participation begins in-country.
Volunteering overseas can be both physically and mentally challenging. Therefore, all participants must be fit in both areas. Consequently, if you have any medical/mental health conditions that may affect your participation overseas, then these must be declared to us during your online application. If you have any queries regarding your suitability to participate, we recommend that you contact us before committing to the program.
What date should I arrive and leave the Cambodia volunteer program?
For your volunteer trip to Cambodia, you should book your flights to Phnom Penh International Airport in Phnom Penh on the Monday start date. The airport code is PNH. You will be met at the airport by a member of the local team or an appointed driver, who will be holding a named sign. They will take you to your accommodation where you will spend the rest of your day at leisure.
The program ends on the Sunday of your final week. Therefore, you must depart the accommodation on this day.
When is the best time of year to volunteer in Cambodia?
Feedback from childcare volunteers in Cambodia often suggests that it is best to join a PMGY project outside the European summer months. This is since June-August tends to be when we have peak numbers at each of our projects and volunteer accommodations. Conversely, outside of these months, there is typically the greatest opportunity to become fully immersed in the project and within the local community.
Are there any age restrictions to be a volunteer in Cambodia?
In order to join as a Cambodia childcare volunteer, you need to be at least 18 on the program start date. Typically in Cambodia we find 80% of PMGY volunteers are aged between 18-22 years old.
There is no upper age limit to our programs, and in the past, we have hosted participants up to the age of 70-years old. Whilst we have found that our more mature participants get a lot from the experience, at times individuals have found it more challenging to integrate with a younger crowd. Furthermore, some participants have perhaps expected a higher level of accommodation, the structure within the local community, and general overall communication at the project setup. Consequently, whilst we welcome volunteers of all ages, we stress that all participants should remain open-minded and flexible. Additionally, participants must appreciate that the majority of our participants are across the 18-22 age range.
When should I apply to be a childcare volunteer in Cambodia?
For the majority of our programs, you can apply at any time. However, we advise that you apply as soon as possible to ensure we have availability on the program. This is since some of our programs only have limited capacity, meaning that spaces get filled very quickly. Therefore, it is particularly important that you apply in good time if you’re looking to travel between our peak period of June and August. This is because spaces can fill up very quickly during this period. Furthermore, please only apply if you are 100% committed to joining the program. You need to apply online by locating the “Apply Now” button on the individual project page. This will guide you through our online Application Process.
Indeed, once you have applied and confirmed your place on the program, it may be possible to change your start dates and this will not incur a fee. However, please note that this will be subject to availability and any changes should be made at least 60 days prior to your start date.
What duration would you recommend to volunteering for?
Based on feedback from previous childcare volunteers in Cambodia, we believe that 4-6 weeks is the ideal amount of time to volunteer in Cambodia. Consequently, this means you have enough time to integrate into the local community and really get involved in a project. For one thing, you will be able to make a positive impact on community development. Additionally, you will have a greater opportunity to explore during your weekends. Childcare volunteers in Cambodia who join us for 2 weeks frequently tell us that this was long enough and wish they had stayed for longer!
While our programs are available for a long duration and we’d love for people to join us for longer periods of time, we only allow people to initially sign up for a maximum of 12 weeks in each destination. In the past, we have had volunteers commit to longer periods and then prefer to shorten it in order to do independent travel or switch to a different program. Therefore, we recognise that a degree of flexibility is best applied as program fees are nonrefundable once committed. Once you have arrived and find that you are really enjoying the program, you would be more than welcome to extend your placement. This is subject to availability at the time of extension.
For those looking to potentially join us for a longer period, we recommend checking out our Encounter Programs that offer a 2-4 week stay across 3-10 destinations.
Can I volunteer abroad with my friend/parent/boyfriend/girlfriend?
You’re more than welcome to travel and volunteer with friends, family members or with a boyfriend/girlfriend. If required, we can make sure that you stay in the same accommodation and volunteer for the same project. However, please note the majority of our volunteer accommodation is on a single-sex basis. Consequently, we cannot guarantee that you would be able to be placed in the same room.
Please outline in the ‘Special Requirements’ box of your online application if you’d like to make sure you’re placed alongside another applicant/s.
Is it safe to travel to PMGY destinations?
Although our volunteers work in the developing world, we work hard to ensure that our host locations are safe. Firstly, volunteer safety in each of our destinations is monitored regularly. Each of our volunteer programs has been inspected by a member of the PMGY International Team. Additionally, PMGY closely follows advice published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Alongside the frequent contact we have with our local teams, we are able to ensure that our volunteers are never placed in unstable or unsafe regions.
The PMGY International Team have visited and participated in every program we offer. Thus, we have carefully inspected every little detail of our set-up, from the living conditions to local neighbourhoods and even the food you’ll be eating. Through these checks, we are able to ensure that all of our projects are up to scratch. Furthermore, all of our local teams are experienced development professionals, with years of experience hosting international volunteers. They are PMGY’s representatives on the ground and assist volunteers 24/7 throughout their stay. Our teams are therefore always on-hand to assist in any emergencies that may occur. Additionally, our 24 hour international emergency telephone line is always accessible. PMGY’s in-country staff also have access to local medical professionals should these be required during a participant’s time with us.
When you join as a Cambodia childcare volunteer, we will send you a Volunteer Handbook. This document addresses a range of issues such as health, safety, visas and dress codes. For any unanswered or specific questions, PMGY offers a comprehensive support network, with online and telephone support staff available 24 hours each day. Our advisers welcome participants to ask as many questions as needed for them to effectively prepare for their trip overseas. On a monthly basis, our International Team also hosts both an Introductory Webinar and Safety Webinar. These are interactive opportunities for international volunteers to learn more about our projects and managing their safety overseas.
When you arrive in-country, you’ll be given a comprehensive introduction to the general volunteer program and your specific project. During this session, our team will also cover important safety advice specific to your country. You’ll also be given the opportunity to purchase a local SIM-card. This is something we strongly suggest, so you’re contactable at all times. In like manner, we will provide you with a full list of the important contact numbers that you’ll need to know.
Although we cannot guarantee your volunteer experience to be 100% trouble-free we have taken all the necessary precautions to make sure each program is as safe as possible.
When do I pay for my volunteer program? Can I pay in instalments?
In order to confirm your place on the Cambodia childcare volunteer project, you need to pay a deposit of 249 USD. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated free of charge. If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Payments made in advance of the 45 day window can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur. Bank transfers can be accepted by UK participants only.
Can I use the childcare project as part of a university or college placement?
It is certainly possible to use the Cambodia childcare volunteer project as part of your university or college placement. However, PMGY is unable to guarantee that time as a childcare volunteer will fulfil the requirements of your establishment. Therefore, participants are encouraged to speak to a member of the International Team to establish whether the required parameters can be met. This should be done in advance of applying to the program. When appropriate, school/college/university representatives are welcome to contact PMGY to discuss further the suitability of the program in meeting the participant’s requirements.
First of all, the PMGY International Team are able to complete paperwork after childcare volunteers in Cambodia have confirmed their place on the program. Additionally, project staff in Cambodia can also sign-off any paperwork that is required by your course tutors. However, while our team will do their best to complete any paperwork, we are unable to guarantee that we will be able to comply with every learning objective and requirement or your university/college. PMGY regularly receives medical, nursing, childcare and psychology placement students on our projects globally, with ties with some leading universities.
If you’re a course tutor and would like further information about how one of PMGY’s programs could meet the placement requirements for your course, please contact us directly to schedule a meeting.
BEFORE YOU DEPART
Can I fundraise for my volunteer trip?
With PMGY, the money our volunteers pay goes towards the structure you receive on the Cambodia volunteer program. The fundamentals of this cover aspects such as accommodation, airport pick-ups, around the clock support from our international and in-country teams, pre-departure training as well as the implementation and monitoring of the projects.
We do our best to keep our program costs as low and affordable as possible, without sacrificing quality and safety. However, with flights, travel insurance and spending money to factor into your overall budget, you may find you need a little bit of help with the finances. Consequently, a large number of PMGY volunteers decide to fundraise for their trip. In these instances, we recommend that childcare volunteers in Cambodia set up an online fundraising page to notify friends and family of your trip.
PMGY have partnered with the online crowdfunding website GoGetFunding for volunteers to create a personalised fundraising page for their trip. This professional online fundraising service allows you to set financial goals and get the message across about what you’re doing. You can also share your PMGY fundraising page across various social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the word.
Can I raise money for the projects?
The PMGY Foundation is a UK registered charity (1169415). This charity has been created to help provide financial aid and assistance to projects we work with on an ongoing basis. Importantly, the objective of the PMGY Foundation is the prevention or relief of poverty for people living in the communities we support. This is achieved by providing or assisting the provision of education, training, healthcare and general living support. Therefore together, we hope that the support offered by the PMGY Foundation helps to enable individuals to generate a sustainable income and be self-sufficient. Consequently, donations made to the PMGY Foundation will be directed to the projects most in need. This is determined by the trustees of the charity during our International Team overseas visits.
If you are looking to help raise money directly for the PMGY Foundation, you can do so via our Virgin Money Giving fundraising page. 100% of all money raised will be donated directly to the projects we support around the world. However, please note that participants are unable to raise money through the PMGY Foundation to help finance the cost of their trip overseas. For childcare volunteers in Cambodia looking for further information on how to raise money for their trip abroad, please visit our fundraising page.
How do I register for your online webinars?
Every Tuesday at 4pm (London time), the PMGY International Team hosts one of four pre-departure webinars. These last approximately 45 minutes each and importantly provide volunteers in Cambodia with invaluable advice on their upcoming trip. The webinars are hosted by a member of our International Team, who all have extensive knowledge of our projects around the globe. You can attend (and even ask questions) from anywhere in the world, simply by logging in through your own computer. All you need is a computer, a good internet connection and a pair of headphones. In addition to this, if any family or friends would like to attend the session as well, they are more than welcome to do so.
For individuals who have not yet signed up to one of our programs, but would like to learn more about us, we encourage you to join our Introductory Webinar. Across 45 minutes, a member of the International team will introduce you to the concept of volunteering abroad, our destinations and both social and safety aspects of our programs.
For childcare volunteers in Cambodia who have already confirmed their volunteering role on the program, there are three for you to choose from. Please note that you need to sign up for the webinar a few days in advance.
Travel Essentials Pre-Departure Webinar – covers all the basics.
Program Preparation Webinar – covers specifically childcare and teaching community work programs.
Safety & Wellbeing Overseas Webinar – covers the risks associated with overseas travel and how you can keep as safe as possible.
Will I require vaccinations and malaria tablets for my volunteer work?
It is possible that as a Cambodia childcare volunteer, you may require a course of vaccinations in preparation for your volunteer work in Cambodia. However, unfortunately, PMGY is unable to legally advise on these matters, since we are not medical experts. Therefore, it is vital that you contact your local doctor or travel clinic a few months in advance of your intended travel. Your local doctor/nurse will be able to advise you on vaccinations and malaria prevention you may need for entry into your volunteer destination. Additional information can be found on the NHS Fit For Travel website.
How do I arrange my flights to volunteer in Cambodia?
When you apply to be a Cambodia childcare volunteer, we cannot guarantee your place on the program immediately. Indeed, on receiving an application, we have to liaise with our local team to ensure there is space available on the program and to assess your suitability for the specific project. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you do not make any flight and/or travel arrangements until your program has been confirmed by us in writing. Of course, once your place as a Cambodia childcare volunteer has been confirmed, you are then free to book your flights either with PMGY or through a third-party travel agent.
After confirming your place on a PMGY volunteer program, we strongly advise that you book your flights as early as possible. This is since it will help ensure that you get the lowest airfare. You can choose to book your flights independently or we can help you with arranging them. PMGY has a wealth of experience in travelling to and from our host countries. Therefore, we know the most affordable ways to travel and the best airlines to use. Therefore, if you would like any assistance booking your flight, you can request an optional flight quote during your online application. Alternatively, feel free to contact us on the phone or by email.
Do you offer travel insurance?
Importantly, having an appropriate travel insurance policy during your time abroad is essential. Therefore, it is mandatory for all of our international volunteers to be appropriately covered across all of their trip dates. This includes your travel to and from the host country, as well as any onward travel. Although PMGY does everything to ensure your trip is safe, inevitably things can go wrong. Therefore, having a travel insurance policy in place helps you effectively deal with any problems you may encounter during your time away.
We have partnered up with the insurance company battleface to create an affordable and comprehensive optional policy. This has been designed with our international volunteers in mind, to cover our participants for all of their travel essentials. The policy is available to anyone across the globe, up to the age of 65 years. The document will cover you for your time on any PMGY destination and any onward travel (excluding the US and Canada). You can purchase PMGY Travel Insurance during your online application or you can contact us directly to arrange it.
How do I obtain a background check?
To become a Cambodia childcare volunteer, you’ll need to provide us with a clean DBS or Police Check before you travel. This is a check that must be issued by an official Governmental or Police Body. PMGY have a commitment to the projects we support to ensure the volunteers we send are trustworthy and of sound moral character. Consequently, we are unable to accept participants who have had any previous criminal convictions.
If you hold a current DBS or Police Check, then we can accept this, providing it is clear and issued no more than 18 months prior to your program start date. You will need to upload a copy of this to your online portal after confirming your place on the program. Furthermore, the DBS or Police Check must be submitted to us no less than 21 days prior to your program start date.
If you don’t have a valid DBS check, then you will need to apply for one. UK volunteers need to apply for a “Basic Disclosure” through Gov.uk (which serves all people in the UK). This costs 23 GBP and takes around 15 working days to process. Full information on how to obtain a DBS check through Gov.uk is outlined in the Volunteer Handbook, received once you have confirmed your place as a Cambodia childcare volunteer.
For childcare volunteers in Cambodia from the US, you can apply for a background check through US Criminal Checks. It costs 17.95 USD and is usually processed immediately. Alternatively, you are welcome to arrange your own background check through your local Sheriff’s Office or governmental body.
For all other international participants, we recommend you obtain a Police/Criminal Background Check through your local police station or official governmental body.
When will I receive my Volunteer Handbook?
All volunteers in Cambodia will receive a PMGY Volunteer Handbook once they have paid their deposit and confirmed their place on the program. We will send you an email entitled ‘Welcome to PMGY’ which will include a link where you can download the Volunteer Handbook. Please note that we do not send a hard copy of the PMGY Volunteer Handbook.
This Handbook contains everything you need to know to prepare as a Cambodia childcare volunteer. Ranging from what to pack to how to obtain a visa, we do our best to ensure you are ready to hit the ground running. Therefore, it is really important that you read through the Volunteer Handbook carefully once you’ve downloaded it. If you find any of your questions unanswered after reading through this, then our team are always on hand to assist you. You can contact us via email, telephone, Zoom, Facebook, online chat…whatever works best for you!
ON YOUR TRIP
Can I arrange a private room?
All of our accommodation options on the Cambodia childcare volunteer program involve sharing a room with other participants (usually same-sex). Unfortunately, we are unable to arrange private room options for our childcare volunteers in Cambodia.
Can you cater for my dietary requirements?
Our teams will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed as a Cambodia childcare volunteer. Consequently, there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Importantly, any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
Are there any public holidays that affect project availability?
We aim to communicate as clearly and accurately as possible all holidays that impact project availability. This information can be found via our Holiday Dates page and in the Volunteer Handbook. However, due to the nature of developing countries, holidays can often be sporadic or prone to change. In turn, these can unexpectedly affect project availability. Therefore in such instances, we ask our volunteers to be flexible and appreciative of this. These periods often provide volunteers in Cambodia with a unique experience to enjoy the festivities and holidays themselves. However, our local teams will always do their best to find alternative project work if applicable/possible.
What is the dress code at the projects?
Dress code varies from country-to-country and sometimes from project-to-project. Importantly, we ask that our volunteers adopt a smart and responsible image during their time in the communities. Of course, we will outline the specific dress code requirements in your Volunteer Handbook so you know exactly what to pack. In addition to this, our local team will also brief you during your in-country orientation on arrival in Cambodia.
The general rule of thumb for girls is to cover shoulders, chest, stomach and thighs. In a like matter, for men, shorts should not lie above the knee and shirts should cover shoulders. Whilst we do not wish to impose strict regulations on our volunteers, we do ask that you respect the local culture during your travels. Moreover, dressing appropriately will earn you the respect of the people you’ll be working with. Therefore, our Volunteer Handbooks, outline preferred dress-codes in detail.
Additionally, it’s also a good idea to take some nicer clothes for the weekends and special occasions. However, please avoid tight and very short clothing. You should also avoid clothing that may have potentially offensive slogans on it. Tattoos and piercings should be covered where possible whilst you’re at your placement, particularly if you’re working with children.
How much spending money will I need?
The amount of extra spending money you should take with you as a Cambodia childcare volunteer can depend on a multitude of factors. Considerations include what you undertake during your free time and how many souvenirs you purchase! Therefore, if you plan to go for a safari in Tanzania or perhaps go trekking in South Africa, you will need to budget accordingly. However, for general expenses and some independent travel, you should find 100-150 USD per week a suitable amount.
Will I be able to travel whilst on the program?
You’ll have plenty of opportunities to travel during your time with PMGY. In fact, we encourage you to travel during your free time! Most of our programs have been designed so that you have weekends off. Therefore, this gives you the opportunity to explore the local area or even travel further afield within your host country. Our local coordinators will provide you with all the weekend opportunities and travel tips you need to help you plan any independent adventures. During your time as a Cambodia childcare volunteer, you are sure to make some travel buddies along the way!
Before booking your flights, we recommend that you look into travel opportunities across dates on either side of your volunteering placement. It is always great to spend some time travelling and seeing more of the country you wish to volunteer in. However, if you plan to travel extensively, please factor this into your flight itinerary. This is since we only encourage travel during weekends while you’re volunteering, as you have made a commitment to the childcare volunteer program in Cambodia.
On the Cambodia volunteer program, you will live on our Volunteer House. Our accommodation is based in the remote village of Bakod, around a 20 minute tuk-tuk ride from Takeo. In Takeo, you will find local restaurants, convenience stores and ATMs. Our main volunteer projects in Cambodia are based on the same site as the Volunteer House. You’ll be living and working with other international volunteers from around the world.
The volunteer accommodation is very basic. Bedrooms usually conform to a single-sex dorm-style setup, with up to 16 people per room. Within each room are fans, and each bed will have its own mosquito nets. Bathrooms at the volunteer accommodation are communal. There is no hot water, however, this shouldn’t be a problem as Cambodia is hot and humid all-year-round! The bathrooms are separate from the volunteer bedrooms.
There is Wi-Fi within the accommodation but it can often be intermittent and unstable. Volunteers are recommended purchasing a local SIM card in-country to use with an unlocked mobile phone. There are several communal areas across the accommodation where volunteers in Cambodia can relax and socialise. There is also a small cafe just offsite of the accommodation. There is a local laundry service available, with a cost per person usually only a couple of dollars. Alternatively, hand-washing can be performed on-site of the volunteer accommodation. Each volunteer is provided with a trunk to place their items. These trunks can be locked, and volunteers should bring a small padlock for these. Alternatively, valuables can be stored with our local team in their private area. Volunteers are advised to note that cupboard space is not available within the dorm. Please note that the accommodation volunteers live in is within very close proximity to a lot of animals, including dogs, cats, cows and chickens.
The Volunteer House is located on the same campus where our local coordinators live. Although volunteers have their own private space there is still the security of living next to our local team who can assist you if need be. It is also a great way to learn more about Cambodian culture and practise your new-found language skills! Most of our volunteer work in Cambodia is also based on the same grounds as the volunteer accommodation. If you are based in our second volunteer project location, our local team will transport you to and from the project each day. The cost of this service is included in your Program Fee. Transport to our volunteering opportunities in Cambodia may be via tuk-tuk or mini-van.
During our busiest months you may be placed at alternative accommodation. For instance, you could be placed in one of our secondary Volunteer Houses.
During your volunteer trip to Cambodia, you will be served with breakfast and dinner from Monday-Friday at the volunteer accommodation. For breakfast, you’ll be provided with toast, eggs, jam, noodles, coffee, tea. In the evening you will be provided with a traditional Cambodian dish with the odd western meal. Filtered drinking water is available free of charge for you to help yourself as you please.
You will need to purchase your own lunch during your time on the Cambodia volunteer project. Volunteers will usually head into town/the local market a couple of times a week and stock up on lunch supplies such as noodles, pasta or snacks to bring back and store at the accommodation. Alternatively, a few meals can be prepared at the accommodation and purchased at a small fee. Some food is also available from the local cafe just off-site of the accommodation.
Across the weekend, you are welcome to stay at the volunteer accommodation. However, you are asked to note that during this time, local staff may not be available on site. This means that no meals will be provided across these days. Meals will need to, therefore, be prepared/purchased at a volunteer’s own expense. However, in most cases, volunteers will travel across this time anyhow.
* Our team will do their best to cater for any dietary requirements. However, this cannot be guaranteed. This means that there may be instances where you need to purchase alternative ingredients at your own expense. Any dietary requirements should be noted within your application and re-iterated to the local team on arrival into the country. Any concerns for major requirements should be raised with the PMGY International Team before confirming your place on the program.
* These fees apply to each individual application.
In order to apply to join PMGY you are required to make your Registration Fee payment of 249 USD. In the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your Registration Fee will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying. The remaining fee is then due no less than 60 days prior to your program start date. During this period if you need to make a change to your trip (destination, program or date) then this can be facilitated for an admin fee of 60 USD. Please note any changes will be subject to availability.
If you’re applying within 60 days of your program start date then you’ll need to pay the full amount to confirm your place. Likewise, in the unlikely event that we are unable to offer you a place on the program then your payment will be refunded in full within 48 hours of applying.
Any remaining payments must be made no less than 60 days prior to your start date. This payment can be made in one lump sum or in several instalments. If you chose to take our insurance or book a flight with PMGY then these must be paid for (in full) at the time of booking.
Payments can be made directly through our website using all major debit and credit cards. We will outline instructions to make payment in our email communication with you. Please note credit card payments are subject to a 5% additional fee to cover the bank charges that PMGY incur.
OPTIONAL TRIPLE CARBON OFFSET SCHEME - 50 USD
PMGY provide participants with the opportunity to contribute towards our Triple Carbon Offset Scheme. This not only helps eliminate your carbon footprint but helps the planet with a positive contribution every time you fly. The Triple Offset Idea for volunteers in Cambodia works as follows -
🇰🇪 Kenya - 60 mango trees are planted in Kenya. These are capable of absorbing the total carbon emissions for a volunteer trip to Cambodia and also help provide a sustainable income for local farmers.
🇮🇳 India - 80 days of access to a solar cooker are provided to a family in India. This means the family don't have to spend on firewood and thus reduce their dependence on trees.
🇺🇸 USA - 1.25kg of rescued meals are provided to the homeless in the USA. This recycles wasted food reduces methane emission from food waste which is equivalent to 1lb of CO2 emissions.
This optional add-on can be added during the online application process or can even be added on at a later date. The offset platform is provided by our charity, the PMGY Foundation and ensures that 100% of contributions are put towards high impact projects around the world.
In November, Cambodia erupts into one of the biggest celebrations of the year with Bon Om Touk, known as the Cambodian Water Festival. It has been celebrated since as early as the 13th century, marks the end of Cambodia’s rainy season. This annual festival happens on the full moon of the Buddhist month of Kadeuk, the full moon is considered to bring good luck that can lead to an abundant harvest. Bon Om Touk is one of the most important celebrations for the Cambodian people, it’s worth to take flight to Cambodia and attend it to found an experience unlike any other.
Where does it take place? Bon Om Touk is celebrated throughout Cambodia, though the size of the celebrations varies depending on location. In Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, for instance, the festival is commemorated with boat races. In smaller communities, celebrations include special feasts, performances, dances and parties, and there are songs centred on Bon Om Touk that are commonly performed during the event. Stay late into the night, and you can see some impressive fireworks displays.
Who celebrates? Anyone and everyone. Bon Om Touk is a non-religious celebration. Several events such as the boat races, which are said to celebrate a Khmer military victory in the 12th century, have cultural and historical precedent that make you learn more about this country’s rich heritage.
What should you wear? Cambodia is hot year round, so depend on daytime temperatures in the low-to mid-30 degrees Celsius. Nights during the late part of the year can be a bit cooler, averaging around 22 degrees Celsius. And while Bon Om Touk is not a religious festival, you may wish to visit a temple (or several) during your visit; for this, you will need to pack conservative dress that covers your knees and shoulders, and women may need a shawl or scarf.
When should you go? Bon Om Touk only takes place once a year, in October or early November, and the exact date varies. This year, the festival takes place from November 26-28.
Wishing everyone in Cambodia a happy, safe and enjoyable holiday.
At #pmgycambodia this week, we welcomed 5 new volunteers, from Australia, Germany and France, to our project.
Orientation was introduced and our new volunteers were assigned to the #teaching and #childcare programs. Things went smoothly throughout the week.
Our volunteers took Thursday morning to visit the cultural & historical place of Phnom Chiso. This temple was built during Angkor Wat era and has similar architecture to Angkor Wat. We enjoyed seeing the landscapes, fresh air, learning the culture, tradition and livelihood of the Cambodian people.
On Friday, we went to see one of the foodbak families, Mrs. Sat whose husband sadly passed away a few weeks ago due to the chronic illness. We contributed key food packages and essential needs to them. The family will also receive a brand new bicycle next week so that her older deaf son will be able to attend sign language class at our project. A massive Thanks to Mirthe, family and friends for their generous donation.
Avery also donated a bicycle to two boys (siblings). Both brothers wanted to come to attend English class at our school but they could not afford to come because of the poverty. After the bike was delivered to them, now they are able to come and join lessons with us. A big thanks to Avery and family for their generosity. This great support will empower the kids future with HOPE & HAPPINESS.
We ended the week by taking our kids to play football in Takeo town for fun Friday. Our volunteers and children shared their sportsmanship, recreations as well as bond some great memories.
If you want to know more about volunteering in Cambodia you can check out this lovely blog from our volunteer Imogen, who's been with us in both Cambodia, Vietnam and Bali! She has written a travel blog and it gives a good imagine of how its like to volunteer in these destinations. And it’s a lot of pictures that you can have a look at!😄