Thursday, 20th November 2014
Enrich your stay in Cambodia through charitable ventures!
Volunteering is one of the most satisfying and rewarding things that you can do while you are abroad. With careful preparation and planning, you can embark upon the trip of a lifetime and have experiences that will stay with you for many years to come.
Cambodia is a beautiful and historic country, that has its fair share of volunteering opportunities that will give visitors the chance to experience the sights and sounds of the country, in addition to making a valuable contribution.
However, in order to get the most out of your stay in Cambodia, you will need to ensure that whatever project you are participating in is fulfilling a genuine requirement in the country and that you have the correct skills and abilities for the project you are participating in.
Over recent years, there has been some negative press about naive young volunteers signing up to large, international organisations that specifically cater for volunteering projects in countries such as Cambodia, and in the end, not really contributing a great deal to local communities.
For this reason, we recommend travelling to the country first in the normal way, and then contributing to projects run by local organisations.
Below, we have outlined some of the best volunteer and fundraising projects you can get involved in, that will make a real difference to the lives of the people you are assisting and will help to provide you with a fulfilling and enriching experience.
Organise a charity bike ride
Cambodia is one of the most beautiful countries to cycle in. So why not organise a charity bike ride? You could set up a charitable campaign before you set off, and get your friends and family to sponsor you, to cycle across places such as Angkor Wat for example.
Angkor Wat is famed for its majestic and mysterious temples, which hold thousands of years of ancient history. What better way to raise much needed funds for a local nearby school or hospital, than by participating in a charity bike ride across the region?
Take part in a sponsored run
Or if cycling is not your thing, how about a sponsored run across the coastline of the MeKong River, or Battambang - Cambodia's second largest city?
Battambang for example, is located in the northwest in the country, and is home to a number of ancient temples, and resorts.
By taking part in a sponsored run, you will not only have the chance to immerse yourself in the splendor of this enigmatic province, you will also be raising some much needed funds that can go towards the upkeep of the local religious sites, and economy.
This will often consist of teaching, or looking after children in orphanages, with very little opportunities available to them.
Local schools are often in need of assistants who can offer some help in terms of providing support to teachers, helping to teach English classes, or participating in sporting activities.
Ecotourism - raising awareness about sustainable travel
By consciously choosing to travel in a way which supports sustainability you not only help to maintain the local environment, but you also contribute a great deal towards sustainable tourism.
Cambodia has a number of sites and resorts that are dedicated to ecotourism. One such destination is Ratanakiri, located in the north, not too far from Phnom Penh.
It is a sparsely populated province, that does not attract the huge crowds as much of the other parts of Cambodia. It is surrounded by hills and mountains, rivers and waterfalls, as well as wildlife.
The buildings in the surrounding villages are built in keeping with the local environment and the richness of the local soil and biodiversity makes Ratanakiri an ideal environment for ecotourism.
Related news stories:
5 things you didn't know about Cambodia (12th July 2016)
Six books you should read before travelling to Cambodia (5th November 2015)
Cambodia's Healing Fields (24th June 2014)