Volunteering in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Meet Rebecca, Volunteering in Siem Reap for four weeks with Globalteer at three amazing Combined Cambodia Projects. The Cambodia Women's Empowerment Project, Cambodia Community Project, and the Cambodia Clean Water Project!
"For about two years I have been planning the 5 month sabbatical which I am currently half way through. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to combine voluntary work along with travel. After falling in love with Cambodia following a few days holiday there in 2015, I decided that volunteering in Cambodia was for me!
I did a lot of research before deciding on Globalteer. Spending hours online looking at the various projects offered in Cambodia, hearing the horror stories of fake orphanages and trying to find out more specific details about what volunteering actually involves.
The information provided on the Globalteer website was really detailed and helpful, plus the testimonials of past volunteers stood out. So once I'd made the decision about Globalteer I then had to decide on projects - this was trickier as they all looked so good. As a teacher of geography, I wanted to mix the experience I had in the classroom alongside developing new skills.
The first project, the Women's Empowerment project based on recycling plastic bags into beautiful new products. This week was so interesting and I loved working with the ladies in the morning in preparing the materials and crocheting. Also in the evenings helping out at the Made in Cambodia market in Siem Reap. It was a really special project which I was delighted to help out with.
My second block of volunteering was at the Helping Hands School. Being back in the classroom was great! Even though I have 17 years of teaching experience, I have never had to teach in a wall-less classroom during a thunderstorm or shoo a chicken off a desk! I loved working at the Helping Hands School - the project coordinators and staff there are so open to new ideas and supportive in running with an idea.
Whilst there I had the pleasure of working with some of the older students on the UN's World's Largest Lesson which takes place every year to promote the Sustainable Development Goals among the young people of the world. I led a couple of workshops over two afternoons with the students and I was blown away by their enthusiasm, engagement and the work they produced. Again, a very special project to be involved in and I am sure that we will continue to build the links between the school in England where I work and Helping Hands.
The last week of volunteering was at Cambodia Clean Water Project. Once again, a very different project from the other two, with a focus on providing clean water using bio filters. This project was really hands on, which was great. I worked in the workshop getting the materials - the gravel and sand ready to take out on the road. The highlight of the week was definitely going out to the villages, meeting the families and installing the life changing filters. This is such an important grassroots project which shows how simple technology can drastically change lives for the better.
In summary I have had an amazing 4 weeks working with the various projects at Globalteer. I have been honoured to work with incredibly talented and compassionate people at all of the projects. Although I have only been here for a month, a feel that I have been given the opportunity to meet so many different people and to use whatever skills I have support them in supporting themselves. So, would I recommend volunteering with Globalteer in Siem Reap, Cambodia? Definitely."