Cambodia Women’s Empowerment Project

Volunteer to empower marginalised woman at the Cambodia Women’s Empowerment Project

The Cambodia Women’s Empowerment Project provides previously marginalised women with new skills, a steady income and the opportunity for personal development in a safe, friendly and fun environment. Volunteer with this inspirational project and you will get to meet, work with and become friends with  some truly amazing women.

Talk to Chris who lives in Siem Reap and will be happy to help! E-mail me directly at info@globalteer.org or use the contact form below:

Project Overview

Get to know the real Cambodia while working to empower the woman of Siem Reap. Volunteer's work with the ladies to help them become financially stable and able to provide for their family.

Assist the staff and support the development of the woman in their goal to become self sufficient. Live and volunteer in the friendly town of Siem Reap, for a life changing experience!

Volunteer in Cambodia and make a real difference

This volunteer programme allows you to make a real difference working with a with a UK Charity. Gain new skills whilst working with amazing woman of Cambodia.

You will have the opportunity to learn about a different culture and visit the incredible temples of Angkor Wat. Join us at our most popular community volunteer programme in Siem Reap!

Summary

The Project: The Women's Empowerment Project grew out of a well established an highly respected project for former street children that was set up more than ten years ago. Following a ‘sustainable families' forum', led by the students for their parents, the project came up with a plan that would provide the students’ mothers – women who had never had a fair chance in life - to know what it was like to have a steady job that was neither degrading or dangerous.

The project recycles plastic bags which are the litter scourge of Cambodia’s towns and countryside and turns them into unique products which can be sold at market or used in the women’s own homes.

Project Location: The charming town of Siem Reap in Northern Cambodia, home to the incomparable UNESCO world heritage-listed Angkor Wat temple complex. There is an international airport with good connections to the capital Phnom Penh and further afield throughout Asia. Siem Reap has good range of facilities for visitors including a variety of shops, excellent restaurants, lively and traditional bars and plenty of unique sightseeing opportunities. There are also good medical facilities in the town should you need them.

Volunteers

Main Volunteer Activities: Volunteers spend their time with the women and the staff at the project, learning to make beautiful objects from litter, attending Khmer literacy classes and socialising with the women at the project.

Hours: Volunteers work from Mon to Fri for 3 hours a day, with weekends free for sightseeing, relaxing or travelling through this beautiful and diverse country. There may be the opportunity to work in the afternoon, depending on the needs of the project.

Duration: Volunteer placements are year-round and for 1 or 2 weeks.

Accommodation: Choose from a private ensuite room in a locally owned hotel with outdoor pool or upgrade to a more upmarket three star hotel, also with outdoor pool. Both options are centrally located and within walking distance of Globalteer's office.

Volunteer Requirements: Volunteers at this project must be aged 18+ and have fluent English. As you will be working with vulnerable adults we also require a background check.

Volunteer Placement Fee: From UK£349 / US$459

Project History
The project was set up in 2015 to provide the mothers and older sisters of children from one of Siem Reap's most respected community projects with an education and skills that would give them a bighter future in life. But most importantly to restore their  confidence and self-esteem after years of abuse and marginalisation.

The project recycles plastic bags which are the litter scourge of Cambodia’s towns and countryside and turns them into unique products which can be sold at market or used in the women’s own homes. Some of the women suffer from disabilities, others from addictions and other symptoms of poverty and abuse so the work has to be easy and it has to be cheap to do with minimal or no raw material costs.

 
How the project is helping

The women at the project collect discarded plastic bags, wash them, turn them into plastic twine and crochet the twine into funky and brightly coloured products such as floormats, bowls, cushions, bags and jewellery. The benefits of the project are many, from cleaning up the environment, to generating income for the women and most importantly empowering the women and changing the lives of their families.

Each of the women attend morning workshops 5 days a week, which end with an engaging Khmer literacy class where they are learning the Khmer alphabet and how to read and write for the very first time. Every week the women also excitedly take it in turns to attend a local craft market giving them an opportunity to see their own products on display and being sold to the public.

Why the project need volunteers

The Cambodia Womens' Empowerment Project relies entirely on private donations, grants and volunteer support to carry out its vital work with the marginalised women of the community.

As a volunteer you are very much part of the team and will assist with all the tasks that the women undertake each day. They will teach you how to make beautiful objects from rubbish – which make truly memorable souvenirs of your stay - and you will even have the chance to join Khmer literacy classes with them.

Being able to share their skills with volunteers has a hugely positive impact on the women at the project. It represents an important reversal of their traditional role as subordinates and plays a very valuable part in building their self esteem.

Typical Volunteer Duties

Volunteers work with the women at the project for a minimum of 3 hours a day in the mornings, Monday to Friday with afternoons and all weekends off. This gives you plenty of time to relax, take in some local sightseeing, travel further afield in Cambodia or even some of the neighbouring countries!

This project is based at a workshop near to the projects' main hub, situated just 10 minutes away from the centre of Siem Reap. Placements at the project are half days (8:30 - 11:30). The women start at 7:30am and volunteers are asked to arrive between 7:30 and 8:30 in the morning.

As a volunteer you are very much part of the team and will assist with all the tasks that the women undertake each day. They will teach you how to make beautiful objects from rubbish and you will even have the chance to join Khmer literacy classes with them.
 
As well as learning new skills and making new friends you will have plenty of fun with the amazing women at the project – not least of all when the team breaks out on the hour for some high energy limb-stretching dancing to Cambodian rock and pop music. These are hardy women with strong, colourful characters, and in volunteering here you will experience a work place quite unlike any other.
 
 
Accommodation

Volunteers on the Cambodia Women's Empowerment Project can choose from standard or upgrade accommodation. Both accommodations are located centrally in Siem Reap and are within close walking distance of the Globalteer office where you can catch up with our friendly team, make use of our teaching resources or stock up on your free supply of drinking water!

Standard Accommodation

Our standard volunteer accommodation is in a popular 2* Cambodian-owned guest house located approximately 100 metres from Globalteer’s offices in Siem Reap. Rooms are single occupancy or can be shared if volunteers are travelling together. There is 24 hour security and reception giving volunteers both peace of mind and easy access at all times.

Volunteer rooms are clean and comfortable, each with hot water, ensuite toilet and shower. The rooms have fans but can be upgraded to air conditioning for a daily fee. Cable TV is available in all rooms with channels in English, and each room has a small fridge for storing cold drinks and snacks.The guest house also has a number of larger air-con rooms which are assigned on a first-come first-served basis to guests who pay the additional fee for air conditioning. Make sure you specify if you would like an aircon room when you apply.

The guest house has a bar area and restaurant, all set in lovely leafy grounds, and Globalteer volunteers also have use of our very own social area - just right for a drink and snack after a long day working at your project. There is also a small pool for that refreshing end of day dip!
 
There are also plenty of Khmer restaurants near the guest house if you fancy "going local" in the evenings. Free WiFi internet is available in rooms and in communal areas. We also have a team of friendly and reliable tuk-tuk drivers on hand with specially negotiated rates should you need transport at any time
Upgrade Accommodation

We know that some of our best volunteers prefer to have a few more creature comforts when they get to the end of a long, hard day working at their project, and to be honest, if you are generous enough to donate your time and money to volunteer with us, then you deserve to be as comfortable as possible during your placement!

Upgrade volunteer rooms are located in a modern hotel about a quarter of a mile from Globalteer’s Siem Reap offices. They offer a higher standard of comfort and more facilities for volunteers who don’t mind paying a little extra.

Rooms are spacious with large beds, cable TV, free wi-fi, in-room safe, tea and coffee making facilities and a mini bar, and the ensuite shower rooms are modern and spotlessly clean. Air-conditioning comes as standard – there are no surcharges to pay here. Rooms also have a desk which is great for planning your volunteer sessions, or writing postcards or journals…if anyone does that any more!

The hotel has a good-sized swimming pool with sun terracing and sun loungers – perfect for cooling off after a hot day at your project, something that any past volunteer will tell you is a real bonus, especially in the hot season.

There is a comfortable poolside bar – with happy hour – and a smart little restaurant which serves breakfast (included in your volunteer donation), lunch and dinner, with a good variety of reasonably priced Cambodian and international dishes. There is also an on-site spa if your muscles really need some therapy after a day “in the field”!

Free Time in Siem Reap and Cambodia

Our team in Siem Reap are all very well travelled throughout the country and further afield in Southeast Asia and can offer plenty of travel tips. There are lots of options for weekends in Siem Reap as well as for travel before or after your placement. Here are just a few of Cambodia’s treasures to whet your appetite.

Siem Reap
Thanks to the magnificent temples of Angkor, the major economy in Siem Reap town is tourism although Siem Reap province remains one of the poorer provinces of Cambodia and very little tourist wealth "trickles down" to rural communites. In addition to the ancient temple complexes the town has has many bars, restaurants, ATMs, internet cafes and hotels catering to foreigners' needs. There are also dozens of working Buddhist temples all over town, known locally as pagodas, and saffron-clad monks are a common sight on the streets of Siem Reap.
Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter and around the Old Market. In the town, there are Apsara dance performances, craft shops, silk farms, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia. There is a lovely riverside garden and shady walks along the Siem Reap river.
The area around the old market provides a lively night life, especially along the aptly named "Pub Street". Siem Reap provides for all tastes, with worldwide cuisine from Thai, Mexican, Indian, Japanese, Italian as well as menus catering to western tastes. There are quiet cafes, lively bars and nightclubs.
Angkor Wat and the temple complexes

Visitors come to Siem Reap to visit the temples of Angkor. There are over 100 temples scattered in the area in various states of decay, some in overgrown jungle, some on lakes. Rest assured everyone leaves with their own personal favourite temple!

Some people visit for one day to see the main attractions but we would recommend 3 days exploring the temples to get a much better overview of this incredible period in Cambodian history. On arrival in Siem Reap our friendly staff can advise the best ways and times to visit the temples.

Tonle Sap Lake

Tonle Sap is the largest fresh water lake in Southeast Asia and an attraction in its own right. About 10km form Siem Reap, the lake stretches almost as far as the country's capital Phnom Penh. Its size varies enormously between the wet and dry seasons and half the year the waters flow into the lake from the river Mekong and for the rest of the year the waters flow in the other direction, giving the lake a unique ecosystem.

Boat trips on the lake are very popular and you can visit lake the famous floating villages and stilt villages, orginally home to refugees which have grown into entire communities with schools, shops and houses sitting directly on or over the water. Also venture further to see the wildlife sanctuary which is home to several species of endangered birds and take a kayak through the famous sunken forests.

Further Afield

For a small country Cambodia has a lot to offer those who have time to travel further afield.

Phonm Penh is a short flight away or 6-8 hours by road and is home to many popular attractions. The magnificent Royal Palace and the restaurants and bars along Sisowath Quay are on every vistor's list along with the more sombre sites of S-21 prison and the Killing fields - reminders of Cambodia's tragic past and the genocide under the Khmer Rouge Regime.

In the south of the country you will find the laid back coastal towns of Kampot and Kep as well as the lively beach resort of Sihanoukville. There are some lovely unspolit islands where you can kick back and recharge your batteries as well as jungles, forests and the wildlife havens of The Cardamom Mountains. Buses and internal flights from Siem Reap airport make getting around easy and relatively cheap.

For those who have time there are also regular direct flights from Siem Reap to other must-see Southeast Asian destinations such as Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore as well as long distance buses.

Base Donation per week
This is our base donation for volunteering where all money received goes to the charity, our charitable activities, charity partners and supporting volunteers in country. Your daily transport to and from the project is also included.
WeeksGBP£USD$
1£349$459
2£464$608
3£579$757
4£694$906
Extra weeks£115$149

Full Package
The full package price includes the base donation,
accommodation & private collection from the airport. This is the price you will pay for volunteering on the full package.
WeeksGBP£USD$
1£407$534
2£580$758
3£753$982
4£926$1,206
Extra weeks£173$224

Additional Accommodation Options

Volunteers can also choose to upgrade their accommodation to a hotel which includes more facilities, larger rooms and air-conditioning. Accommodations are carefully selected by our team in Cambodia for their great locations, suitability for volunteers and value for money.
Upgrade hotel - Single Room - For an additional GBP£104 / USD$135 per week on top of the full package price, you can stay in an upgrade hotel.

Family Pricing 

16 years and older are charged at the same price as volunteers as they are able to volunteer at this project. 15 year olds and under only pay 50% of the base fee but must pay for accommodation if the full package option is selected (GBP£58 / USD$75 per week).

Financial Transparency

As a UK registered Charity, Globalteer is completely financially transparent to you, our donors. You can therefore see a full breakdown of where your money goes and our independently audited accounts by clicking below:

Where Your Money Goes

To discover why you should consider choosing Globalteer, please visit the following page:

About Globalteer

Why do we charge a fee for volunteering?

Globalteer requests a donation from volunteers to allow us to achieve our charitable objectives and support our partner programmes. In return, Globalteer provides volunteers with an amazing, responsible and ethical volunteer experience and in-country support from the Globalteer team in Cambodia. Ensuring that your placement is responsible as well as rewarding, safe and enjoyable takes a good deal of work.

A summary of Globalteer’s total expenditure for the last financial year is shown below:

Donations and Grants 60% – This includes a share of volunteer placement fees, grants we have secured for our projects and donations managed by Globalteer that are made by individuals and groups to our projects and partner projects.

Support Costs 29% – This includes volunteer accommodation, volunteer transport, support staff costs, travel costs and some volunteer meals.

Operational Costs 11% – Costs of running Globalteer.

What’s Included

        √  In-country support from Globalteer staff.
        √  Daily transport to and from the project location.
        √  Cambodia orientation guide and arrival induction.
        √  Free town tour.
        √  All necessary project equipment and materials.
        √  All necessary project training by Globalteer staff.
        √  Free Globalteer water bottle and welcome pack.
        √  Project donation.

With the Full Package
        √  Free airport pick up from Siem Reap airport.
        √  Accommodation at a comfortable hotel with pool.

What’s not included
  • Flights
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Vaccinations and inoculations
  • Onward transport at the end of your placement
  • Police or background check (where necessary)
What do everyday items cost?

The official currency of Cambodia is the Riel, however, all shops and market stalls accept US$ and you may be given small change in local currency ($1 = 4000 Riels). Be aware that dollar bills with any tears or markings are generally not accepted. ATMs dispense cash in US$. The cost of living in Cambodia is very low compared to most countries in the developed world. The costs of some typical items are:

  • Short journey by tuk-tuk - $1 to $2
  • Meal in a market - $1
  • Bottle of soft drink - $0.50 to $1
  • Draft beer - $0.50 to $2
  • Meal in a restaurant - $4 to $25
Cambodia Women's Empowerment Project
“I had the incredible experience of working with women form very difficult backgrounds...by having a purpose and a goal their confidence and self-esteem sky rocketed”

Volunteer rated at
(4.5 / 5)

Cambodia Woman's Empowerment Photo Gallery

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