Volunteer Spotlight: Emily & Grace

"What Globalteer is doing in Siem Reap is amazing, all of the projects don’t just help the kids but the families and the wider community too"

Australian Friends Emily Fewtrell (right) and Grace Barker (below) made the most of their long uni break by spending 2 weeks volunteering with Globalteer’s Cambodia Community Project in January 2014. The girls were placed at one of Globalteer’s new partner schools, situated a 50 minute tuk tuk ride away from Siem Reap, which provides free education to, amongst others, the children of families who live and work on a nearby rubbish dump.

Volunteers assist in the classroom during the morning and afternoon English lessons. The school also has a library where volunteers spend time helping students with their English reading and conversation. Grace and Emily were also involved in other activities such as simple sports sessions for extra students during the lunch hour when there is also the chance to explore the village. Both volunteers were struck by how welcoming the entire community was to them.

Why Globalteer?

Emily explains how a friend’s recommendation to volunteer with Globalteer helped them to realise their ambition of doing something to help the underpivileged,
 
“We always wanted to help in some way but didn’t know how.  Globalteer provided the perfect program to help out the less fortunate and see local culture in the villages of Cambodia. I chose Globalteer because a friend had done the program a year earlier and highly recommended it”.
 
Grace adds,
 
“The organisation looked after us so well with our accommodation, transport and information. Having that support system through Globalteer is very comforting especially for a first time volunteer.”
 
A very busy two weeks...
       
 
“It’s hard to highlight a few things but I loved seeing how the children were so eager to learn, being able to interact with the staff and learn about Cambodian culture and just playing games and being active with the kids. The tuk-tuk journey to school in the mornings passes by the royal palace, the biggest market in the area and plenty of beautiful Cambodian countryside”
 
And Emily adds, “Every morning driving into the school and seeing the smiling kids excited to learn and play, can’t help but bring a smile to your face.”

So far away, but so worth it
 
“Being at such a remote village - Anlung Pi is a 50 minute tuk-tuk ride from Siem Reap  - we shared lunch with the teachers every day and we learnt so much about Cambodian culture, food and local life. From pumping water, to learning how to cook local cuisine, it was amazing. We became very close with the teachers, they were young like us (20 & 21), it was sad to leave them at the end of our 2 weeks there. “

The village experience was unique for Grace too who advises volunteers, “be prepared for longer days but make the most of the experience with the people you interact with, and make sure you get out and see the whole village just to be more aware of how the children live every day. “

Just go for it!
 
Finally, Emily urges anyone unsure about volunteering to just go for it,
 
“I would recommend Globalteer in a heartbeat. What Globalteer is doing throughout the community in Siem Reap is amazing, all of the projects don’t just help the kids but the families and wider community too. They are very organized and efficient too. All of the other volunteers were lovely, we’ve definitely made some friends for life, not to mention contacts from all around the world.”
 
Read more about how you can volunteer with Globalteer in Cambodia