Harley, 66, joined us from Canada at the start of 2017 and has been volunteering with us for 12 weeks at our Cambodian Community project and was based at one of our local NGO schools, just outside of Siem Reap.
Harley’s volunteer trip was inspired by her visit to Cambodia five years ago where she’d met a young girl that had a profound effect on her, and since then, she had wanted to return to do volunteer work.
“I was doing the tour around the temple complex, when I was sitting at Angkor Wat having lunch”, after walking around the stalls based in the grounds of Angkor Wat, a group of young children were following her, asking to buy the bracelets and other temple paraphernalia. “I didn’t buy anything from the children as I didn’t have any money on me – I felt awful. The children one by one were slowly losing interest in me, but finally, after a while, a young girl’s pleas to give her some money really hit home and I borrowed some money when I caught up with my friends. It was then I decided I wanted to come back to Cambodia to volunteer with the children of Siem Reap”.
Harley has been travelling for about 9 years now, mostly cruising and this year will have visited 65 countries. Now it's time to do something more meaningful.
“I’d heard of Globalteer through a friend, and she recommended them to me so I had trusted them from the beginning. After travelling for so long, I felt like it was time to do something more meaningful.”
“My main motivations were to come back and do what I could to help the schooling system - I’m not a teacher but I felt I could help out in the office and assist with games and play and have fun with the children. I was responsible for organizing the office and to brainstorm new activities and different ideas for the advanced English classes.”
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the project. Every day had it’s own highlights. It really makes you learn about yourself - I came back to volunteer at a school and I had no expectations whatsoever. My jobs and activities I was doing were different day-to-day. The staff and teachers at the project are amazing – and the children are over the top adorable – I just amazes me how wonderful and unbelievable they are. The children and staff alike are such warm and lovely people.”
“I would absolutely recommend volunteering and would say that anyone volunteering here for the first time to come with little expectations and it will blow you away. Have an open mind and just go with the flow! I had quite a bit of free time in the afternoons and evenings so would recommend to see as much as you can in Siem Reap, including the temples, markets, Phare – the Cambodian Circus and lots, lots much more.”