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More than one quarter
of Cambodians live
below the poverty line,
earning less than $1.25 per day.
Malnutrition is the main cause of child
mortality and illness in Cambodia.
“After seeing
the finished project of
the house we completed, I felt
accomplished. To be able to finish a
house in 4 days was absolutely amazing!
I do think that I made a worthwhile
Only 24% of Cambodian children
eat an appropriate diet.
Only 15% of rural Cambodians have access to
adequate sanitation, and 35% do not have
access to safe water.
About 23% of young women and 16%
of young men are illiterate.
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to t ins get g th
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st in on bu
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— an eel he l ing
Kr ot ing as fin
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ou st wa
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! nt
Yes! Every person has the ability to make a
difference, and this is your opportunity to reach
out and help! Between 2011-2013 volunteers
with Reach Out Volunteers have been able to
build 18 houses for impoverished families and
at risk adolescents, they installed clean-water
catchments and sanitation systems; they
created simple food sources – such as fishing
ponds – and re-built flood damaged homes.
From homes to classrooms, from new food
sources to supplies of clean water and
medications, each of our activities has made a
real difference.
Volunteers will be based in Siem
Reap and working in a village about
30 minutes from the city, near
the remains of ancient Angkor. A
thousand years ago, Angkor was the
world’s largest city, with a population
of 750,000 – it was ten times the
size of medieval Paris and London
combined. Now only the stunning
temples of this city, the UNESCO
listed Angkor Wat complex, remain in
the jungle near Siem Reap.
“I enjoyed both the visit to
Angkor Wat and the Floating
Village – particularly the
floating village as we really
got a taste of the Cambodian
culture. Climbing the tree out
at the bird sanctuary was a
really eye opening experience.”
Siem Reap is a small city with Khmer and
Chinese-influenced architecture. The Old French
Quarter boasts local and international restaurants
and cafes, while the vibrant Old Market, known for
its spectacular food stands, offers everything from
spices to clothes to housewares. In the city you will
discover traditional Apsara dance performances,
craft shops, and even silk farms. Siem Reap,
surrounded by rice paddies and fishing villages,
is near Tonle Sap, the largest lake
in Southeast Asia, and the
Prek Toal bird sanctuary.
Weeks 1 & 2 Village Project:
During your program you will be living in Siem Reap and
taking a tuk tuk (a motorcycle with a trailer) from your guesthouse
to a village approximately 30 minutes away, travelling along
rice fields on the only dirt road into the village.
There you will be working side by side with the villagers as they share
their daily routine. Traditional Khmer house construction will occur under
the guidance of local craftsmen. You’ll also be shopping in the local
market and preparing lunch in village homes, enjoying the hospitality
and gratitude of these Khmer villagers as you provide opportunities
for shelter and education for those in need. We follow priorities set by
the village elders to improve the facilities and life enhancing skills to
disadvantaged rural children and orphans. You will also be
working at the local village school, interacting with
the children, playing sports, helping them improve
their vital English skills. Depending on the needs the
community set, you might also be building new
pig-pens or student shelters.
“The Cambodian culture
is AMAZING, i literally
have no words. I have
learnt so much through
these people and the
kids of the village.
They truly were an
inspiration for me.”
Once the construction phase of the building is completed
you may work on other projects according to local needs,
for instance digging and installing a fish pond where
local fish are cultivated and developed as a future food
source; or digging, planting and fencing a vegetable area
for sustainable crops; or planting and harvesting rice
from the village paddies. The work is not gender based,
everyone is treated as a tradesman. But you’ll need strong
working gloves, as western hands can be soft and prone to
blisters in no time at all.
You will really become a part of this vibrant community,
and at the end of two weeks you will share a celebration
with the village as they thank you for your time, your
contribution and for really making a difference to the
quality of their lives. It will be time for partying and
dancing – Khmer style.
“It is the most rewarding experience
you will ever have.”
Your program is full of activities to ensure you are
immersed in Khmer culture.
Siem Reap is home to one of the wonders of
the world: Angkor Wat. Your itinerary will make sure
you get to the view the temples of Angkor
– for example Ta Prohm (featured in Tomb Raider)
and Bayon (famous for its 37 free-standing towers).
Additional activities include Khmer language classes,
a Khmer cooking class, Apsara dancing, a history lesson
on Khmer people and their fascinating past, temple
blessings and much more!
To really immerse your self in the daily routine of Siem Reap
we have organised walks and bike rides. The flat central
plain makes it an ideal place to explore. You’ll get to take
your time moving through the villages and outlying areas
of the city. Children will run out to meet you on the village
roads and their parents may even practice their English on
you! You’ll also get the opportunity to visit local markets,
or even stop for a massage.
You will also visit the great lake of Tonlé Sap, the largest
freshwater lake in South- east Asia. It is an ecological hot spot
designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997. In fact, 16% of
Cambodia’s GDP comes from fishing in this lake, and it is home to
a vibrant mix of floating villages, inhabited by Khmer, Vietnamese
and Cham ethnic groups. Tonlé Sap is unusual for two reasons:
its flow changes direction twice a year, and the portion that forms
the lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons. From
November to May, Cambodia’s dry season, Tonlé Sap drains its
waters collected from the Himalayas into the Mekong River at
Phnom Penh. When the rains begin in June, the Tonlé Sap backs
up to form an enormous lake. You will visit the floating villages at
the edge of the lake and have an optional choice of a canoe ride
through the floating forests.
“I’d say if you
love working with
people and want to
make a difference, you
should do a ROV program as
it is probably one of the best
decisions I have ever made. I
hope go on another ROV trip
in the future.”
You will also get the
on program to visit a local
Carnival to see how the
Cambodian’s spend their free
time. There will be carnival
style rides including a Ferris
wheel and roller coaster if
you’re brave! While at the
carnival why not try your hand
at some carnival games, visit
the market stalls, or try some
of the delicious local food on
offer. You might even be lucky
enough to find some stir-fried
crickets to try!
Did you know that fried
Tarantula is a specialty of
Cambodia! Will you be game to
try one? When in Cambodia.....
Want to know what your life will be like in
Cambodia? Check out current and past
blogs to find out how a Cambodian program
operates. When it’s 6 a.m. in New York, it’s 5
p.m. in the afternoon in Siem Reap!
“The most memorable part
of the program was being
able to meet people from
all over the world with
the same goal, to make a
difference in someone’s lives.
In 14 short days, strangers
became family and I will
forever cherish the memories
from this trip.”
Communication with home can be tricky –
but that’s where the ROV blogs can fill the
void: we provide daily updates with snippets
of news and lots of photos! The blogs are
updated daily while you’re in Cambodia so
your friends and family can see what you’re
up to. All they need to do is go to
to and choose your
program (Volunteer Cambodia: Village Life)
and click on the “Live from Cambodia” tab
(on the far right).
“the program was incredible,
the balance of volunteering but also
seeing the culture and the sights
was well managed and allowed us
to experience Cambodia
while also contributing
to the community.”
The history of Cambodia is still being
written today with the country
rebounding and emerging from the
nightmare of the Killing Fields
The majority of Cambodians are Khmers, and
descend from the Khmer Empire that once
extended over much of Southeast Asia and
reached its peak between the 10th and 13th
centuries. This is the civilization that built Angkor,
which was once the world’s largest city. After
a long period of decline – fuelled initially by
Thai and Cham attacks – Cambodia became a
French protectorate in 1863. After 1887 it was
part of French Indochina. Following the Japanese
occupation during World War II, Cambodia gained
full independence from France in 1953.
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The Khmers
The months of November to January are dry in Cambodia.
Humidity levels are low and there is little rainfall. Daytime
temperatures are mild, while the nights are cool. The hot
months are April to May, with temperatures from 30°C (86°F)
to (more often) 40°C (104°F). In July, monsoons bring rain and
humidity that last until October. All this water means Angkor
is surrounded by fertile land and lush foliage, but rain can
also make it difficult to access the villages where we work.
What to bring
Think about your favourite clothes, shoes and handbags
– and then discard those thoughts! Think practical,
comfortable, and easy to wash. Think work clothes, work
gloves, hats and sunscreen. Your program will involve lots
of hard, practical work, and you won’t require precious
garments or flashy jewellery.
It’s about sun protection, easy wear, and no hassle. This
information is also located within your “Get Ready” page,
located on your Volunteer Launchpad.
For flight and airport information don’t forget to check your
Get Ready page which will be available when you pay your
deposit. If you are extending your program it is very important
that you email the ROV office to confirm your arrival and
departure airports before you book your airline tickets.
A Cambodian tourist visa is purchased on arrival for around
US$25. Make sure you have an extra two passport photos in
your hand luggage. Cambodians operate on a dual currency,
but prefer U.S. dollars, so we recommend that you bring cash.
A valid ATM or credit card can also be used at the airport
ATM (which dispenses U.S. dollars). Note that if you plan to
use your ATM or credit card in Cambodia, you should let your
bank know ahead of time to avoid blocked transactions.
Although our programs are safe, take the stress out of your
trip by making sure you are fully covered for any unexpected
health or travel problems that might arise, including cover
for emergency flights and hospital visits.
• Will there be mosquito nets? No, however in Siem reap you will be in
air conditioned rooms so you can close your windows at night.
• Will I be met at the airport? We will collect you on the day you arrive,
and drop you off at the airport on the day of departure.
• Can you wear singlets (tank tops) shorts, bikinis? No!
• Can we bring toys and other small gifts? Yes!
• Do we need bedding? No!
• Do we need vaccinations? Ask your doctor.
• Will I have electricity / adaptors? Not all the time, but often enough
to charge your cameras, phones and iPods.
• Will there be wifi? Not all the time.
• Will there be big insects / dangerous animals? Not in Siem Reap.
• Do we need to arrange transport for departing flights? No!
• Can I bring a suitcase? We recommend a backpack.
• Do I need insurance? Yes!
• What things / clothing should I bring with me to donate in the village?
Children’s clothes and shoes. Early childhood-development and educational materials
such as books, crayons, and pencils. Sports equipment. Running shoes and clothes.
• Isn’t Cambodia dangerous? Cambodia (a predominantly Buddhist country)
has very little civil unrest.
Because of volunteers like you, we can provide employment
for local tradespeople, medication for children, materials for
building projects, donations for anti-poaching activities, and
money for local infrastructure (accommodation providers,
activities, transport, etc.). Every cent helps the local people.
We need your help to make a difference.
Many volunteers fundraise for their Reach Out Volunteer
program. That means not one cent has come out of their
pocket. Your fundraising materials will be available to you
once you have paid your deposit or uploaded your priority
code to your profile.
We also like using crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe
— be sure to embed Reach Out videos and links to our
website to give people an idea of what they’re contributing to.
People will want to help you
help others: all you have to do is put
yourself out there!
“Definitely do it! It would be the
best time of their lives and they
would meet people and make
memories that they would never
forget for the rest of their lives.”
Every aspect of your program has safety
as its highest priority.
We organise your program from start to finish. If you arrive
at the airport on the day the program commences, there
will be a Reach Out Volunteer representative to meet you.
The Reach Out Volunteer team leader will be with your
group for the entire duration of the program and
will be available 24/7 to help in any situation.
You will be living in a shared, same-sex room
(whenever it is available), in clean, hygienic,
and safe accommodations.
You will have constant access to safe drinking water.
If you choose an extension (with the exception Of Laos),
Reach Out Volunteers will provide on ground transportation
to the next program location, where a Reach Out
Volunteer representative will meet you.
“Reach Out is particularly special because
they immerse you into the culture and get
you personally involved so you see the first
hand difference that you have made.”
If you haven’t already applied for the program, you
can do so through our website:
Once you have been accepted, you will need to pay
the deposit to confirm your place.
We’re waiting to welcome
you to our team!
© 2014
Reach Out
Pty Ltd