'It was the most amazing experience. I learnt more about the way of life, especially being in a rural location. Travelled to school on the back of a motorbike with my teacher. I formed beautiful relationships with the kids, the teachers and felt at the end of my time that I had a new family, I was so enriched by the whole experience.
My advice to anyone thinking of volunteering with VDCA is DO IT !!! You will not regret your decision and it may change your life.' Debbie Alcorn (UK) February 2015.
Volunteering with us
VDCA welcomes both short (minimum one week) and long-term volunteers who have a real desire to make a difference in the lives of others and feel good about what they have to give. We employ a full-time staff of Khmer teachers and volunteers usually function as teaching assistants, under their supervision. You can teach English or other languages, hygiene, computer skills, support environmental education or assist other projects. Feel free to discuss your ideas and skills with us, so we can accommodate you and your plans. Please ensure that you contact us with sufficient notice as you WILL be required to submit an application and provide documentation to meet our Child Protection Policy (more below).
We take volunteers at our Free School in Siem Reap and at our rural projects in the dump area, 23km from town, where we have a Free School, a Nursery School and Feeding Program for the children of the area. The Volunteer Information Guide will give you a brief overview of our schools, daily schedules, accommodation and transport options. We are happy to arrange a volunteering schedule that suits your needs and interests.
A short video by Mr. Vuthy, Project Manager at BTIC, about volunteering at VDCA.
Fundraising and Volunteer Donations
We request that our volunteers either do some fundraising or donate (US$350) to us. This is to raise awareness of our organisation, to help keep our schools and projects in operation and to provide fair trade compensation for your volunteer experience. We employ a full staff of Khmer teachers and it will be their job to supervise you, as well as provide opportunities for you to assist in their classrooms and at the schools. Events such as raffles, quiz nights, BBQs and approaching schools to run activities are great ways to raise money. Many of our volunteers choose to do online fundraising through a site such as www.gofundme.com or through their social media pages. Please contact us if you would like assistance with fundraising ideas.
If volunteers contribute a project of equal value, or are skilled professionals offering services, clinics or professional development for staff, the fee may be waived. Please contact us to discuss these options.
You will receive:
Online support prior to your arrival
Assistance with accommodation
Transfer from the airport/bus station to your accommodation upon arrival
Orientation tour of our projects and Siem Reap including information and local tips
Assistance with organising transport to your chosen location
Induction at VDCA/Anlung Pi on your first day
Ongoing supervision, support and contact during your stay
Ceremony and Certificate of Volunteering upon completion of our Volunteer Program
This is an opportunity for you to have a truly rewarding experience on your Cambodian adventure or you can really invest yourself, and your time, by making this the main reason for your trip. It is important to remember you are here to help with our vision. You may make suggestions but it is not your role to force modern methodology and structure. It is important to note that things move at a slower rate in Cambodia, including change. Advice and help are much appreciated and desired, but it is essential to understand that the school has always been owned and operated by Cambodians, and that is important to us.
We welcome your application and encourage you to see what an enriching, purposeful and developing experience this will be for you and the children you support.
Child Protection Policy and the Volunteer Code of Conduct
VDCA is committed to protecting the children in our care by strictly adhering to a Child Protection Policy. This policy aligns with international best practice models and with the UN sanctioned, 1959 Declaration of the Rights of the Child. We also provide our volunteers with a Code of Conduct, which outlines acceptable behaviour while working in our schools and projects. Please review our Volunteer Conduct and Child Protection Policy prior to your arrival. These policies will be reviewed at your induction and we require that they be signed and returned to us.
Public Holidays at our VDCA Schools
If you are planning on visiting our projects or volunteering with us, please check our public holiday schedule here, as our schools will be closed on these days.
School Groups and Organisations
We welcome visits from school groups and organisations who would like to visit and/or volunteer with us. Please contact us for more information.
Schools Building Hope: A tour for the future
If you are only in Siem Reap for a short time and would like to visit our rural school, we can recommend an excellent tour run by our Australian partners at Cambodian Schools of Hope. You will visit three schools, including our Anlung Pi Free School, and all profits are donated to the schools to help with our funding. Please click here for more information and contact Angkor Bodhi Tree Retreat & Yoga Centre on +855 (0) 88 606 5906 or +855 (0)69 934 338, for bookings and details.
If you would prefer to volunteer through a reputable agency and have all of your details arranged for you (placement, accommodation, transport, activities etc) we recommend applying through Globalteer, a long-time supporter of VDCA.
There is clean accommodation to suit any budget. If you are travelling with others, the price is even cheaper. You may be able to get resort style accommodation at low prices. Please contact us for suggestions of accommodation providers who offer specially discounted prices for our volunteers.
Estimated travel costs from central Siem Reap to VDCA:
Tuk-tuk – US$4-5 return. Motor Bike (Moto) US$2. Bicycle Hire – US$1-2 (day hire)
Estimated travel costs from Siem Reap to Anlung Pi (Dump Area, 25km out of Siem Reap)
Tuk-tuk - US$15 a day. Ride a moto with a teacher - US$3 a day.
There may be an opportunity to share transportation with other volunteers, depending upon your dates.
Homestay at Anlung Pi
We have several affordable options for volunteers who would like a home stay experience while volunteering at our Anlung Pi schools. Please contact us for more information.