In the recent years, Cambodia has been rising fast as a top backpacker destination. Its fascinating history, warm people and of course beautiful scenery make it a dream destination for many people and ranging from the travelers to volunteers. As a developing country, it is also a country that grapples with various challenges and there are lots of volunteer Cambodia opportunities that one can take here during their GAP years.
Cambodia is a country that sits at the heart of South East Asia. Most of the world associate Cambodia more commonly with the excesses of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge but this is a country with an ancient history stretching back thousands of years and with a rich culture and tradition.
Travelers also know Cambodia for its great temples with the most impressive of these being the Angkor Wat temple. Built in the 12th century, the Angkor Wat was once a Hindu temple but it is now Buddhist. In the olden days, it was the capital of the Khmer Empire in Cambodia. Many visitors also go to Cambodia to remember the horrors of the Khmer Rouge where you can see some of the killing fields and experience what the country has gone through.
There are various cities in Cambodia that you can visit during your GAP year volunteering. The most obvious choice is the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. If you want to experience all the Cambodian temples, then you can visit the city of Siem Reap which is called the City of Temples.
Visit Battambang which is the second largest Cambodian town. Here, you can explore some of the eerie bat caves or even take a quirky ride in a bamboo train. There are also the ancient ruins of the Prasat Sneung in this town. For relaxation in the beautiful beaches, you can try out Cambodia’s seaside town of Sihanoukville where you can sunbathe in its beautiful beaches.
Volunteering work in Cambodia
If you are looking for volunteer Cambodia GAP year programs, there are plenty of areas where you can apply yourself depending on your expertise and areas of interest. These can include the following:
Volunteering in Rural Cambodia Schools: There are schools which offer free education in rural Cambodia where you can volunteer to impart various skills to students including teaching of English, arts and handicrafts, creating various activities for kids, sports and environmental awareness for the kids.
Community Development work: This is another area of volunteer Cambodia work that you can undertake. You can apply your skills in building communities and helping poor or depressed communities escape from poverty. You will not do it overnight but your time and skills will certainly make a difference in these communities.
Volunteering in the health sector: If you have a medical background, you can volunteer in the Cambodian public health sector and help with patient care at a local hospital. With volunteer programs such as the Involvement Volunteers International, you can find a suitable space and level where you can contribute based on your skills.