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Volunteer Work with NGOs in Cambodia

Volunteer Work with NGOs in Cambodia

Interested in volunteering with an NGO in Cambodia? International Volunteer HQ’s Working with NGOs project means volunteers can assist with a wide range of activities helping disadvantaged people in Cambodia. These usually include initiatives improving or working in health, education, human rights, gender issues, community development and environmental issues. Placements are based on the volunteers’ skills and interests as well as where the need is greatest for the local community.

Highlights:
  • Programs start every first and third Monday of the month
  • Affordable fees from CA$1145 for 5 weeks
  • Includes accommodation, meals, airport pick up, orientation and 24/7 support
  • Help NGOs that focus on a range of important causes

  • Relax on Cambodia’s blissful beaches

  • Stay with other volunteers in Cambodia’s most popular cities

'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

Key information

Support the community through NGO initiatives
Based in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
Volunteer house accommodation
Volunteers aged 19+
Fully hosted experience from CA$1145 for 5 weeks
Durations from 5 - 24 weeks
Explore Cambodia's spectacular temples
Up to 8 hours volunteering a day

This program is ideal for:

Volunteers who want to make a difference to the lives of vulnerable people. You need to be over the age of 19 and have relevant experience in the field you wish to volunteer in. You also need to be able to stay for the minimum duration of five weeks and bring your own laptop.
Who is this program suited to?

What to expect and how you'll make an impact

NGOs play an important role assisting vulnerable people in Cambodia, despite having limited financial resources and relying heavily on international funding drives. As a volunteer, you’re able to work with a range of initiatives to help them make the biggest difference possible in the community.

NGO volunteers can assist with projects that focus on fields of community development, human rights, health and HIV/AIDS awareness, gender issues, environmental issues and education. Placements are decided based on a mixture of your skills and interests, and where there is the most need for help at the time.

As a NGO volunteer your duties will vary depending on the placement but often include:

  • Applying English skills to assist at the NGO
  • Writing proposals for fundraising
  • Preparing case studies and reports
  • Teaching English to staff
  • Providing IT assistance

We do recommend volunteers learn as much Khmer as possible before arrival, as there can be a slight language barrier while on this project; but, this is not required. It is important to be aware that if you are asked to join a community meeting, the stakeholders will speak in Khmer and the staff will provide translations when possible but this may limit your contribution to these meetings.

COVID-19 requirements for Cambodia: There is a requirement for all volunteers on the Cambodia program to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated (including booster), at least 14 days before flying to Cambodia. These measures are in place until further notice so please do keep this in mind for your planning.

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities

Contributes to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #10: Reduced Inequalities

Covid-19 has deepened existing inequalities, hitting disadvantaged and minority communities the hardest. To reduce inequalities, we must provide better services and support to refugees, migrants, indigenous peoples and people with disabilities.

Why do Working with NGOs volunteering in Cambodia with IVHQ?

While volunteering to work with NGOs in Cambodia you’ll be adding value to the local community, while also developing personally and professionally by:

  • Giving essential support to NGOs
  • Helping NGOs with initiatives that benefit local communities
  • Developing your communication skills
  • Learning about NGOs and the issues they face
  • Immersing yourself fully in the Khmer culture
  • Becoming familiar with Cambodia’s history

Volunteer requirements

  • Volunteers need to be 19 years or over to participate in this program. If you are under the age of 19, IVHQ offers alternative volunteer opportunities for teens. Visit our High School Volunteer Abroad page to learn more.
  • All volunteers are required to speak fluent English, have adequate volunteer travel insurance and provide a criminal background check to IVHQ before departure.
Are you eligible to volunteer?

Submit a free application so we can confirm your eligibility and check availability for your preferred dates.

Apply For Free

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'Who is going' users image
Who is going?
Group video calls

Once you have secured your place, join regular video calls to meet your Program Manager and other volunteers before your trip.

What recent volunteers said about their IVHQ experience

JP
John Papavasiliou
04 Apr 2024

I enjoyed the humbleness in serving others and appreciating culture and people from different backgrounds and experiences.

...
AM
Anthea Murray
31 Jan 2024

I gained gratitude for my own life, as well as feelings of amazement for this country’s resilience, respect for their culture, self confidence, excitement for the potential far reaching impact my work will have in changing lives, self pride around my independence, adaptability, resilience and resourcefulness.

...
ML
Maurice Ley
15 Jun 2023

Great communication and guidance throughout the entire process. Raksmey and his team was phenomenal. He was present and informative in every capacity imaginable. When not physically present, he would stay in constant contact and provide consistent updates concerning matters related to the program or guesthouse. On a scale of 1-10 I would rate the local team a 100. The food was great throughout my time in Cambodia. The cook at the Phnom Penh guesthouse was phenomenal. Very kind and understanding.

I have never had as much fun as I experienced during the 4 months I spent in Cambodia.

...
SC
Santiago Castillo Galvan
01 Dec 2022

Great professional preparation received from IVHQ! The local team were lovely, I even miss them. Incredible people and place, and the food was delicious.

...
SS
Salome Schmid
01 Dec 2022

My favorite moment from the volunteer experience was that I was getting in touch with the locals in a very authentic way.

...
MF
Mieke Ford
12 Oct 2022

The experience I gained from taking part in this volunteering has been invaluable to me. It has shown me that where I want to work is within the charity sector in order to make a real impact to peoples lives. It has also shown me that I want to live for part of my life in Asia as I have always loved the culture but living in Cambodia for almost 2 months showed me I could really live long-term there. By the end of my time there I could measurably see the difference I had made for the local NGO and the gratefulness of my colleagues for the help I was able to provide gave me real motivation to continue to do work like this in the future.

The staff and team there were amazing and always so welcoming and kind. The food was amazing and always something different. The cook was also very friendly and accommodating.

It's a daunting process to start off with, but also one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had and I have no regrets about deciding to do this experience and would highly recommend to anyone.

...

To read all reviews, visit our reviews page.

Academic course credit through International Volunteer HQ and Intern Abroad HQ.

Academic course credit

Gain course credit from your college or university and meet your academic requirements when completing a volunteer abroad program with International Volunteer HQ!

Learn about course credit
Volunteer Abroad in Cambodia with IVHQ

Location

In the heart of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a country full of beauty and tragedy. As well as an abundance of beautiful beaches and temples there are many reminders of the history of genocide and civil war that left Cambodia one of the least developed countries in the world. In Phnom Penh there are numerous places where you can learn about what happened, including the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum or Choeung Ek Genocidal Centre. It is important to be informed about these poignant events in order to gain a better understanding and deeper respect for the Cambodian people and their culture.

As an IVHQ volunteer in Cambodia you could be based at placements in the capital city of Phnom Penh, the remote city of Battambang, or by the impressive temples of Siem Reap.

Arrival and orientation

The program orientation begins on the first and third Monday of the month and volunteers need to arrive in Siem Reap on the Sunday before orientation. There are two airport pick-ups times available: one at 10:00am and the other at 4:00pm. Arriving later than the Sunday before your start date is not allowed, as volunteers need to be ready for orientation early on Monday morning.

After you have registered for the program, please book your flights to arrive at the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI). Your airport pick-up is included in your Program Fee when utilizing the 10:00am and 4:00pm pick-ups.

When you arrive, you will be greeted at the airport by a member of the local team and taken to the volunteer accommodation in Siem Reap. Your accommodation is covered by your Program Fee and includes the Sunday night before your program orientation.

If you are traveling in Cambodia prior to your volunteer program, the local team can pick you up on Sunday from any hostel or hotel in Siem Reap.

Orientation is hosted by our Cambodia team at the volunteer house in Siem Reap. Orientation begins on the morning of your chosen start date and covers everything you need to know for your volunteer program in Cambodia – an introduction to Cambodia, its culture and customs, rules and expectations, safety, travel opportunities and an introduction to your project and placement. The orientation will also give you a chance to meet other volunteers and swap contact details for weekend travel and socializing.

Although you are expected to fly into Siem Reap, as this is where the program orientation is held, your placement may be based elsewhere; either Siem Reap, Phnom Penh or Battambang. After your time on the program ends, you can either fly out of Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, although please note that your transportation back to the relevant airport is at your own expense.

Volunteer schedule example

First Day

On your first day of volunteering, you will be escorted to your placement by a local coordinator and introduced to the placement staff you will be working with.

Weekdays - A typical volunteer day might be:

7:00 AM Breakfast in the volunteer house or with your host family
9:00 AM Volunteer leaves home and travels to the project to begin work
12:00 - 2:00 PM Lunch break. In Cambodia all workplaces have a lunch break for about 2 hours. Some start earlier, some later. During this lunch break you are welcome to stay at your placement. Some placements will offer you food.
2:00 - 5:00 PM Work at the project usually ends. You are free to travel home, sightsee or do some shopping.
7:00 PM Dinner in the volunteer house or with the host family.

Weekends

Cambodia is packed with a vast range of things to do and see in your free time. In the modern capital city of Phnom Penh you can visit the king’s official residence, The Royal Palace, and the famous Silver Pagoda, check out the huge art-deco market, cruise along the Mekong or learn about Cambodia’s devastating history at one of the many museums.

The tourist hub of Siem Reap is home to Angkor Wat, a collection of temples that together form the largest religious monument in the world. There are many hotels, resorts, markets and museums, and nearby is a lake with floating villages, a national park featuring waterfalls, rivers and Cambodia’s largest reclining Buddha.

During the long public holidays in April, September and November, you may also wish to travel further afield to Laos, Vietnam or Thailand.

Accommodation and WiFi

You will be accommodated in either a volunteer house, guesthouse or home-stay and you can expect to share a room with four other IVHQ volunteers, who are of the same gender. Bedrooms are comprised of bunk beds with bedding provided, which includes a bottom sheet, blanket and pillow. Although there is no air conditioning, electric fans are provided in each room and if volunteers require additional cooling, they are able to request an additional fan via the local team.

If you’re volunteering in Siem Reap, you’ll be accommodated in a volunteer house. Volunteer houses have electricity and running water and the majority of rooms have private bathrooms. In each volunteer house, there is a sitting area, dining area, TV and Wi-Fi.

For those volunteers placed in Phnom Penh, you will be accommodated in either a homestay hosted by a family who has been approved by the local team in Cambodia or a local guesthouse, depending on where your placement is located. Both the guesthouse and the homestay also have electricity and running water. Being in a homestay for your duration on the program is a fantastic way to experience the local culture and even if you are placed in a local guesthouse, this is still a great way to interact with the local community.

If your placement is in the province of Battambang, you will stay on-site in the school compound. You will have a separate room which you will share with up to one other volunteer. Electricity, running water, western bathrooms and Wi-Fi are provided.

Meals

Volunteers in Cambodia are provided with three meals a day which are served in the volunteer house. Breakfast generally consists of seasonal fruit and bread with a variety of spreads such as; peanut butter and jam.

Lunch and dinner is usually rice or noodles with fried vegetables and meat. These meals include a wide range of dishes consisting of rice, vegetables and meat with sweet, salty, bitter and sour flavors. Volunteers on the Animal Care project should expect a packed vegan lunch.

If you have any special dietary requirements, please let the team know when you apply for the program so arrangements can be made.

Pricing

  • USD
Duration
Program Fee
Due 30 days before you start, or within 48 hours if you register inside of 30 days. Covers the cost of hosting you.
  • USD
5 weeks CA$1145 Equivalent to CA$33/day
6 weeks CA$1310 Equivalent to CA$31/day
8 weeks CA$1642 Equivalent to CA$29/day
10 weeks CA$1973 Equivalent to CA$28/day
12 weeks CA$2297 Equivalent to CA$27/day
16 weeks CA$2931 Equivalent to CA$26/day
20 weeks CA$3565 Equivalent to CA$25/day
24 weeks CA$4199 Equivalent to CA$25/day
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • In-country program orientation
  • Pre-departure support from your Program Manager
  • Airport pick-up
  • Personalized preparation tools, guides and check lists
  • Access to IVHQ’s preferred insurance and flights partners
  • Certificate of International Volunteer Service

Learn more about what's included in your IVHQ Registration Fee and Program Fee.

  • All programs attract a Registration Fee of US$329 (approximately CA$473) in addition to the Program Fee. This covers all pre-departure support services. IVHQ fees are priced in USD but you may elect to pay in CAD.
  • A 5% international banking fee is added at point of payment.
  • The Animal Care project has an extra cost of US$10 per week to cover the resources that the local team donate to the placements, i.e. food and snacks, while the Medical project has a separate fees table (please see the Cambodia Medical project page) to cover the support you receive from the hospital staff.
  • Additional things to budget for include: Visa, flights, travel insurance (mandatory), vaccinations, criminal background check, public transport to and from your placement each day and return to the airport when your program finishes.
  • Recommended spending money: Volunteers in Cambodia generally find US$50-80 per week to be sufficient for expenses.

Check what's required to visit Cambodia

Safety and support with IVHQ

Safety and support

IVHQ follows best practice and industry-leading health and safety procedures, which are regularly reviewed and optimized as part of the B Corporation recertification.

  • All volunteers encouraged to complete our interactive pre-departure training.
  • All local teams trained on best practice volunteer management & First Aid.
  • All IVHQ programs are required to adhere to IVHQ's Risk Management Policy.
  • All volunteers have access to 24/7 in-country support from our local team.
Learn more about IVHQ's safety

Essential country information

Capital Phnom Penh
Population 16.49 million
Languages Khmer
Currency Cambodian Riel (KHR)
Time zone UTC+07:00

Weather and climate

Cambodia has two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22°C (71.6°F) and is generally accompanied by high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April and temperatures can rise up to 40°C (104°F ) around April.

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How to get started

Pick a destination + project and apply for free
Meet your personal volunteer travel expert
Pay the Registration Fee to secure your place and upgrade your MyIVHQ account
Get ready to volunteer abroad, we’ll support you every step of the way!