Cambodia is one of the poorest countries on the planet. It decades of war weakened the economic and social institutions and trapped a large portion of the population in a cycle of poverty. Education and healthcare are out of the reach of a great many people while gender inequality and property rights are significant issues. The skill and wage gap between workers is getting wider which further limits the opportunities for the poorest population. In these conditions the volunteer work in Cambodia is abundant.
HIV/AIDS is a serious problem in Cambodia, and what started as a problem in drug users and sex workers has now spread into the rest of the population. While the government is promoting sexual education a lot needs to be done as Cambodia has the greatest number of HIV cases in Asia. Volunteers work roughly six hours a day performing a variety of duties like producing sexual educational promotions, supporting HIV positive people, website maintenance, administrative work and book keeping.
Many of Cambodia’s children wander in the streets or work as beggars, even worst some are tricked into child sex trade and world of violence and drugs. In such circumstances volunteering in Cambodia to work with the children is welcome. Volunteers can work in different capacities, choosing from care giving projects in the capital, to assisting staff of a local orphanage providing a safe environment or working with vulnerable children facing a host of issues like abandonment, sexual abuse, and economic exploitation.
While the government is working hard in raising the standards of education, dropout rates among the poor students is high. Volunteers work in community centres, public schools and even orphanages with children from low income backgrounds. The educational volunteer in Cambodia usually helps local teachers in classes teaching basic to mid-level English skills. In the more resource stricken schools volunteers conduct classes independently.