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Cambodia

Although tourism is expanding, Cambodia is still one of the world’s poorest countries, with its economy dominated by garment-making and agriculture.

There’s tough competition for jobs. ICS volunteers with VSO work to build youth economic empowerment, teaching young people business skills and helping them become more employable.

VSO volunteers also help schools meet Cambodia’s Child Friendly School (CFS) Framework, which sets out the rules to make sure schools put children at the centre of everything they do.

VSO ICS volunteers meet with leaders of the local Agriculture Co-operative to discuss issues they face
© Andrew Aitchison
VSO ICS volunteers meet with leaders of the local Agriculture Co-operative to discuss issues they face

Helping people to support themselves and their families

With one of the youngest populations in the world – almost a third aged under 15 – youth employment is a big priority.

As a VSO volunteer, you will be working with youth club members to build their knowledge and interest in agriculture and their ability to set up their own small businesses.

You’ll help achieve this by creating a platform where young people are able to learn about enterprise skills, preparing for employment and how to get trained in a skill.

VSO ICS volunteers run a weekly English class for all children in the village at their host home
© Andrew Aitchison
VSO ICS volunteers run a weekly English class for all children in the village at their host home

Improving education

With 300,000-400,000 young people entering the jobs market every year, literacy and getting a good education is key to making sure they’re able to access jobs or become self-employed.

2017 celebrates 10 years of Cambodia’s Child Friendly Schools (CFS) programme. It was created to make sure every child across the country had access to a good education.

With VSO, ICS volunteers make sure schools are able to follow the government’s guidance on how children should be put at the centre of their teaching and learning.

You’ll help produce research, including data collection on school environment and life skills, reports on what schools are lacking, and resources to support peer education and school councils.

And raising your voice! You’ll help shout about the importance of youth participation and volunteering, and child-centred learning through awareness raising sessions.

ICS volunteers Tania, Luna & Keira pick mangos with the children in their host home garden
© Andrew Aitchison
ICS volunteers Tania, Luna & Keira pick mangos with the children in their host home garden

Living in Cambodia

There are four project locations in Cambodia, including Stung Treng, Mondulkiri, Banan and Koas Krala. All placements in Cambodia see volunteers living with host families, usually with one other volunteer.  

As with other placements, volunteers living with host families will be expected to eat like a local. Rice is the staple food in Cambodian cuisine, which bears similarities to the food of neighbouring countries Thailand and Vietnam.

A typical Cambodian meal is served with rice and at least three other dishes as well as a soup (samlor). Each of the individual dishes will either be sweet, sour, salty or bitter.

And it’s not just what happens on placement that counts. Outside of ICS, volunteers have led Community Action Days on environment protection, recycling and school enrolment, as well as job fairs and careers events.

ICS partners working in Cambodia

VSO

Your ICS placement is about more than what you do while you're overseas.

Also see:

Participants in a rally against human trafficking organised by Restless Development ICS volunteers
© Suraj Ratna Shakya / Restless Development

Nepal