Children’s Home

Cambodia

The Children’s Home provides a home for around 40 children in very difficult situations, many have disabilities and require long-term support.

You will support the staff at the home with daily care tasks. Many of the children are behind developmentally in their gross and fine motor skills, so sessions run by volunteers help the children to develop and practice these. Working on the farmland, caring for the animals onsite and selling produce at the mini-mart helps the local team to make the Children’s Home more sustainable by producing its own food.

Living in a remote location gives you the opportunity to experience authentic Cambodian village life. Explore the beautiful and secluded Chumbok Waterfall and Kirirom National Park.

Join the team at the Children’s Home to support the children’s long term development.

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Key Info

key info
  • Location: 2 hours south west of Phnom Penh
  • Start dates: First and third Monday of each month
  • Duration: 4 - 12 weeks +
  • Age requirement: 20+
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £945 / €1105 / $1210 - see fees table below

Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

The Children’s Home is situated on 7 hectares of land in a traditional rural Cambodian village. The home currently cares for around 40 children aged 0-17 years, many of whom have disabilities.

Every day will differ and volunteers can get involved in the following activities:

  • Teaching English in the onsite classroom
  • Helping in the nursery; washing baby clothes, cleaning and playing with the children
  • Leading the kindergarten with children aged 2-5 years and slightly older children with disabilities or special educational needs
  • Helping on the farm; clearing land, planting, weeding, composting
  • Assisting at the mini-mart
  • Other activities, such as creative arts, music lessons, cookery and vocational skills such as sewing

Working days and hours

Volunteers work 5 days per week, generally from 8am – 6pm. You will get regular breaks throughout the day. This means you have 2 days per week to enjoy free time activities.

The daily schedule can vary greatly during national holidays. Cambodia’s main holidays fall in mid-April (Choul Chnam Thmey), mid-October (Pchum Ben) and mid-November (Water Festival).

Other volunteers

There are usually 1-2 volunteers with a maximum of 10, but this varies considerably throughout the year. Volunteers work alongside a team of local staff.

Child protection

Pod is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults - please see our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy.

All volunteers are required to have a criminal records check, which we will arrange with you.

Volunteer Reviews

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Cambodia Children’s Home reviews.

Why are volunteers needed?

The dedicated team of local staff at the Children’s Home provide the long-term support for the children, but are overstretched with daily care tasks and are therefore unable to dedicate time to fun games and lessons. Without the support of volunteers, the English lessons and kindergarten sessions are not able to take place.

Many children in the nursery are behind developmentally in their gross and fine motor skills, and in some cases their speech development. Volunteers in kindergarten sessions help the children to develop and practice these skills. The nannies are unable to run these as they each have responsibility for 2-4 young children.

The Children’s Home hopes to one day farm their 7 hectares of land to provide food for the home and to sell the surplus at the local market. The local team often does not have time to develop areas of land for farming, so any additional help volunteers can offer is of great benefit.

Location, free time and accommodation

Cambodia

Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia’s most popular destinations, bordered by Vietnam to the east, Laos to the north and Thailand to the west. Whilst Cambodia is most famous for its ancient temple of Angkor Wat, its unique culture and heritage makes it a great place for volunteers to explore.

Popular activities in Cambodia include:

  • Visiting the sites of Phnom Penh such as the Royal Palace and National Museum
  • Exploring Cambodia’s turbulent history at the S-21 Prison and the Killing Fields
  • Relaxing on one of Cambodia’s beautiful islands

To find out more, see the Lonely Planet Cambodia

Local area and free time

The Children’s Home is based in a rural village about two hours south-west of Phnom Penh in the Kampong Speu Province. It is a particularly low-income region, most of the population are small-holding fruit farmers. The home is situated away from the tourist-track, and the rural location offers volunteers the opportunity to experience authentic Cambodian culture and way of life.

The remote location means that volunteers usually spend the evenings with the local staff and older children. Living on site gives you an opportunity to fully immerse yourself into life at the home.

On your days off you can visit the village, which has a local market and a handful of small coffee shops. There is a swimming pool at a nearby resort which is a great way to relax on your day off!

If you would like to explore the local area there is a beautiful local temple within walking distance. In addition, Chumbok Waterfall and Kirirom National Park can be visited on your weekends off.

Accommodation

Volunteers live onsite at the Children’s Home in a traditional Cambodian style house separate to the children and staff. The volunteer area is shared with 1-10 volunteers and has an open plan layout of bunk beds, a small kitchen and seating area. Bathrooms are shared with other volunteers. There is no internet connection on site but there is a basic connection in the local village.

Read volunteer reviews from the Children's Home project

Shanique

“This was the most rewarding experience of my life. You get to immerse yourself in a culture that I assume very different from your own, and that in itself is all the reason to do it. It is a real eye-opener and helps you re-evaluate what is truly important in life. If that is not enough to sway you, the children will make your heart full with so much love. They are an awesome group of children who despite their circumstances, face everyday with laughter and excitement.

The children are the sweetest bunch you will ever meet. They find happiness in the smallest things. The amount of love they have to give is remarkable. Although I will admit they were a handful at times, it is truly rewarding to see their improvements academically as the weeks went on. Knowing that I made a positive impact on these children’s lives is more than enough to over see any of the hardships during my stay. I would do it again in a heartbeat”

Phoebe

“I had a truly unforgettable time and I feel privileged to have been a part of these children’s lives for the time that I was there. It was incredibly rewarding to teach and help the older kids, who were always full of laughter and enthusiasm, and it was so uplifting to see how loving and happy the younger kids and toddlers were every day.

As volunteers we felt we were needed, and like we were more than superfluous helpers there for our own benefit, which I know is an issue that worries many others when considering volunteering abroad. I would urge anyone considering this placement to take the opportunity and give as much of their time as they can, I wished I could have stayed longer.”

Alison

“The main element that makes the Children’s Home Project worth every cent is the kids themselves. They are so welcoming and adorable and will seriously leave you with everlasting memories. Unlike most projects where you leave a “physical” structure behind, this project will have you leaving your heart behind. That might sound cheesy but keep in mind you are with the kids all day and every day.

Hands down the best part of my time was teaching English to the older children. I do not come from a teaching background nor would I say English was my best subject at school. But none of that matters! The volunteer house on the property has tons of resources and multiple workbooks that helped structure my classes, which was wonderful because it gave the kids something tangible to work with and provided them with a study tool for later.”

Naomi

“The Children’s Home is a lovely environment, the children are very happy and the staff onsite, even though the staff don’t speak English, are smiley and approachable. The time I spent at the children’s home I shall never forget, the kids are so willing to learn and play, the joy is infectious to be around. The placement was everything I had hoped for and more

I taught English to 3 groups, Junior and Intermediate to the orphanage children and an advanced class to the local village students (once word of mouth gets around, everyone joins the lessons!). I also chose to teach dance as that is my occupation in England. The children love to be occupied and creative, sing, play and dance.”

Read more reviews

What's Included?

Before you go:

  • Carefully selected and vetted volunteer project
  • Support from our friendly and highly experienced Pod UK team
  • Single point of contact - Lucy is your dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • In-depth volunteering and planning your trip guides
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Help arranging criminal record checks
  • Discounted online TEFL course
  • Access to specialist travel insurance at exclusive rates
  • Recommended travel agency for flights and tours
  • Access to special deals and resources
  • Fundraising guide and support
  • Financial protection for monies paid to Pod

On your placement:

  • Childcare and teaching volunteering placement
  • Airport pick up (Phnom Penh) and transfer
  • Accommodation - a basic shared room
  • Food - lunch & dinner
  • Induction
  • Onsite support from local team
  • Support from Pod UK office by email and phone
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans

On your return:

  • Contact from your Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • Feedback scheme
  • Volunteering certificate (on request)
  • References (on request)
  • Member of the Pod community

Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa (if required), criminal records check. Budgeting guidance is provided in our Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.

Pod Volunteer is run as a non-profit organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the Pod Charity.
Price table
4 weeks £945 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £135 GB Pounds
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Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com

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children supported by the project and their outreach initiatives

"Pod is a no nonsense volunteer organisation looking to change lives"Cian

Lucy

Pod UK Specialist

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We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.

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VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Cambodia Children’s Home volunteer – Eva

    “It really is a life changing experience. By volunteering abroad you experience an entirely different culture, get to try new foods, explore Cambodia and really get to know the local people band their way of life.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Cambodia Children’s Home volunteer – Geoff

    “The kids are friendly and their eagerness to learn could be a lesson to kids at home! It was frustrating, challenging, tiring and I enjoyed it immensely. It is one of the experiences of my life that I shall never forget.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Cambodia Children’s Home volunteer – Ronan

    "If you’re thinking about going, just go. The experience taught me so much about myself, life, love, communicating with others and much more. I'll be going back to Cambodia, the country is an experience in itself."

    Read more volunteer reviews

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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal