What to bring to help us
The children you will help are friendly and enthusiastic. They love to learn and enjoy many activities including; sports, arts and crafts and reading.
We are extremely grateful for anything you bring but supplies here always fluctuate, meaning some things can be more in demand than others. It might be easiest to gauge what is needed after you arrive and buy supplies cheaply from Angtasom or Takeo. However below is a list of things that can always be useful;
- A4 white paper and whiteboard markers are most needed
- Arts and crafts materials (paintbrushes, glitter, glue, balloons etc.)
- Stationary (cellotape, biros, blu-tac, post-it notes etc.)
- Simple picture books - easy for young age (we already have a lot of story books and work books)
- Flashcards and educational posters
- Clothes for children (ages 5-15 years old)
- Sports equipment (trainers, volleyball, baseball, football, dodge-ball, shuttlecocks, badminton rackets, basketballs, baseball bats, baseball gloves, rugby ball, bibs (a variety of colours would be great)
- First aid kit
Although we appreciate and depend on donations of these supplies we are also in need of financial support. If you feel you are in the position to do so we would be extremely thankful for money towards building materials and bigger supplies needed for the school.
Below is a list of things we need help with
- Computers for the classroom
- Funds towards another toilet/shower block
- Funds towards building an admin office
- Playground for new village school
Also if you feel there are any particular supplies you would like to use while teaching or feel would be beneficial to the children please bring these with you.
Please consult your GP for advice on which boosters or jabs you need in general before coming out. There are a few optional vaccinations to consider before coming out, which may be worth considering. We are in a very rural surrounding and animals live on site, so there is a high probability of coming into contact with livestock and domestic animals (such as dogs and cats). Consequently, we would advise all new volunteers to have had both the Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis B vaccinations before coming out. At the time of writing we have confirmed cases of Typhoid in the area; it must be stressed however, that this is not among the volunteers. There is also an above-minimal risk of both Malaria and Dengue Fever, so please ensure that you have started a course of antimalarial tablets before coming out and bring plenty of insect repellent.
You will need a tourist visa ($25 and one passport photo) upon entry into Cambodia even if you are staying for less than 30 days. If you are staying for longer than 30 days you will get assistance by Jason, our school coordinator. Visa extensions cost $50 and another passport photo is needed. Problems with visa arrangements have not occurred with previous volunteers and they are usually very quick to return. If you are flying to Bangkok and then changing to Phnom Penh, you will not need a visa on arrival in Thailand if you are a UK citizen. If you are a different nationality, please visit the Thai Embassy online. There is information on both visa exempt countries and nationalities which will need to purchase a visa at the airport
Footwear & Clothing
Although teaching English is our main focus, volunteers may have the opportunity to assist with the development of our infrastructure. If you plan to partake in this or any trekking on your visit then outdoor /walking boots would be advised.
If you plan to volunteer during Cambodia’s rainy season, between the months of April and November, then prepare to get wet! The good news is that your clothing will dry almost instantly when the sun is shining. You can hand wash your clothing, or a laundry service is available in the village, or if you go away for the weekend it will be easy and cheap to get your laundry done.
The Cambodian culture is very different to back home. We therefore have a ‘code of conduct’ at the project which requires all volunteers to dress appropriately when at school (covering shoulders and knees). Female volunteers are asked not to wear revealing clothes around the village and when teaching the children as this can be disrespectful.
Phones and other electronic
As there are no televisions or significant electronic resources/equipment at the project we would suggest bringing your own laptop with a protective case. There is no internet access in the village; however there are internet cafes in town.
If bringing a phone it may be worth buying a Cambodian SIM card ($1) or another cheap phone with a SIM card ($20-$30). Calls from Cambodia are extremely cheap so if you want to call home regularly this is the best option.
The use of electronic equipment during the day can sometimes be a challenge due to the high daytime heat, but in the evenings the ambient temperature is usually low enough to comfortably use computers. Note- a possible exception to this is the use of touch-screen equipment – the humidity and heat sometimes causes these to lose effectiveness: Apple-branded touch-screen devices seem to be especially susceptible to this.