- Published on Tuesday, 06 November 2012 18:03
- Written by Steve Vaile
I was first inspired to travel when I was young from my mother’s stories of the years she spent volunteering in Turkey during the 1960’s my inspiration continued as a young teenager when I spent 2 summers volunteering on the Navajo Reservation in the American Southwest. Although I came to Phnom Penh to work, I think highly of the volunteer organizations I have become familiar with, and would suggest that route for traveling here to anyone who wishes to do something good with their vacation time. I was up in the Top Banana rooftop bar when I first encountered a group of volunteers in Phnom Penh. They were a big group of young people having a good time with the tourists; they were from all over but acted like tight friends. This particular group was teaching and had their work at a place close by but outside the city. They had plenty of free time in the evenings and were allowed to take care of their own accommodations, and many of them lived in hotels and guesthouses in the city. Volunteering in Cambodia is really great and I’ll tell you why; there are many different NGOs and Charities that bring volunteers from around the world to help Cambodia, the majority of which, from my encounters seems to be focused on education. I think that the volunteering opportunities in this country are especially valuable to young people in the west. The volunteers I have met all felt they grew from the experience, it’s often the volunteer’s first trip abroad, and not only are they learning so much about the rest of the world from the foreign place, they are helping people and really having fun. Sometimes volunteers are stuck together in a dorm style house with 2 to 3 to a room, so watch out for which program you choose.