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GROUP VOLUNTEERING PROJECTS
Organising Voluntary Projects Overseas for GROUPS since 1994.

CAMBODIA

TEMPLE CONSERVATION AND RENOVATION plus CULTURAL IMMERSION ACTIVITIES IN CAMBODIA

Start your volunteering adventure with a week of cultural activities that will immerse you in Cambodian culture and give you an in-depth insight into this fascinating country. Then follow this with a programme focused on assisting local teams to help renovate and conserve some of the famous local temples.

The Cambodia Culture Immersion week is designed to ease you into the lifestyle and pace of Cambodia. At the same time, the week is packed with sightseeing, cultural training and fun activities. You'll learn some language, some Cambodian cooking and about local Buddhism and the culture and people of Cambodia.

During your second week you'll help conserve and renovate the ancient temples of Banteay Chhmar. These are widely regarded as some of the most important archaeological complexities of the Angkor period. For the local people, this temple holds a special place within the community, not only as a place of common ground, but also as a sanctuary.

SUMMARY: THE BASICS

  • Price:
    £1,195 (approx. US$1,490) for 2 weeks
    £1,600 (approx. US$1,990) for 3 weeks
    £1,935 (approx. US$2,405) for 4 weeks
    £295 (US$370) for each additional week.
    Excludes flights. Please see Full Price List & prices in other currencies
  • Duration: 2 weeks or longer, subject to visa requirements
  • Start Dates: All year round – you choose your start and finish dates
  • Requirements: Minimum age 17, unless accompanied by parent or guardian.
  • What's included:
    Arranging your Programme
    Full pre-departure support and assistance
    Payment Protection insurance
    Meeting you at the nearest Airport
    Accommodation
    Food
    Daily transport to and from your project
    Local in-country team support and backup
    24-hr emergency support
    Certificate of Completion
  • What's Not Included: Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visas (if a visa is required), Return transfer to airport.
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CULTURAL IMMERSION ACTIVITIES WEEK:

This fun-filled culture week is designed to ease your group into the lifestyle and pace of Cambodia. It gives you the opportunity to integrate into the rich cultural life of Cambodia. You'll meet the local people, taste the local cuisine and get familiar with Cambodian customs.

You'll get to know your town and everything required to make your stay comfortable. You will also be given basic "survival" language classes and learn traditional Cambodian cooking techniques with the chance to sample your work. Cambodia is most famous for its temples and you'll be taken to the finest temples of the area. We also carefully arrange a Q&A session with monks to enhance your understanding of Buddhism.

The rural town of Samraong is where you will live during the culture week. The relaxed and slow paced way of life is sure to leave a mark on all travellers and you'll have maximum interaction with the people!

TEMPLE CONSERVATION AND RENOVATION PROGRAMME:

This project aims not just to restore but to conserve the temple of Banteay Chmar in its natural state. For the local people, this temple holds a special place within the community, not only as a place of common ground, but also as a sanctuary, and of course, somewhere to practice their worship. The commune of Banteay Chhmar (in Banteay Chhmar Province) contains 14 villages and there are 4 villages around the temple with 6,312 pleople. The name was taken from the large temple, called Banteay Chmar, which translates to Small Base.

The massive temple of Banteay Chhmar, along with its satellite shrines and reservoir (baray), comprises one of the most important and least understood archaeological complexes from Cambodia's Angkor period. There are some other 9 smaller temples around the Banteay Chmar temple. They all are mostly hidden in the forest and covered with small bushes and trees because of the lack of conservation from the local people.

Banteay Chmar is one of the main tourist destinations in Banteay Meanchey Province, but not many people have explored those small satellite temples around this temple, despite them being really beautiful and having a rather secret history. This project is important to the local people in this area. By these projects we hope to get more and more tourists, both Khmer and foreigners, to visit this area so that the local economy is boosted.

You'll receive instruction while on the project.

2016 Holidays:
The project is not available during these dates:
11th – 15th April 2016 Khmer New Year
26th September – 07th October 2016 Ancestors Day Holiday

If your programme falls within any of the dates above, you may join the Community Construction Programme.

CULTURAL IMMERSION WEEK ITINERARY

  • The following schedule is a guide and the day order may change, however the full program will still be experienced.

    Monday (Siem Reap)
     Breakfast
     Excursion to Wat Thmey, Museum of War and Artisant D’Angkor
     Lunch, followed by a visit to the central market, the old market, and the Lucky Mall (super market)
     Dinner, followed by a visit to the Pub Street and night market
    Tuesday (Siem Reap)
     Excursion to the Silk farm and West Baray (Great water reservoir)
     A visit to the souvenir shop and a Khmer massage salon
     Relax at the swimming pool
    Wednesday (Samraong)
     Depart for Samraong
     Lunch at the Greenway volunteer house
     Introduction to the projects
     Walk around and discover the local rural Cambodian village  Dinner at the Greenway volunteer house
    Thursday (Samraong)
     A Visit to the Greenway School
     Tour around Samraong and visits to the surrounding local villages
     Cambodian language classes/lessons
     Cambodian culture classes/lessons
     Cambodian cooking classes/lessons
    Friday (Samraong)
     An excursion to the local temple; assist the monks with the temple chores, discussion and Q&A about Buddhism with a local monk.
     Give gift/present to the monk and say good bye, and back to the volunteer house
     Lunch and then the afternoon free
     Dinner at the Greenway volunteer house
    Weekend
    You are free during the weekends – you can relax at your accommodation, take a bicycle into town, expand your sightseeing or visit the many more sites in and around the Oddar Meanchey Province. There is also the possibility to take a taxi to Siem Reap for the weekend and visit the famous Angkor Wat.

  • Note: The schedule can be change depend on the weather and local conditions.

TEMPLE RESTORATION: A TYPICAL WEEKLY SAMPLE ITINERARY

  • Sunday:
    All volunteers will meet up in Siem Reap and travel to Banteay Chmar by taxi or bus. It takes 1.30 hours from Siem Reap to Banteay Meanchey (Sisophon) and another 1.30 hour from Sisophon to Banteay Chmar. You'll travel to your home stay in the town and arrive in time for dinner.

    Monday:
    In the morning, the coordinator will meet all the volunteers to introduce you to Banteay Chmar and to explain about the projects. You'll then explore the village and visit some satelite temples. You'll return to the home stay to have lunch, then continue onto Banteay Chmar temple (the biggest temple in the area ). You'll visit the local Handicraft Centre (scarf weaving) on the way back.

    Tuesday to Friday:
    You'll begin to work on the temple's main renovation and preservation. You work responsibilities could include:

    • Clearing the temples by cutting back overgrown bushes, trees and grass in the surrounding area within the grounds.
    • Cleaning up the temples, picking up trash, removal of some stones.
    • Planting trees in the temple compound, making environmental signs.

    Saturday - Sunday:
    You can stay at the home stay, visit temples and other tourist spots in the region, or go to some of the cities near to Banteay Chmar to do some exploring.

  • Note: The schedule can be change depend on the weather and local conditions.

ACCOMMODATION

You will be housed at a basic yet comfortable volunteer house. Rooms are single-sex with locked doors, bunk-beds, mosquito nets and a fan– maximum 4 volunteers per room. Wifi is available in the house but not necessarily in your rooms.

There are limited laundry facilities so expect to wash your clothes by hands at the volunteer house or at the home stay, but there are some places that you can do laundry in the town too. You will be encouraged to be environmentally aware and to use all resources with restraint, especially water, paper and electricity.

Transportation:
In Samraong you can easily get a motorcycle to go anywhere, or you can borrow a bike at the centre. The roads in and to Samraong are very good now. It takes much less time to go somewhere compared to few years ago.

Money issues:
In Samraong you can exchange money and traveler’s checks at the bank. The nearest ATM is in Siem Reap, so please make sure you have enough money with you before leaving to go the town. However, you will probably not need much money there!

Weekends:
Weekends are always free after each project. relax at your accommodation, take a bicycle into town, or expand your sightseeing and visit the many more sites in the Oddar Meanchey Province or take a taxi to Siem Reap for the weekend. Friendly staff are always there to make your choice easier with advice.

FOOD:
All food is included during your stay. The meals will be typical Cambodian fare, including plenty of rice dishes, meat and western food. There are three meals served during the week inside the accommodation and two during the weekend (Brunch and Dinner).

A little about Cambodian food:
Cambodian food has generally been influenced by Chinese and French cuisine, and also shares many common dishes with Thai food, although not as spicy. The staple food for Cambodians is rice. Almost every meal includes a bowl of rice, although noodles are also popular. A wide range of curries, soups and stir fried are served with rice.
Typically, Cambodians eat their meals with at least three or four separate dishes. A meal will usually include a soup, or samlor, served alongside the main courses. Each individual dish will be either sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Chilli is usually left up to the individual to add themselves.

Khmer cuisine also uses many vegetables, some of which are very unusual, such as different and unusual local varieties of melon, beans and squash. Fish is the most common form of meat in Khmer cuisine, including dried salted fish known as trei ngeat. Getting to taste and know local cooking is one of the many delights of living in a foreign country.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT

  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten overseas volunteering holiday into Asia and the wonderful Balinese culture!
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping to restore a precious and irreplaceable link to the cultural heritage of the Khmer people.
  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.
  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.
  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

OBJECTIVES FOR YOU

  • Under Construction!

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

  • Under Construction!
  • Under Construction!
  • Under Construction!
  • Under Construction!
  • Under Construction!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

YOUR SAFETY, SUPPORT AND BACKUP:
Read important information about the Support & Backup you receive before you leave and during your programme.

Read about the Safety and Security measures we take to ensure your safety and wellbeing while on our programme.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT?

Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure! Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular programme (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind. Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity!

VOLUNTEERING WITH CHILDREN AND VULNERABLE ADULTS
As well as protecting all our volunteers, Travellers Worldwide is committed to protecting all our projects and dedicated to practices which protect children and vulnerable adults from harm. Read Travellers' Child Care and Vulnerable Adults Policy.

REVIEWS AND FEEDBACK:

DANIELA POZO
Canadian
Temple Conservation and Renovation in Cambodia
Plus Teaching Children in the Community

(1) I feel that I am gaining an understanding on the approach people have regarding certain subjects, ex. Veneration on temples and towards education. I've experienced Cambodian lifestyle; how they work, what they eat, and their social customs. I've also gained the experience of volunteering, this being my first experience. Knowing what it means to volunteer and the effect it has on the people or the place you are volunteering in.

(2) The best thing about my placement so far has been talking with the locals. It has been asking about their customs, discussing the difference between our respective cultures, understanding of how similar we are and how different. But the best experience has been having the opportunity to see how hard the children are working to recieve an education.

(3) I would recommend the temple project during the right season. Unfortunately we didn't have the opportunity to reconstruct any of it, which would have been much better, but it was nice getting to experience the countryside and see rural Cambodian life. I would definitely recommend teaching English. The kids are so accepting, loving and eager to learn. It's much easier to see the difference you are making, and the difference the project is making on the children.

(4) I think the temple project would be well suited to individuals who really want to experience "traditional" living or experience Cambodian lifestyle.

Can you describe a typical day? (e.g Start time, morning duties, lunch hours, afternoon duties, any other duties…. )
For the temple project, a typical day would start at 8am where we would then bike for 5-10min to the temple. From there you work with your guide until 11am. You head back to the homestay for lunch break until 1:30pm. The second half of the say continues until 4 pm. The majority of the time we cut grass and pulled weeds, sometimes collecting garbage. For teaching, the day begins at 8am, you go to your respective class and begin teaching whatever lesson corresponds to the day. They have about two breaks to play. Other wise the morning group has class from 8am-11am. The evening class runs from 2pm-5pm. There are 6 classes that run everyday that vary by level, kindergarten to level 5.

(5)Teaching English has been a very nice opportunity. The principal of the school is very communicative when it comes to where he wants the school to go, it's aim and what he would like from the volunteers. He asked the volunteers for their help, for their input on how to better their methods of teaching. I've really felt that my volunteering is appreciated at the school by the other volunteers, the principal and by the students.

On your return, would you be willing to talk to prospective volunteers about your placement?
I would. I think volunteering is beneficial both for the volunteers and the community. I wouldn't mind sharing my experience.