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Winchester, United...
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We are passing through Siem Reap and have a spare week where we want to stop and volunteer. We have been made aware of New Hope but they are requesting a $500 fee for the week. Can anybody shed any light on volunteering where there are no costs and we can turn up and benefit the children?

Eaton, Australia
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for Broome, Bunbury
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1. Re: Volunteering

Have a read through some of the links on the Top Questions About Cambodia, before making any decisions.

Here is one ~


Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Volunteering

For guidance think of schools, orphanages or children's social services facilities in your hometown where your average tourist can show up and volunteer for a week. When you realize that no place will allow that you'll have the answer to where you should volunteer under those conditions in Cambodia. Its a wonderful and generous sentiment you have and there are places that will accept you but almost all experts with knowledge of Cambodia will discourage the practice.

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3. Re: Volunteering

You pay $500 to volunteer??? What kind of scam is this? Use common sense and stay away.

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4. Re: Volunteering

Nowadays, they tend not to let anybody who walks in off the street saying they can help out for a few days to get anywhere near children, for obvious reasons. Cambodia has grown up in this regard, even though genuinely sincere and motivated people might be upset at being turned down.

Nowadays, it has to be done through proper channels and this almost certainly involves contacting NGO's whilst still within your home country, and submitting to a proper background check.

So called 'orphanage tourism' is very much frowned upon now.

Destination Expert
for Cambodia
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5. Re: Volunteering

@whisper1 .... <<So called 'orphanage tourism' is very much frowned upon now.>> ..... oh no it is not - it is unfortunately still way to common to a)see "visit ABC orphanage" on the back advertising of tuk tuks and b)be offered an "orphanage visit' on the list of prices shown by tuk tuks

far too many places still accept drop in tourists, and asking for police background checks is still a rarity

unfortunately while money can still be made from gullible voluntourists there will be no sign that "Cambodia has grown up in this regard"

Kurashiki, Japan
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for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
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6. Re: Volunteering

Agree with Helen, the situation is just getting worse ...

Toronto, Canada
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7. Re: Volunteering

It's important to remember that any type of placement needs to REALLY benefit the group you are trying to help, not just make the volunteer feel good. You may be better off just spending time learning about various organizations, where they work and get a better feel for what the many issues are and what the various agencies stand for.

As for New Hope, they have a "grassroots tour" where you get to learn about their history, various initiatives, future plans and will also take you into the slum areas they support. Perfect way to find out if they are the type of organization you'd like to support. It takes about 3 - 4 hours and costs 25 USD.

If you are going to be in Siem Reap, pay a visit to "ConCert Cambodia", right downtown. They represent many different organizations and will be able to give you helpful information as to the criteria they use to screen and qualify potential volunteers.

Many places charge fees -- That's not new. It costs money and time to train someone new. It also takes time away from a staff member. My feeling is that a volunteer ought to be self sustaining. I view fees as a donation. Just look up what it costs a potential team member wanting to build a house with Habitat has to pay. There is a build in Cambodia this summer that will cost $1650 + airfare ++ for 1 week.

Edited: 01 May 2014, 20:03
8. Re: Volunteering

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