Located in Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a beautiful country that has in recent years been struck with a lot of misfortune that left a lot of young children living in poverty, often orphaned. But not everything is dark, since people from across the world are going to Cambodia to do some good, bringing smiles back to children’s faces. So what can you do? Even if you think you are too young to help, you can apply right now for altruistic schoolies in 2018 and make a difference.
Help raise education levels
In a country that struggles with poverty as much as Cambodia, there are simply not enough resources for all schools to give students the education they need. When you go on a program in Cambodia, you will be working in schools, helping out with every aspect of education. You can help teachers put together lesson plans, assist in classes and even teach your very own classes, sharing skills and knowledge that can be valuable to the students. An educated society is a strong one, so lending a hand and making education more fun and engaging and helping deliver knowledge will not only mean a great deal to the teachers and the students, but it will also make you feel like you are truly changing someone’s life.
Help combat hunger
Many people in Cambodia go hungry every day, so if you are good with a knife and a pot, use those skills to make delicious meals that will feed the children who would otherwise go hungry. You can learn some amazing local dishes, like kroeung, a paste made of spices and herbs that is the base for numerous stocks and soups, bai sach chrouk, a pork and rice dish that is a local favorite, and fish amok, a dish that truly makes use of the local ingredients. Feeding the hungry is one of the most humbling and fulfilling experiences, and one that is surely going to stick with you for a long time.
One of your most important tasks will be to bring smiles everywhere you go, making the kids forget about their hardships in life, even for a few hours, and allowing them to just be kids. You can think of different games and fun activities that the kids would enjoy, and then conduct them during school breaks or as after school activities. You can also incorporate teaching some important life skills, like health and dental hygiene techniques, through games. The kids can sure use some fun and smiles in their life, and your heart is guaranteed to be fuller than ever when you see them smiling. Even if you are not good at coming up with games yourself, a team of volunteers is there to guide you through it and help you engage in planned activities.
Explore the country and yourself
A schoolie is not all work: After you are done for the day, you are free to explore the city of Siem Reap and discover all of the wonders of Cambodian culture. Tour the temples of Angkor Wat, or when the night falls, get lost in the sea of nightclubs, bars and restaurants, to see what parties are like in Cambodia. Perhaps most importantly, during your stay in Cambodia, you will find yourself doing a lot of soul-searching and considering your own life back home. Being surrounded by children that don’t have the opportunity to be properly educated or even fed will give you some serious perspective on life, and you will be considering your privilege and your position to help others throughout your life. You might be surprised with what you learn about yourself and this revelation will bring you home as an entirely different person.
Schoolies are the perfect chance for you to see a new part of the world while also doing some good. And while you will definitely be having fun while you are there, volunteering means that you will also be doing some good in the world and making a difference in someone’s life.