WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
Poverty and a lack of adequate education trap the children of Cambodia in a cycle of deprivation that causes many problems in their lives. This may include becoming vulnerable to child labour markets where they can be forced to work hazardous jobs, or even being sold into prostitution. The ever present poverty causes malnourishment, homelessness, and lack of access to healthcare and sanitation, amongst other things. With nearly one in three 7-14 year olds unable to attend school, the prospect of escaping these inevitabilities is bleak indeed. Those who are orphaned are particularly vulnerable to deprivation and a poor level of education; hence this project is a vital way to enable them to access opportunities in this respect.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
This placement is ideally suited to medical students, and even qualified doctors and nurses, with a good command of both written and spoken English, and any related experience will of course be advantageous. There is the possibility of customising the work programme to suit your area of expertise and study, and also your individual preferences as well.
Your programme will be varied and no two days will be the same. You will spend some of your time in Samraong Hospital, as well as several days in the week at remote medical outposts and health centres. Activities you may find yourself involved in include, but are not restricted to, replenishing medical aid kits in over 60 village communities and organising and helping with first aid training in the villages, as well as general duties in the hospital, depending on your personal expertise and experience and in line with local need at the time. As such, the most successful volunteers will display willingness, open-mindedness and flexibility, and will be keen to involve themselves at every possible opportunity. Depending on your length of stay you may even be given an orientation week at the start of your programme, usually four weeks plus, where you will be introduced to the sights, sounds and culture of the region before commencing your volunteering programme.
Volunteers will also take part in an orientation and cultural immersion week. Your introductory week will be the first step towards a successful stay in Cambodia and is designed specifically to ensure that you get the most possible out of the trip as a whole. Your culture, language and cooking lessons will help you to settle and feel more at home, and the temple and museum visits will give you a taste of the history of Cambodia and the influences on the development of its national identity.