FAQ

When are placement dates published?

Every June/July dates for the following year are published. From time to time, a Call for Volunteers is published on our social media. Dates for 2019 placements are already published and bookings are being taken.

How long before should I book my placement?

It is advisable that you book your placement as soon as you know your dates. Placements are booked on a first come first serve basis.

What is the minimum period of voluntary work?

Two weeks is the minimum placement.

How do I apply for a placement?

Ideally you send an email to Ms. Charlene Grima on charlene@reaching-cambodia.com to make sure which dates are available. Then, the following documents are needed when applying:

  • The ORIGINAL police conduct
  • Reference letter (describing yourself and your abilities – can be written by a friend)
  • SCANNED copy of your passport
  • € 250.00 deposit for booking placement

All documents should be sent by post to: Reaching Cambodia, 42, Triq Orlando Żabbar, Xgħajra XJR 1404. Kindly state the Group number you would like to join. Deposit can be sent via cheque; addressed to Reaching Cambodia Foundation or by bank transfer (details found in website)

What is the procedures about vaccines?

Vaccines suggested for Cambodia are Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, typhoid, diphtheria, tetanus.  Lately, Meningitis vaccine is also being recommended.  The vaccines can be taken free of charge (except Meningitis vaccine) through Floriana Health Centre following the necessary paperwork on our end two months before your departure.  The permission for free vaccines is given during the first group meeting.

What are the quarters like?

Clean & comfortable Western rooms, sleeping between 2 to 4 people with private bathrooms.  Rooms include Wi-Fi and AC.  

What are the expenses involved?

Since price varies according to time of travel, for a better guidance send an email to Ms. Charlene Grima on charlene@reaching-cambodia.com for information.

Besides the flight cost which varies accordingly and is purchased directly from a travel agent we work with, a total of €500 is needed for the lodging, all meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), airport transfer & city tour of Phnom Penh which give you a better introduction to Cambodia and administration charge.

How safe is Cambodia?

Cambodia is a Buddhist country with no terrorist attacks so far.  Given it is a country where poverty prevails one needs to exert extra caution when carrying backpacks etc. due to pickpocketing.  Good hospitals are available nearby in cases of emergency.

Where do we work?

Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh in a governmental acknowledged orphanage.

How is our day spent?

We work Monday to Friday from 8am – 4pm.  From 8am to 8:45am volunteers are requested to give English lessons to youths at XEMX tailoring programme.  The volunteers then travel to the orphanage to work from 9am – 4pm, stopping for lunch time.  The weekend is off.

Can I do some sightseeing during the voluntary placement?

The day following your arrival, you will be taken on a city tour of Phnom Penh which includes a visit to S21, Royal Palace and the Killing fields.  Since your weekend will be off, you are free to spend it as you wish.  A suggestion would be to visit Siem Reap, known for the temples of Angkor Wat.  More details will be given during first group meeting.

Will there be anyone responsible of the volunteers during the placement in Cambodia?

Not all volunteer groups have a Maltese team member present with them, however, a Cambodian person is responsible of the volunteers during their placement and Reaching Cambodia team is always present through Whatsapp, Viber, Skype, Facebook for the group.

Should an emergency arise, are there any hospitals, clinics nearby the placement?

Yes there are.  Both private and governmental hospitals are available in the capital city.  Volunteers are usually referred to a specific private hospital where one would be required to pay for healthcare.  Such hospital is a clean, well equipped hospital.

How can prepare the reference letter for me?

Reference letter can be prepared by anyone that knows you personally and does not have to be a professional person.

In which area will we be staying?

Volunteers stay at the volunteers headquarters located in Phnom Phen. These are only 20 minutes tuk tuk ride away from SFODA orphanage.

What will the placement consist of? Do I need to have previous experience with children?
Our work is mainly around children aged 5 - 15 years of age.  Volunteers abide by a timetable of activities which include school subjects such as English, Maths and Science but also other activities such as yoga, physical education, music, crafts and reading. Volunteers are guided by a teacher who helps prepare the lessons beforehand.  No previous experience with children is necessary though it helps.  
During your placement some simple maintenance works might be needed, whilst aiding with clothes washing, cooking and gardening is also part of each volunteer's duty.
What should I pack for my trip? Can we take up things needed in Cambodia? What are these?
We suggest that volunteers do not take up good clothes, since these usually get messy by the end of the placement.  Summer clothes are suitable all year round.  Reaching Cambodia provides each volunteer with 2 t-shirts which have to be worn throughout the placement.  Knee length shorts, or long comfortable trousers and a running shoes/trekking shoes are suggested.  Volunteers can wash their clothes at the quarters.  
 
A first aid box with emergency medicine should be packed, further details will be given by the doctor during one of the training sessions.
 
Additionally we ask each volunteer to keep 15kg per person out of the 30kg available for travelling towards stuff needed by the children.  Each group is given a set of different things needed and the available weight (15kg multiplied by the number of people in the group) is directed towards stuff needed by the orphanage.  More information will be given during the meetings.
Is English widely understood in Cambodia? Do the children speak English?

Most of the Children at Sfoda orphanage understand basic English and can communicate back. On the other hand, older generations in Cambodia in general find it hard to communicate in English. 

What would the weather be like?

In Cambodia it's summer all year.  October to March are the best times of travel, where days are more likely to be sunny and hot, occasional showers are possible.  April to September the weather is mostly hot and humid with more chances of heavy short termed rainfall throughout the day.

How many preparation sessions are held?
A total of 6 sessions are held.  Besides the introductory meeting for interested applicants held from time to time, once the groups are set;
 
A First meeting is set up where the group gets to know one another;
A meeting with teacher and doctor will be held to explain about your placement;
A meeting with psychologist and historian to give you details of how to emotionally cope with your placement;
A team building session is held where the group gets to know one another before travel;

 

A casual gathering between the group and Reaching Cambodia team is held a few weeks before travel to settle any last minute questions and concerns;
Is fundraising involved?

The organisation supports projects in Cambodia; this includes food, healthcare, infrasturcture, education and much more.  This is possible from donations coming mainly from fundraising events.

Every volunteers is required to fundraise.  Fundraising helps to support the children and youths volunteers work with.  A minimum amount is required per volunteer of which details are given prior to signage of contract.