Does anyone know of any organisations that need volunteers to help with post-flood work in Cambodia? We would like to help but don't have the money to donate.
#1 Tessa123 has been a member since 11/9/2011. Posts: 4
It's great that you want to help out in Cambodia. It is a wonderful way to meet the great people there :)
That said, please be aware that corruption is a HUGE problem in Cambodia. Honestly just about everyone I know who has had long term experience with NGOs in Cambodia (whether they are owned by Westerners or Cambodia) has found evidence of corruption to varying degrees. The only reason I tell you this is so you can be aware and not unwittingly support the worst aspects of Cambodia. Cambodians are wonderful people on the whole but some of the orphanages you may be offered to work in are little more than tourists attractions.
The only organisation in Cambodia that I have 100% faith in is this one: http://tsccp.moonfruit.com/ - it is run by an Australian woman called Tara and her Cambodian fiance Sopheap Chan (check his recommendations out on the tuk tuk thread!) and I trust them completely. They are often looking for volunteers so have a look and see what you think. Their village was quite badly affected by the floods so they may well need some help there :)
Best of luck and if you would like any more info or have questions please don't hesitate to ask!
#2 Georgie2810 has been a member since 13/7/2011. Posts: 5
Hey Tessa - I met a girl who was looking for volunteering, but she only had a small amount of time and so no one was interested to take her on. So what she did in the end was travel up to the north in Kratie where the flooding was brutal and stayed in the home-stays. She stayed in the homes to experience the daily-life and helped the family re-crop their rice and maintain the crops. i caught her sanding down the over-used canoe of the family, which was primary mode of transport during the time.
It's a great idea I thought. home-stay is only $3 and the families need a supplementary income to balance out their sale of the seasons depleted level of crops. you see?
You can find home-stays through this organisation: http://www.mekongdiscoverytrail.com/html/home.html
#3 Sarunn has been a member since 11/10/2011. Posts: 7
try and experiment. google the phrase 'help kids in cambodia' or 'help orphans in cambodia.' open their donation page or their "how you can help" page and compare it with the site suggested above at:
notice that they are 99% duplicates. the reason for this is that ngos follow a pattern here in cambodia. one ngo follows the pattern of another ngo that is successful. volunteers come and offer to build newer and better fund raising web pages.
last year i published the financial information of a fake orphanage called "HOA" operated by two men, sokheng and phearom. previously the many sponsors could not obtain accountability about their contributions. when i published the financial data, the fake orphanage closed and all the children went home and stayed with their PARENTS.
sorry to sound cynical. but all of the ngos and orphanages i have visited in cambodia are just businesses that advertise poor kids. kngo in battambang, operated by sun saveth is an example. he pretends to be poor, but he owns a huge house estimated at $250,000 which was paid for by money from volunteers who thought they were helping kids in the village.
the only way you can be sure that you are helping people is to go far away from the cities where most foreigners get stranded among the tuktuk drivers with sick mothers who can't go to the hospital and 5 poor kids who can't go to school. most foreigners never get more than 15 km out of town.
the real and important need in cambodia is rural. there are villages in cambodia that are 50 km from the nearest market, pharmacy, or hospital. the people squeeze a bare bones living out of the overworked rice fields. keep 60% of their harvest to eat and sell 40% at the market to get a little money. those rural families are lucky if they get $600 per year for grueling hard work.
it's hard to do, but have to fight your way out of the city, past all the scheming tuktuk drivers and fake orphanages. you have to get out into the most rural villages. people will be surprised. kids will cry because they are afraid of foreigners. it's an uphill climb. if you are not stressed to the breaking point, if there is a kindly english-speaking cambodian man by your side assisting you, then you are being bamboozled. you are being taken for a ride to his bank. you are not helping anybody. that's the reality in cambodia.
i see leaders of bogus ngos meeting tourists who found their websites online and decided to make a contribution. they meet in the air conditioned "lucky mall" cafe and hand over money and computers. they tell the bogus ngo leaders their plans to improve the school or the orphanage. the ngo leaders nod their heads. the tourists leave feeling like they have done a heroic deed. what they have done is line the pockets of a corrupt school director. or a man who borrows kids from parent who don't really want them, dresses them in rags to advertise poverty.
#4 Flauresent has been a member since 21/5/2013. Posts: 4