Hi, I have a question for an administrator.
I created a post a few days ago asking if anyone had any personal experience volunteering with an organization called The Phonheary Ly Foundations. I had received a good number of replies from people who spent time volunteering there. Some of the people left me links to more information and along with e-mail address so I could contact them directly. I'm trying to follow up on some of leads they left me (now that I have time), but when I click on the link you e-mailed me saying there was a new reply I get the following message "This post has been deleted -- either for being a duplicate post or because it was spam." I don't think it was duplicate post. Granted I never got to see the last couple of new messages, so I can't say if they were or weren't spam. But even if they were spam couldn't you have just deleted those posts rather than the whole topic? There was useful information there that if possible, I would like to have access to again. Can someone please explain to me why it was deleted?
The thread was deleted because it attracted a bunch of glowing replies, most by first time, sungle post members. This follows a pattern similar to that of a hotel that encourages guests to post positive reports on hotel review websites. We consider replies like this to be spam - as do the other TF members who reported the post for spam.
I know this isn't of much help to you as you're trying to find info on them, sorry about that.
#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,788
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Hi - yes first time user. Unfortunately "we" became aware of the question so were happy to give a reply. So my post doesn't get deleted I will redirect you to other sites where you can find the necessary unbiased feedback by myself and other "proven" users on another site (Stuart I completely understand btw).
Go to their Facebook page. Go to the affiliated guesthouse run by the organisation (seven candles via tripadvisor) - you can read it for yourself. And even contact the many people who have done what you plan to do & ask them after the fact questions.
To be honest I never volunteered my time to teach-I purely raised $ and took the kids from the very unfortunate poor areas on a "school field trip" I loved it. I am one of those people who can't stand to give money to any organisation that is not for profit or is too big to be so. I also had very positive experiences with a organisation (Australian run - young state new south Wales person of the year) the Cambodian children's trust. Just to give this post balance. They are in Battambang.
My user name on the other site for which I'm a senior comtributor is "ruatraveller"'if you see my reviews.
I hope you get this message. If you don't - I will see if I can personally message you - however being a first time user I'm not used to it (have used heaps of info on this site just never needed to ask a question therefore never joined)
Sorry Stuart and btw - great site!!
#4 Naz73 has been a member since 6/4/2012. Posts: 5
Stuart. Thanks for the explanation and I understand now why you did what you did. One of the reason I love Travel Fish is because I feel I have always gotten honest reviews here. Am I free to repost my original message again to see if any established members of the Travel Fish community have any advice to give?
Naz73 thank you. I did get to read your message. I have been "stalking" the Facebook page. I have been hesitant to post anything there because I limit my FB activity only to people know in real life and have strict privacy settings...if I post on the group page, I'm not sure if that will open my profile up to everyone in the group or not.
Thats good. Yes I understand about your privacy setting dilema. I am not sure if everyone can read your information, however I'd err on the side of caution.
Maybe you could have two Facebook accounts. One for personal things and one for the purpose of joining groups or public forums.
Good luck with whatever you end up doing!
#6 Naz73 has been a member since 6/4/2012. Posts: 5
First, about FB, I think if you have your privacy setting set high (I know I do), the only thing people can see when you post on fan pages is your name. I have fan pages for my blogs and when people comment, that's all I can see, depending on their personal settings.
Second, while I understand why, it's a shame the other thread was deleted because there were some wonderful thoughtful replies there, including one you left for me. By the time I could reply, the thread was gone, so here goes...
About Japan, yes, we were there 6 weeks after the Tsunami and we loved every single minute of it. I want to go back and I'm sure we will. It is an amazing country.
About culture shock and Cambodia, it sounds like you have realistic expectations, which is good. At least you have been there so you have SOME idea of how things are different.
I know you saw my blog (wired2theworld.com) so if you have any questions about the PLF at all, you can contact me from there (though I don't have long term volunteering experiences like some other people do). As for negative experiences around the foundation, I think they are going to be few and far between. You are right to be skeptical, of course, but the more research you do, the more I think you will learn what you need to know and feel more comfortable.
As someone said on the deleted thread, also check the fodors.com Asia forum. There are a lot of long time posters there (including me, username: Kristina) with multiple volunteer experiences with the PLF.
Good luck with where ever you choose to volunteer!
#7 wired2theworld has been a member since 6/4/2012. Posts: 2
I'll admit that I finally joined Travelfish so I could connect with you about the Ponheary Ly foundation. I first volunteered briefly with them in 2009 when I went to Siem Reap with my adult daughter (it was her third visit). We stayed at Seven Candles guesthouse and participated in their school visit program, helped make lunch at a rural school. Ponheary and her family are totally wonderful and loving people - totally legit and commited to helping village schools and children. I returned to Seven Candles for 6 weeks in 2010, helping out in numerous small ways that were a pleasure to me. I recommend contacting Lori Carlson at the Ponheary Ly Foundation and planning your activities ahead of time - it helps them identify a meaningful experience.
I arrived there feeling like a stranger and left feeling like family. You will be very lucky and blessed to part of their mission.
#8 Dottravels has been a member since 6/4/2012. Posts: 3
I'm strongly considering volunteering with them this summer. Shoot me a private message if you want to connect. I would love to be in touch with someone who else might be heading there.
Hi Ejh9110. It would be nice to connect with people before arriving, but I don't think we will be there at the same time unless you are staying for while. I'm not looking to get to Cambodia until September. My plan is to stay for 6 months to a year. If you think you will still be around in September let me know and I'll message you. Where are you looking to volunteer at? Best of luck!
Ahh, no we won't be there at the same time. I'm planning on getting there around the end of May and staying until mid July. That is truly wonderful that you are going to be able to commit to that amount of time. Although I cannot speak from experience yet, I know that consistency is really key. Thank you for your well wishes and the same to you if you end up there in September or wherever you decide to go :)