- Carl Jung
Cambodia has become a popular tourist destination in recent years, and has seen much investment since the political situation stabilised after the civil war finally ended. For the last 30 years of the twentieth century, however, Cambodia could represent everything that was wrong with how international politics and the Cold War impacted third world nations: corrupt puppet governments, genocidal dictators, the deaths of innocents, and the major powers ignoring crimes against humanity in the pursuit of shallow, often petty, political goals. It will take much for Cambodia to fully heal from those scars.
Many come to Cambodia to see some history - but few come to the country and are not moved. The reason we are here is to help fund the education of Cambodian schoolchildren through tourist revenue, but we understand that many visitors are at stages where they are time rich rather than in a position to help us financially. "Voluntourism" is an ugly word, but a beautiful idea - to visit a country, see it, meet its people, and give some of your time and labors to help some of those people.
We started by building a school. Prey Chrouk did not have a school, so Andrew Booth and David Chase started IAMCambodia, and built the first school in the town, about 45km from Siem Reap, Cambodia. ABOUTAsia Schools continues to support the school with volunteers, and support other schools in Siem Reap province with volunteers (usually English speakers to help with English lessons, but also tradespeople and professionals with other useful skills), uniforms (with the assistance of previous Hotel de la Paix), and teaching materials. If you would be interested in combining a trip to see some of this beautiful country, and helping out at one of "our" schools, then please get in touch.
It is important to realise that volunteering should be for the benefit of the locals, not for the benefit of the volunteer. We do have requests for short-term volunteers, but we are extremely cautious with short-term help: we have some fun full or half day activities (particularly for groups), but these will not be "teaching", as a constant stream of ever-changing faces is not helpful for development or education. We can arrange a visit to a school to see some of the challenges that pupils, teachers and (long term) volunteers face, but these are sensitively handled.
ABOUTAsia is a proud partner of ChildSafe Cambodia
Peerless service standards and local positioning have made us the tour operator of choice by international luxury travel groups and discerning independent travellers to Angkor Wat, Cambodia and Southeast Asia.