The Goodwill School is a small community school providing basic education to children from 6 to 18 years of age. It is run entirely by donation and volunteers, both local and, it is to be hoped, international.
The school is located in a quiet kampong area back from the main road in Sihanoukville (Kampong Saom) on the southern coast of Cambodia. The town is 5 hours by road from the capital, Phnom Penh. There is a local airport, with plans to reintroduce internal connecting flights.
Number of volunteers required?
One or two.
Minimum length of stay?
Six months or longer, if possible.
Other requirements?
The volunteer would need to be flexible to respond to the school’s developing needs. There could be a requirement to teach beyond the immediate confines of the school, in negotiation with the school’s teachers. The volunteer must have valid travel insurance for the duration of their stay.
The volunteer will have the opportunity to be a part of a local family during their stay. There may be opportunities to learn Khmer, cooking, dance and other cultural skills, as well as attend festivals and local ceremonies. The town is modern, but not yet touristy. There are good beaches and trips to outlying islands are possible. The ‘host’ family is used to providing for travellers and will be a source of much useful information. For example, the volunteer’s visa will be renewed by the accommodation’s owner and paid for by the charity.
The volunteer will be accommodated at a local guest house just 5 minutes’ walk from the school. They will rent a subsidised room, with laundry facilities and free unlimited internet access. Costs will be approximately USD 125 per month. Meals will be available at reduced cost, too. The accommodation is clean, safe and homely. (See the website here.) Travel in Cambodia is safe and straightforward, and visits to neighbouring countries are uncomplicated.
The Goodwill School is one aspect of the work done by the charity Help the Cambodian Children. The school was begun in 1999. Today the school has three classrooms, a library and toilets, four dedicated teachers and provides an education for up to 160 children from the poorest families in Sihanoukville.
Volunteer tasks?
This is a school-based volunteer placement. Therefore most of the volunteer’s activities will be related to education. These will include English teaching – to the children primarily, but also to the staff at the school itself and perhaps to members of the host family and their relations. The ability to assist with numeracy, IT and homework assignments will be welcome. In addition, skills in theatre, sports, music, dance and the like will be very useful. A desire to try to fund raise before during and after the placement will be very welcome. During their fre time, the volunteer will have the opportunity to learn Khmer, Cambodian cookery and other skills.
Accommodation will be at a local guest house at a subsidised rate of approximately USD 125 per month. In addition, the volunteer will pay for their meals and laundry, again at reduced rates. Volunteers must factor in travel costs, visas, insurance, pre-departure vaccinations and travel to and from Cambodia, as well as local and regional travel in their free time.
Current volunteers?
Former volunteers?
Aili Kreutzmann, Greenland (RCNUWC 05-07)