A Guide to Volunteering in Cambodia

You will be able to make a big difference in Cambodia, there is the option to help improve infrastructure, education, community programs, human rights and more.  

For such a small country there are a large number of unique placements you can join all year round, this will be an inspirational experience. Don't let Cambodia's brutal past put you off living and working here, this is a very safe country and increasing development, facilities and infrastructure are helping Cambodia increase its foreign tourist numbers every year.

This country is in the middle of a period of rapid change, there has been huge growth in numbers of restaurants and hotels, and in the last year there has been a massive increase in the number of visitors so its good to consider this destination soon before it get even more busy. 


Location of Projects

Where you are based really depends on what experience you are interested in. The country’s capital, Phnom Penh, is one of the most popular destinations for international volunteers. It is easy to see why Phnom Penh is also known as the ‘charming city’ upon meeting the friendly locals and taking a quick walk through its many stalls and markets.

Siem Reap is also a firm favourite destination due to the amoung of projects operational here - this city is widely considered to be the face of the modern Cambodia where you can enjoy home comforts. If busy city life is not for you then try to join a program in rural locations like Battambang, Kampong Cham, Pursat and Kampong Speu or consider the coast where you can relax on spectacular beaches helping marine conservation projects.


Childcare & Educational Programs in Cambodia

Make a difference by volunteering and teaching at community projects, orphanages and outreach initiatives. Choosing to be a childcare volunteer you could be a life-changing decision, for both you and the children in your care. You could really make a difference to the underprivileged children in places like Siem Reap.

You can help with classes and basic vocational skills building childrens confidence, supporting talents, and promoting a well-rounded professional background. But far beyond these activities, you will develop meaningful relationships with the youngsters, sustaining their motivation to grow into independent and knowledgeable members of society. Sports coaching is a popular placement and a lot of fun, local children love sports like football and you can create and lead games. 

"I applied through an international agency which was a great support base to have while in Cambodia. Everything from helping you find the supermarket to weekend trips is made so much easier with these guys help!" - Lucy, New Zealand


Community Development Programs in Cambodia

Cambodia has a population of  around 15 million people and many of these live below the poverty line. Help international charities and local NGO's who are working with people and institutions to try and improve living conditions and provide a better future for local people. These types of programs are usually organised with groups and are open for people to apply to all year round. Try to think about how much of an impact you will make on a short term placement and if you are thinking about going to work at an orphanage in Cambodia then be sure to read past participant feedback and check authenticity as there are lots of unethical projects. 


Conservation Volunteer Projects in Cambodia

You can sign up to help marine based conservation efforts on the Southern coast of Cambodia, international volunteers are needed to work alongside local scientists to research coral reefs, collect data and also go scuba diving to gather underwater research. The aim of projects is to protect marine life like sea horses. There are also programs on land where you can help animals at rescue and rehabilitation centres.


Medical Volunteer Programs in Cambodia

Volunteer healthcare work experience in Cambodia. In local state hospitals and clinics, volunteer health workers can assist local doctors. Previous experience and skills are not required for most placements and training will be provided. Types of positions include dentistry, therapy, awareness and physiotherapy. These projects attract both medical professionals and also non-skilled general helpers.

"Volunteering in Cambodia with Projects Abroad proved to be an extremely rewarding experience, teaching me things I didn’t even know I did not know. I’d recommend it to any first time traveller or anyone looking to experience a country the way the locals do and not a guide book’s checklist." Jess, UK


Female Empowerment Projects

Play a first hand role in combating social obstacles and discrimination which face many women in Cambodia. You will have a dramatic effect on empowerment of young adolescent girls and adult women who have been victimized by unequal gender norms. When Indian women meet confident and independent women volunteers, travelling on their own, there often is an initial phase of awe.

But through the development of personal relationships and the implementation of organized activities, international volunteers are met with full embracement and frequent idolization. Both male and female volunteers have a unique affect - female volunteers serve as a powerful role model to women and male volunteers help dispel the credibility of unequal gender roles.


How to Apply

You can join every month and can be booked online through out website and you can apply today or enquire for more information. Summer and group volunteering programs are very popular so get your application in early. Once in country you will usually work around 5-8 hours per day 5 days a week with weekends free.

Most organisations require you to be aged 18 and over and also in good health. Please note Cambodia is a very safe destination but a lot of the country lives below the world poverty line which can be quick shocking to see first hand so please research all programs. No previous experience is required, but volunteers must be able to work as part of a team, have a strong interest in helping a developing country. Some days can be hot and tiring and lviing conditions might not be as modern as you are used to. Medical volunteers will need qualifications but most other placements just need you to be enthusiastic, adventurous and respectful of their host country’s culture and environment.

On our directory you can find short term and longer structured, low cost and free volunteer programs in Cambodia. Some organiations charge a sign up fee, on these placements you usually get a structured experience including

  • Airport pick-up and transfer to project
  • All food and accommodation
  • Training materials and science equipment
  • Pre-departure support and services
  • Comprehensive training necessary for research techniques
  • 24-hour in-country support and a 24-hour emergency phone line
  • The price can vary depending on the organisation and its best to apply in advance because this destination is a popular choice. You can search our featured opportunities above and apply direct

If you need any help arranging a volunteer placement in Cambodia please get in touch. You might also like to view our Asia volunteer opportunities.


Volunteer in Cambodia for Free

Most free volunteering opportunities in Cambodia are run by non profit organisations with a focus on improving life for disadvantaged communities. If you would like to apply for free or low cost in Cambodia you will need to search organisations we have listed and apply before departing, 

"I participated on an educational placement in remote town, by the end of the placement I got to know all the local people and we were treated so well. Most days we were encouraged to plan and create activities for children so we were busy non stop." - Megan, teaching volunteer from the USA


How to Book

If you need any help booking a trip in Cambodia please get in touch.