I spent two weeks (I know, definitely too short) in a day care center in Phnom Penh in Cambodia thanks to Iko Poran association. And it was such a wonderful experience!
I took care of a class of 7 children (5-6years old) from 9:00a.m to 4:00 p.m, from Monday to Friday. Sometimes I picked them up in their shanty towns at 8 a.m with the staff. It was very hard and sad to see where they live and in such poor conditions, but it was part of the experience and I simply loved their face, their excitation when the association bus (that we used to pick them up at Home) arrived in front of their living place (we can’t call it “a house”).
When they arrive at the day Care center around 9 a.m, they sing and pray with a Kmer teacher. This was so cute to see them so happy to be there and to take pleasure to sing and pray (even if they lost sometimes their concentration rapidly when they saw the volunteers next to them and they guessed that they will play games after ahah).
After that, it was “shower time” for all children. So we had to make them take a shower, put soap on their body, shampoo on their haïr, and dress them up with the association “uniform” (too cute).
Then, I taught them English until lunch time (around 11 a.m). As school facilities, I had a board, some books, pens, and thats it. I regretted not to have brought with me school support for the class when I see how much they were happy to learn. Some days, when they were very excited, I had time to do some games (often drawings) after the lesson and before the lunch time. When they ate, I helped to clean the dishes, and other little tasks to help the staff. From noon to 2p.m, it was rest time for children, so we could take our lunch break and even also take a nap ahah. When they woke up, we make them take a new shower, before starting the afternoon games. I was completely free to choose wich games I wanted to do with them. They loved dancing (I learned them how to dance Macarena, it was so funny), but they were satisfied whatever the game was. Sometimes I made them watch some Disney videos on my phone (like Frozen, or Mickey) and they became focused and quiet during a short moment which allowed me to recover from the dancing time !
To work as a childcare volunteer in Cambodia, attending children of the orphanage, will be both a rewarding and challenging experience. In Cambodia, there are more than 250 orphanages which will be happy to welcome volunteers helping with the childcare. Accounting for 8.8% of all children, there are 553,000 single and double orphans in Cambodia. An estimated one-third of Cambodian children live below the poverty line, and their parents can’t afford adequate education. That’s why many families have turned to orphanages in hoping the orphanage could provide a better education for their own children. So the orphanages have become an important institution providing education for a better future not only for orphans, but also the children from families below the poverty line.
This project provides the volunteers a chance to make a difference to such deprived children by helping them on a day-to-day basis. Your volunteer work schedule will include sanitation, learning, recreation and offering extracurricular activities such as drawing, painting, singing, and dancing.
The main objective of the childcare volunteer program is to bring mental, intellectual, physical and social improvement to the orphans.
No specific skill or qualification is required while volunteering in Cambodia for orphanage project, but volunteers with interest in social development of children and who love spending time with kids are appreciated.
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Find out more about Childcare Volunteer Programs