Volunteer Name: Lucy Warren
Project Location: Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Program Dates: 14/12/2009 – 31/1/2010
Volunteered At: Orphanages (SFODA and CCH)
My Favorite Memory: There are so many memories, but one of my favourites is volunteering at SFODA and on our last day we gave 2 water pistols to the older kids. Inevitably, a water fight broke out and the younger ones all started using drink bottles with holes punched through the lids! By the end of it we were all absolutely saturated and exhausted, but it was loads of fun!
I was surprised that…. Almost everyone over there was so amazing at art!! And also at how quickly I became so familiar with the city – it actually felt like home.
The most difficult thing I experienced was…. Eating the same food every day and not being able to help ourselves to the cupboard if we were hungry
My best received lesson… That travelling isn’t as much about what you see and volunteering isn’t as much about what you aim to impart or how you try to help, as it is simply about your own learning and growth because of the places you see and the people you meet/help.
Tip for future volunteers… (Clothing, travel, personal items, donations, sightseeing etc) It really is like we were told before we left – you HAVE to be able to deal with change and try not to have any expectations because it’s always going to be different. Also try not to get too annoyed at tuk-tuk/moto drivers.. the ride is always more fun if you’re on good terms with them.
Personal Paragraph (Testimonial) A friend and I spent 7 weeks volunteering in 2 orphanages teaching English and caring for the kids. I found that I preferred the caring part more than teaching, especially because when we were caring we got to look after little kids, whereas we were teaching grade 7-9. I’m glad we did teach – it was really good being able to build relationships with the older kids and really get to know them, whereas it was harder to do that with the younger ones simply because they couldn’t speak english due to their age (other than to call ‘teacher’ or ‘cha’ when they wanted your attention..) It was amazing being at SFODA where the lifestyle was totally different to anything I’ve ever seen before. They treated the babies so roughly and yet they were fine. It gave a whole new perspective on how they just live in a different way – and that’s ok.
Are you willing to speak to other potential ABV volunteers? Yes