My Happy Village Cambodia welcomes all volunteers to our project. We hope that our volunteers take away with them a much as they give to us in terms of shared experiences.
We value the time and commitment given by volunteers and unlike some other organizations we do not ask for registration fees or money to work with us. However we do rely on the generosity of sponsors and donors for us to continue and improve our support of the poor and disadvantaged in Prey Chrouk Commune. We invite prospective volunteers, if possible, to undertake some fundraising prior to arrival, no matter how small. We can guarantee that all such monies will go directly to the benefit of the children and villagers.
The Commune consists of several villages in close proximity. Our catchment area for school are the villages of Svaychanto, Plange and Prasat. All families are either subsistence farmers or fishermen. Living standards and life expectations are VERY LOW. Life expectancy middle to late 50’s.
We are appoximately 45 Km’s from Siem Reap (West). As the last 7 -8 Km’s are on dirt roads, which are subject to flooding in the wet season, it can be difficult for access by cars. It is better to use a “Moto” or Tuk Tuk. We have a Tuk Tuk driver from the village who works in Siem Reap and will be pleased to arrange transport via Mr Sophach (contact details on the Contact Us page). Tuk Tuk costs are variable but should be less than 20$for example. The journey will be about 1 hr 30mins.
We have a traditional Khmer style village house for our volunteers to stay in. It is of wood construction on stilts. It is spacious and equipped for a maximum of 3 volunteers at any one time. We provide a mosquito net, sleeping mat and blankets. We have some cooking facilities with a gas cooker (one ring), plates, bowls, cutlery etc. You may wish to bring your own. We have a water filter as well as supplying drinking water. We ask for a donation of 10US$ per week to cover accommodation costs etc.
Most of our guests take advantage of eating meals with our Cambodian family
We have limited mains electricity. that powers lights in the house, we also have a fan. There are no facilities for computer use other than 3G on a local network.
Under the house we have hammocks for relaxation.
School times are 8am – 11am and 2pm -5pm (6-30pm) Monday to Friday.
Outside of these times you are free to do whatever appeals to you. You may wish to return to Siem Reap for the weekends to meet up with friends, enjoy Pub Street and the nightlife or you may wish to stay in the village; the choice is your
We have constructed a bath house (brick construction) with a squat toilet and shower supplied with water from our pond/well, which now provides for better personal hygiene and privacy. Before we washed outside by the pond.
During your stay you will be required to register your presence in the Commune with the local police. We will help you do this but you will need to bring with you for the registration your passport, two copies of the passport, a copy of your current visa and one passport photograph.
Cambodia has basically two seasons dry and wet, determined by the monsoons; Cool and dry November – February; hot and dry March – May; Hot and wet June – October. Temperatures across the year range between 24C to 36C +/-. Whilst it rains most days during the rainy season it normally rains heaviest during the afternoons with periods of dry. High humidity is a feature at most times (75%- 90%). Day and night length are fairly constant with nightfall around 6pm and sunrise around 6-00am.
Consequently it is important to aclimatise to the working environment. If you are not used to these temperatures it is better to start slow and build up. Sensible clothing, particularly head covering will avoid any problems of sunstroke, insect bites, etc.
Please ensure that you take medical advice before leaving your home country and that you are adequately protected against disease and illness. Particular attention should be paid to protection against malaria, dengue fever, Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid together with boosters for tetanus, polio and diphtheria if staying for longer than 1 month seek advice for vaccination against Japanese B encephalitis. There are very limited medical facilities in Cambodia and almost non existent in the countryside. There are some clinics in the Siem Reap but language can be a problem. For serious injuries or illness patients need to be evacuated to hospitals in Bangkok. Therefore we stress that you obtain full medical insurance cover before arrival in Cambodia.
Visas can be obtained at border crossings or at the two International airports, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh on arrival. Also available online from Cambodian Immigation.
There are conditions imposed on renewals so that it is important to decide for how long you will be staying in Cambodia. There are two Visas:
The local currency in Cambodia is the Riel.
Most transactions are carried out in US$.
Conversion rate approx: 4000 Riel – 1US$
ATM’s are in most big towns and dispense US$’s. Acceptable cards tend to be Visa and MasterCard. Generally theses cards are accepted by hotels, guesthouses and established businesses. Stalls and markets normally require cash transactions.
It is always useful to keep some Riel for small purchases.
Do not drink tap water. Bottled water is plentiful and inexpensive.
Ice is produced in local factories from treated water and generally is safe to use.
A full range of alcoholic drinks are available but as in any location care should be taken to avoid contamination of drinks by other people. Be aware that some local firewater drinks may be injurious to your health.
Narcotics including marijuana are NOT legal in Cambodia. Beware penalties can be very harsh.
Paedophilia and all forms of sexual abuse are not tolerated and the penalties are severe. If you are aware of any such actions by others there is a dedicated website for reporting such matters – www.childsafe-cambodia.org.
Whilst much has been done in recent years to clear unexploded ordinance accumulated during the various conflicts and the events of the Pol Pot era, there is still a danger, particularly in rural areas. Stay on recognised paths and if necessary seek local advice prior to entering into unknown countryside areas.
There are many guesthouses and hotels available offering a range of accommodation from as little as 3$ US a night. Most can be found on the world wide web and also in local information booklets.
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