About us

FAQs

For more questions or information, please contact your local office

General

Can I visit CCF?

Unfortunately we do not usually do visits to our facilities. There are a number of reasons for this, but the key one is that at CCF we try to create and maintain a safe and consistent environment for all of the children in our care. Visitors, although always with the best of intentions, can be very disruptive and actually have a negative impact on a child’s ability to focus on the activities they are participating in at CCF facilities.

The ‘voluntourism’ industry has led to negative press about some local NGO’s turning the children in their care into a ‘tourist attraction’, with little regard for their welfare, and this is something we are very keen to distance ourselves from at CCF.

We're sure you understand that this is difficult for us as we love nothing more than showing our projects and programs, however we must be careful about who we have visit. Please read our child protection policy for further information.

Many thanks for your interest and support for CCF. If you are interested in other ways of supporting our organization via donating, fundraising or volunteering, please visit the 'Get Involved' section of our website. And please do not just turn up at one of our facilities. We’re sure you’ll understand that we take the safety and stability of our children very seriously and staff will not allow access to anyone who is unannounced, unexpected and unescorted.

CCF Child Protection Policy

Where are the CCF facilities located?

CCF has a total of 12 facilities in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city. For child protection reasons, we do not give out the exact addresses of any of our facilities where there are children.

All locations are located in the Steung Meanchey district about 20mins – 30mins from the city centre.

The address of our Head Office is: #222, St 6BT, Sangkat Boeng Tumpon, Khan Meanchey, Phnom Penh

Can I donate clothing, toys, and other such items to CCF?

In most cases, CCF is unable to accept individual donations of items such as clothing, shoes and toys from donors outside Cambodia. The cost for donors to send these items and for CCF to process Cambodian customs, sort and distribute these types of donations is almost always greater than the cost of purchasing them locally in Phnom Penh.

Where possible, CCF prefers to purchase items locally. In this way, we are contributing to the growth of the Cambodian economy, creating local jobs, and making the country less dependent on foreign imports and foreign aid.

Please note that shipping of any size in-kind donation is the responsibility of the donor.

Please refer to the 'Gifts In-Kind' section of our website

Is CCF an orphanage?

CCF is not an orphanage. CCF is an education and community development focused NGO working with the unique challenges faced by thousands of families that live in and around the former garbage dump site at Steung Meanchey.

CCF’s primary focus is our award winning education program – we believe this is how we will get children and their families out of poverty in the long term. We support children to attend public school (a few hours a day), and they spend the rest of the time taking part in CCF’s comprehensive kindergarten-to-university education program.

There are around 2,000 students enrolled in CCF’s education program, and CCF extends support to their families and wider community through our 6 core programs.

The children in CCF’s programs may live with their own families and communities, live with a foster family, or they may be residents in one of our facilities. Currently, around 88% of CCF students are supported by CCF to live at home with their families or with a foster family. This is the ideal situation for us. You can find out more about our approach to keeping families and children together here.

Whenever possible we try to maintain family ties as it is part of CCF’s core philosophy that you can’t lift a child out of poverty and leave the siblings and parents behind. Students living in our facilities do so on a short term basis, and due to high risk situations at home.

Donating

How can I update my credit card details?

To update your credit card details for a child or granny sponsorship, or a recurring donation, please visit the Renew page.

I want to fundraise for CCF. Who should I contact?

There are so many different ways to raise money for CCF – we’ve had people cycle across Asia, a whole family ran ultra-marathons in Iceland – but it doesn’t need to be extreme. Many people ask for donations for their birthday, or ask their friends and family to sponsor them to take part in a challenge.

If you would like to setup your own fundraising campaign, please refer to the 'Start a Fundraiser' section of our website.

Where can I find out information about CCF's finances (including the 990)?

You can view all of CCF’s Annual Reports and financial information on the 'financial and legal documents' webpage.

Where can I find independent reviews of, and ratings for CCF?

Please check out our 'Charity Ratings' webpage for details.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

In the United States, 100% of your cash donation to CCF is tax deductible, as is 100% of your sponsorship dollars.

In Australia, donations over $2.00 to approved CCF programs are tax deductible. Donations to Greatest Need, Education, The Child Protection Unit, Child Sponsorship and Granny Sponsorship are tax deductible.

Cambodian Children’s Fund Australia is proud to be a partner in Cambodia and J668 The CCF Education Program, Cambodia and J646 The Child Protection Unit. Cambodia with Global Development Group (ABN 57 102 400 993), an Australian Non Government Organisation (NGO) carrying out humanitarian projects with approved partners and providing aid to relieve poverty and provide long term solutions through the provision of quality aid and development projects. Global Development Group takes responsibility for approved projects according to DFAT rules, providing a governance role and assisting in the areas of planning, monitoring, reviewing and evaluating to ensure that approved projects are carried out to Australian requirements. For more information about Global Development Group, visit www.globaldevelopment.org.au

In Hong Kong donations over HKD100 are tax deductible.

In the United Kingdom, UK tax payers can increase the value of their donation by ticking the Gift Aid box on the donation page. Gift Aid increases the value of donations by allowing CCF UK to reclaim basic rate tax on the gift.

Who do I contact about planned giving?

If you would like to discuss making an estate plan gift or bequest of cash, equity or property please see our 'gift in will' details.

What is CCF's refund policy?

We don’t offer refunds unless there is a duplicate payment or an overpayment.

Sponsorship

I want to learn more about sponsorship.

Please visit our sponsorship page to find out about sponsoring a child or a granny. For more detailed information, please visit the following pages:

How do I contact the sponsorship department?

To contact us about sponsoring a child or any inquiry you have about your sponsored child or if you have any other queries please email us at [email protected]

How do children come into CCF's program? Who is eligible for the sponsorship program?

To qualify for this program, the family must not be in receipt of aid from any other NGO, and the parents must commit to:

  • Ensure the child attends school every day
  • Stop the child from working, such as garbage scavenging or street selling
  • Do their best to provide a safe home-life, ideally free of alcoholism,
    domestic violence, gambling addictions and substance abuse

What age do children leave CCF?

CCF shares a commitment with all children in our care that we will support them until they are self-sustainable – no matter what their dream may be, and no matter how long it takes to get there. There is no cut-off age and no set rule book. If children are academically able we will support them throughout University and with job placements (see below for more on University). If not, we will look to internal or external vocational training opportunities or job placements

Our kids are motivated. They are motivated to improve their own lives and, overwhelmingly, they are motivated to improve the lives of their families, their community and their Cambodia.

With CCF’s guidance and holistic range of support we are able to foster this motivation into results. We have an over 97% retention rate of our students each year.

See more in our Sponsor Guidelines (page 13 onward).

What happens when a child wants to attend university?

With CCF enjoying over fifteen years in operation, more and more young children who once toiled in the Steung Meanchey garbage dump are nearing adulthood. Part of CCF’s commitment to create tomorrow’s leaders is a pledge that we will support the youth who reach University through their degrees. And, wow, our kids really have responded to that pledge! With currently over 70% of students going on to university, these numbers present a big funding challenge for us, however, it’s exactly the sort of problem we want to have!

Many sponsors, having shared in their sponsor child’s journey at CCF, are interested in continuing their support to college.

How often should I write to my sponsor child?

It’s best to set expectations in your first email. If you are unable to write more than one or two times a month, it is fine to say so. Disappointment only occurs when an expectation is not met and our children understand if you have a busy schedule, travel or other priorities. Whatever the arrangement is, once made with the child, it is important to do your best to keep to it. Your child will likely respond to your email within a week (though sometimes it can be a bit longer if our translators have a backlog or there is a major vacation period) and may occasionally just write to say hello. You set the pace.

Please also note that our Sponsor Relations Officers, who translate your emails, keep a record of correspondence so do not be surprised if you receive a gentle reminder email if you haven’t written for 2 or 3 months!

In addition to this, however – please note this very important excerpt from our Sponsor Guidelines:

Nearly all CCF children have lived with inconsistency and in many cases abandonment. The arrival of email tells them that someone out there cares for them for their own sake. No contact for weeks or months on end can result in hurt feelings and a lessened self-esteem. Even if your email simply states that you are busy, that they are in your thoughts and you will write a fuller email later, then it does wonders. No-one wants to see any of the children hurt, however we recognize that sometimes sponsors, with the best will in the world, simply run out of the time or impetus needed to sustain the writing relationship.

To address this situation, CCF operates a four-month rule. When a sponsor has not been in touch with their sponsored child for 4 full months, then CCF will assume that the active sponsorship is at an end. It would be unfair to deny the child access to a communicative sponsorship, so he/she may be paired with an alternative sponsor or pen pal in such situations. In practice, this is rare and most sponsors grow closer through time. In such a case, the previous sponsor remains free to write to the child on a pen-pal basis. You can also opt to stop your payments or request a refund; otherwise your payment will be used for overall program expenses.

How is university funded, and can I support my child through university?

Part of our funding plan to cover this expense is to package University costs as 4-year scholarships for each student. We have determined that the average cost for a four-year degree is $10,800USD.

This includes; university tuition fees, study materials, textbooks, shared laptops and tablets, career guidance, job placement support, and transportation costs. Therefore, the cost of providing a “scholarship” will be $10,800. And, of course, payments of a lesser amount will still be gratefully received into our general University Fund.

Our usual childcare costs are not factored into the $10,800 figure, and we encourage sponsors to continue sponsorship through University. This is because the children receive the same level of childcare, shelter, nutrition – and also continue their CCF education while they’re at University – with continued English, leadership and extra-curricular classes, as well as internship opportunities.

If sponsors are unable to contribute the full amount (or any extra), CCF remains committed to sending our children to University should they be successful in their application. We will seek funding from external partners, those interested in providing a University Scholarship, or supplement University costs from our general fund.

We are aware that CCF’s sponsorship option is comparatively expensive and sponsors are under no obligation to contribute any more.

I am a sponsor. Can I visit CCF and my sponsor child?

Almost every sponsor thinks of visiting their sponsor child and every child would love a visit. We are happy when sponsors are able to come here and surprisingly many have done just that. If you intend to visit, let us know as far in advance as you can and we’ll do what we can to help. Once we know that you’re coming, we’ll send you some information about the country and the city that we hope you’ll find useful.

Vichet would love to hear from you if you are interested in visiting. [email protected]

One important point though. It sometimes happens that sponsors plan surprise or short notice trips at times when the children are on holiday. CCF is very supportive of family links and family togetherness is seen as very important of some of the main national festivals, such as Khmer New Year (April) and Pchum Ben (October). So please always check your intended visit dates with us before you commit. We don’t want you or the children to be disappointed.

And please do not just turn up at one of our facilities. We’re sure you’ll understand that we take the safety and stability of our children very seriously and staff will not allow access to anyone who is unannounced, unexpected and unescorted. Please review our child protection policy for information.

See more guidance here about what to expect on your sponsor visit.

CCF Child Protection Policy

Can I send gifts to my sponsor child in Cambodia?

Many sponsors do like to send gifts and it has to be said that children here – as anywhere – love to receive them! However, in CCF’s particular situation gift giving can also be a source of problems. These tend to fall into 3 main areas:

Perceived Fairness. CCF has to be careful not to do anything that might cause jealousy or tensions between children or within families, neighborhoods or communities. The arrival of anything that looks lavish or that could mark the child or family as specially favored must be avoided.

Logistics. The next issue is that of logistics – getting things here. The standard mail is just not secure and courier services, which you can be sure will get through, such as DHL or FedEx, are expensive. You might be surprised to know that almost anything can be obtained locally here in Phnom Penh. If you let us know what it is that you’d like to provide for a birthday, to celebrate becoming an award-winner or something for another special event or achievement we can almost certainly source it, get it and give it on your behalf. If you do decide to send a gift, contact the sponsorship team in advance for a CCF address to which you can send it and we will take it from there.

The Cost of the Gift. Sponsors do like to be generous, but this has risks. CCF aims to help the children in its care become upright, educated, independent, involved contributors to their developing society. It wants to do nothing that will encourage them to become dependent, or especially, to link sponsorship with personal gain or to equate a sponsor’s care and friendship with access to expensive presents. Please do not think of sending gifts such as cameras, IPods and the like. Generosity on this scale has the potential to be disruptive and damaging not only to the individual concerned but to the community in which they live. Accordingly, no individual gift should exceed $50 in value. The old cliché that ‘It’s the thought that counts’ is still often very true. We do not want to turn the children into people who value a gift by its cost. We need you to understand this and to help us with it.

So yes, gifts can be sent and are welcome, but to maximise their impact, they should be rare, limited to a birthday, a special event or success and should follow the value suggestions outlined in our Sponsor Guidelines at page 7 and 8.

Jobs at CCF

Can I work at CCF? What kind of positions are available?

All vacancies at CCF are advertised on our website. You can view current job openings here.

CCF is a large NGO with a diverse workforce. We have many technical/specialist roles in our core programs of education, leadership, healthcare, childcare, career and life skills, and community outreach. In addition, we are always looking for skilled professionals to take up support services roles related to IT, HR, procurement, finance, and administration.

What kind of people are CCF looking for?

CCF is looking for people with the right skills and qualifications, but also those who are passionate about what we are trying to achieve and are aligned with our core values of care, excellence, integrity, respect, leadership and teamwork.

Do you hire many foreigners?

CCF is passionate about building a skilled and sustainable Cambodian workforce to deliver on our vision and mission long term. As such, Cambodian employees fill the majority of our vacancies. CCF does hire a small number of foreign staff, but only when specialist skills are not available in Cambodia or if the position is required to interact mostly with international visitors or manage overseas projects/processes. Essentially, we recruit local and/or foreign staff depending on the requirements of the position. Advertised positions will outline the job/language requirements clearly in the selection criteria and job posting.

How can I apply for a job?

All applicants are required to submit their CV and Cover letter(Combined into one ‘Word’ document) to email: [email protected] (soft copy) or CCF HR Department; #222, St 6BT, Sangkat Boeung Tompon, Khan Meanchey, Phnom Penh (hard copy)

Please see our job listings page for specific instructions

Who do I contact if I want more information on an advertised position?

For more information about the role please email the recruitment team in the first instance at [email protected]. The team will respond to your queries or refer you to the hiring manager for job specific queries.

What opportunities will I have for career advancement or promotion?

CCF is committed to providing long term career advancement for our employees. We structure annual career planning for staff and work with individuals to identify career pathways (especially for leadership roles). Staff are strongly encouraged to express interest in higher level positions and individual development plans support learning and development in preparation for future roles.

How many days and hours do staff work?

The majority of staff at CCF work 8 hours per day, 5 days per week. That said, in Cambodia it is normal to work a 6 day week with public school and other business hours including Saturday work. CCF teachers work 6 days per week, as does many of our program staff who work directly with the kids or the community.

Our drivers, security guards and other support staff may work alternative rosters to allow for us to provide safety and security 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. The hours of work are outlined in job advertisements and/or employment contracts and will be discussed with applicants through the interview process.

If successful, what documents will I need to provide CCF before I start?

All positions require a criminal record check or Police Check.

Successful candidates will need to provide a copy of the following documents along with their signed employment contract prior to starting with us:

  1. Criminal Record/Police Check
  2. Bank account details
  3. Family Book/Residential Book (Cambodian only)
  4. Cambodia Identification Card (Cambodian only)
  5. Passport (international staff)
  6. Birth Certificate
  7. Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  8. Child Birth Certificate (if applicable)
  9. Personal Photo (size 4 x 6" - 10 x 15cm)

How do I know if my information was received?

Once we receive your application; there will be an automatic reply email saying your application is successfully received.

Volunteering at CCF

Can I volunteer at CCF?

Yes! The CCF Volunteer Program recruits local and international volunteers for multiple positions at CCF. The program focuses on recruiting skilled volunteers who assist in building capacity for ongoing development within the organisation. Successful volunteers at CCF are enthusiastic individuals with specific skills and expertise willing to work directly with our staff to share, collaborate and empower.

Unfortunately CCF does not accept short-term volunteers. Volunteers must be able to commit to at least 3 months.

All volunteer vacancies at CCF are advertised on our website.

Why do you only accept skilled volunteers?

We are grateful for the enthusiasm and generosity of all those who apply to volunteer, however we have a strict policy that limits volunteering at CCF to those roles that require specific skills and professional experience.

The reasoning behind this is that we focus on not just supporting the children in Steung Meanchey, but the whole community. We ensure that any vacant jobs or roles are filled by locals in the community in need of employment. This means that CCF only really seeks international volunteers and employees for roles that cannot be offered by Cambodian nationals. We feel that this is an important initiative by CCF to assist in lifting the community out of poverty. By providing jobs and training to those in the community is another step towards building up the community from the inside out.

There are many other ways that you can help CCF even if there are no current volunteer positions suitable for you in Cambodia. We are always on the look out for volunteers to act as grassroot fundraisers and hold small events to share CCF’s story and raise much-needed funds for our programs. We also have international offices that sometimes require extra hands for specific tasks or on-going assistance.

What's the minimum amount of time I can volunteer for?

We require a minimum of three months from volunteers.

Please check out available positions on our website or contact us directly to see if there is any current need for your particular skill set and professional experience.

Why do you require a volunteer to commit for such a large amount of time?

At CCF we try to create and maintain a safe and consistent environment for all of the children in our care. Short-term volunteers, although with the best intentions, can be very disruptive and actually have a negative impact on a child’s ability to form emotional bonds.

The ‘voluntourism’ industry has led to negative press about some local NGO’s turning the children in their care into a ‘tourist attraction’, with little regard for their welfare, and this is something we are very keen to distance ourselves from at CCF.

It also takes a little while to get into the swing of things so placements of three months will allow everyone to get the most out of the volunteer placement. Volunteers have found it to be too challenging to adjust to Cambodia, understand the context of their role and team, and create an impact, when they stay for shorter periods of time.

What can volunteers do at CCF?

All CCF Volunteer Placements focus on assisting in a capacity building role. This means regardless of the specific role at CCF – teacher’s assistant, corporate mentor, consultant – volunteers work directly with our professional local staff to increase their knowledge and experiences.

If accepted into our program, volunteers will be provided with a complete Volunteer Placement Outline that will summarize tasks, key staff and the expected outcomes of each placement. This will help guide volunteers during their time at CCF. Schedules are created by our staff and distributed to volunteers on arrival.

I'm retired - can I still volunteer?

Yes you can! CCF doesn’t judge applicants by their age, rather their experience and abilities. We welcome all those interested to apply, but please note that volunteer work days are long and hot and sometimes not suitable for everyone- especially those with current health concerns.

I've just finished school - can I still volunteer?

CCF accepts volunteers over the age of 18 years old. Please note that all CCF volunteer roles require commitment and hard work (like any job) and are not always appropriate for those looking for a fun or adventurous activity during their gap year.

Who do volunteers work with?

Each position has a range of key staff they will work with, as well as a Line Manager who will meet with each volunteer regularly to support the placement progress. Volunteer placements work directly with local staff and some roles have the opportunity to work with the children in our school and facilities. The Volunteer Department is also available to support you pre-arrival and during your time with us.

I'm not sure volunteering in Cambodia is right for me. Are there other ways I can be involved and assist CCF?

Yes! You can share CCF’s story with your friends and family or become one of our much-loved grassroots fundraisers in your home town. You can also sponsor one of our children via our website or help with other events our fundraising offices may be holding throughout the year.

I'm interested, when should I apply?

Have you seen a position that interests you and you qualify for on our volunteer page? Apply now! We strongly encourage all volunteers to apply at least 3 months in advance of their planned start date. If your application is successful, there is a lot of preparation work that goes into organising your time with us. You will need to provide us with all required documentation before you arrive, especially a police/working with children check (which can take some time).

What information will you need from me during the application process?

Initially we just ask volunteers to fill out our application form and attach their most recent CV. If accepted, volunteers must comply with our Child Protection Policy by providing us with:

  1. A police/ working with children check.
    • If you are from the USA, this is a standard background check, processed via the FBI.
    • If you are from the UK, this is obtained by applying for an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) via the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
    • If you are from Australia, this is obtained from the Australian Federal Police (or it can be a Working with Children check).
    • If you are from Cambodia, this is obtained through the Cambodian Ministry of Justice.
  2. Two references for additional background checks.
  3. A copy of your passport, with at least 6 months remaining.
  4. Proof of health (or travel) insurance - if you are an international applicant.

Why do I need health insurance?

The medical system in Cambodia is probably not the same as the country you are from, so at CCF we like all our volunteers to be prepared and covered.

If you have an accident or emergency, you must be covered to be air-lifted to Thailand, Singapore, or back to your home country for appropriate treatment. If you are not covered by insurance, you will have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for an air-lift, which is the last thing you want to think about when dealing with an emergency.

What are the costs?

CCF does not require you to pay us anything to volunteer.

You are required to provide your own return airfares, accommodation, visa, health (travel) insurance and to be able to cover living expenses while you are here. CCF provides all volunteers with safe transport to and from scheduled activities, as well as a phone and on-ground support for the duration of your placement.

Living in Cambodia can be extremely cheap and you can survive on much less than you would back home. That said, we encourage volunteers to over budget to ensure you are covered for any unexpected expenses and trips you may wish to take on weekends out of the city. Please make sure you research costs before you budget for your placement - we are always happy to help with any questions you have.

We cannot provide financial assistance to volunteers if you run out of funds (with over 2,000 children we have our hands full!). You can expect: Bottle of water 50c Room in a share apartment, or your own flat $200 - $600 per month (depending on whether you want a Western standard) Tuk tuk $2 - $4 per trip Coffee 50c - $3 Local Beer $1 Electricity bills $20 - $100 per month (depending on whether you share a flat or not, and how much you use air conditioning) Meal at the market $2 Meal at a western style restaurant $4 - $10 Cinema ticket $3

Is Cambodia a safe country?

Cambodia is generally not a violent country, but bag snatching and pickpockets can be common - especially in tourist areas and at night.

All visitors are encouraged to act with caution at all times and ensure personal belongings are secure, including during travel. All volunteers receive an orientation on arrival about safety and security, and the team are happy to discuss any concerns you have before arrival.

Sometimes there are demonstrations and rallies in and around Phnom Penh, particularly before and during elections. These gatherings can easily be avoided.

Where is a good place to live during my placement?

When accepted, we provide each volunteer with our Volunteer Handbook which has a wide range of accommodation options, including guesthouses offering long term rates or sites to find apartments and house shares. Volunteers are required to arrange their own accommodation during their stay. We encourage newcomers to stay in some of the areas close to Steung Meanchey, like Toul Tom Poung (also known as the Russian Market), BKK1 or Tonle Basaac, which are popular with many volunteers and staff.

Is there a dress code?

CCF is not a formal workplace requiring a suit and tie! However, all volunteers need to respect local customs by dressing neatly and appropriately. This means ensuring shoulders, midriffs, and knees are covered. Most volunteers wear a t-shirt or shirt, with long trousers or a maxi skirt. We recommend loose-fitting clothing in cool fabrics as facilities can be hot, and slip-on shoes as some facilities are no-shoes. Volunteers in classrooms who have tattoos are asked to keep them covered around students as there are different connotations to tattoos in Cambodia to other countries. We can provide guidance on what to pack before arrival if you want detailed advice.

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