Why do you only accept skilled volunteers? I’m willing to do ANYTHING to help.
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?
We require a minimum of 8 - 12 weeks from volunteers. There may be a few projects or specialist positions we require that are available for shorter periods of time.
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 volunteer to commit such a long 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.
In addition to all of the above, a lot of work goes into approving applications, ensuring your references are checked and our staff and schedules are prepped for your involvement, so it’s important that your stay is mutually beneficial.
It also sometimes takes a little while to get into the swing of things so placements of 8 weeks will allow everyone to get the most out of the volunteer placement.
There may be times where we require specific consultation from someone with specific experience to help us with a project or task that may not work directly with children. The time required may be less than 8 weeks for these projects. All available positions are advertised on our website.
When do you accept volunteers?
It depends on the role or project need. Some positions are needed all year round and you can apply at any time. Other positions are more time-sensitive and have a specific timeframe for applications to be submitted. Have a look at the individual placement positions online to see the details for each role.
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- 60 is the new 20 right? 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 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 interested- when should I apply?
Check the position you’re interested in to ensure applications are still open. If they are- apply straight away! There’s a lot of work that goes into organising your time with us so it’s best if you can apply as early as possible- especially if you are successful you will need to provide us with the required materials (police checks can take some time) and for us to prepare for your activities here.
In a nutshell- we would love you more if you to apply at least 3 months prior to your preferred start date.
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….
federal level police check
UK: International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) via the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).
Australia: Australian Federal Police
two references we can speak with personally for additional background checks
a copy of your valid passport with at least 4 months remaining
proof of travel insurance
This may seem like a lot but our children come first and we must ensure that their safety is guaranteed while they are in our care and in contact with members of the public.
Why do I need health insurance?
The medical system in Cambodia is not very good so we like all our volunteers to be prepared and covered for the worst. If you have a nasty accident, you should be covered to be air-lifted to Thailand, Singapore or back to your home country for appropriate treatment. If you are not covered, this can cost you over $100,000. It’s not worth it!
What are the costs?
CCF does not require you to pay us anything. That said you are required to provide your own return airfares, accommodation, visa, travel insurance and 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.
If you are careful, living in Cambodia can be extremely cheap and you can survive on $500 - $750 per month. That said, we encourage volunteers to over-budget to ensure you are covered for any unexpected expenses and shifting budgets. We cannot provide financial assistance to volunteers if you run out of funds (with over 2300 children we have our hands full!).
A General Pricing Overview (approximate prices):
1L bottle of water = 50cents
Beer = $1
Tuk tuk = $2 trip
Room in a share flat or apartment = $200 - $350 per month
1 bedroom apartment = $300 - $600 per month (western style will be more expensive)
Electricity bills = $50 - $100 per month
Meal at the market = $2
Meal at a western style restaurant = $5 - $10
Cinema ticket = $3.50
Is it safe in Cambodia?
Cambodian is generally not a violent country, there are some opportunistic crimes so you need to keep your wits about you. Bag snatching and pickpockets are common in Cambodia- 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.
Sometimes there are demonstrations and rallies in and around Phnom Penh. These gatherings can easily be avoided as they are usually in the same part of town.
Where are your facilities?
CCF has a total of 12 facilities in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city. We have one facility in the CBD, but all the others are located in the Steung Meanchey district about 20mins – 30mins from the city centre. Volunteer schedules can include all or some of our facilities. We will discuss this with each successful volunteer closer to their orientation date.
Where is a good place to stay during my volunteer placement?
Volunteers are required to arrange their own accommodation during their stay. We encourage new-comers to stay in some of the areas close to Steung Meanchey- Toul Tom Poung (Russian Market) is popular with most volunteers.
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 flats and share houses.
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.