Volunteer in Cambodia

Locally-led volunteer programs in Southeast Asia.

Have you always dreamt of wandering off the beaten track? Well, why not also make an impact while you’re there? Famed for its iconic temples, beautiful natural landscapes, and rich ancient history, by volunteering in Cambodia you take an active role in improving local community initiatives while having a rich and rewarding cultural experience.

Overview

What kind of volunteer opportunities do we offer in Cambodia?

We offer a range of ethical volunteer opportunities which align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). Specifically, we focus on Goal 3: Good Health And Well-being, Goal 4: Quality Education, Goal 5: Gender Equality, Goal 8: Decent Work And Economic Growth and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities.

All of GVI’s programs are locally-led, which means they’re planned and implemented in collaboration with local partner organisations – creating sustainable and long-term solutions that have a lasting impact and can eventually be maintained without external support.

In the city of Siem Reap, we joined efforts with local partner organisations to assess their needs within the community before setting up any of our projects. 

We offer a range of volunteer opportunities where participants can take part in a number of community programs, including:

Ranging in length from 1 to 12 weeks, when you join a volunteer program the time you choose to spend volunteering can fit into your schedule. Whether you have a few weeks of annual leave and are looking for an experience that combines travel with giving back in a meaningful way or you’re taking a gap year and looking for a longer volunteer opportunity, the time you spend volunteering can make an impact on the communities we work with. 

Many of our participants choose to travel before or after their program, either spending time in the country of their program or travelling to neighbouring countries for an extended travel experience.

We also offer a range of internships, professional apprenticeships and research fellowships in Cambodia with a focus on education, community development, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

If you’re interested in joining a volunteer program in Cambodia, simply submit an application form and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.

Our programs

Volunteering
Teaching English to Buddhist Monks in Cambodia
Volunteering
Volunteer with Children in Cambodia
Volunteering
Women’s Empowerment and Community Development Volunteering in Cambodia
Professional Apprenticeship
TEFL and Teaching English Apprenticeship in Cambodia
Volunteering
Gender Equality Volunteering in Cambodia
Volunteering
Community Development Volunteering in Cambodia
Internship
Gender Equality Internship in Cambodia
Internship
Women’s Empowerment Internship in Cambodia
Research Fellowship
Education Research Fellowship in Cambodia
Volunteering
Women’s Economic Empowerment in Cambodia
Internship
Community Development Internship in Cambodia
Internship
Teaching Internship in Cambodia
Professional Apprenticeship
Community Development Professional Apprenticeship in Cambodia
Volunteering
Teaching and Early-years Education in Cambodia
Included in your program, at no extra cost

Make the most of our unique programs with these exclusively curated local adventure and wellness experiences.

Offered once a month, expand your adventure with GVI Experiences. These are just some of the activities offered on your program!
Learn to cook traditional Cambodian dishes
Learn to cook traditional Cambodian dishes
Visit the Lotus Textile Farm by tuk-tuk
Visit the Lotus Textile Farm by tuk-tuk
Join a blessing ceremony with monks
Join a blessing ceremony with monks
Watch Phare, Cambodia's internationally renowned circus
Watch Phare, Cambodia's internationally renowned circus
Visit one of Siem Reap's floating villages
Visit one of Siem Reap's floating villages
Attend a pottery class
Attend a pottery class
Learn how HeroRATs detect landmines
Learn how HeroRATs detect landmines
Experience a traditional massage treatment
Experience a traditional massage treatment
Location

Our community hub is in Siem Reap, Cambodia’s second-largest city and the capital of Siem Reap Province. In this vibrant city you’ll find a mix of mediaeval architecture, markets, restaurants and riverside hangouts. Travel further out of the city and you’ll find beautiful natural landscapes, lush greenery, rice paddies and sugar palms. 

Siem Reap is also a gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. 

Home to colonial and Chinese-style architecture, the city is filled with iconic temples and monuments. Here you can immerse yourself in Cambodia’s cultural history while contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

You’ll have plenty of free time where you can enjoy the electric atmosphere of the bustling streets, visit the sprawling markets or immerse yourself in the history of the country with its sights and museums. Spend your evenings and weekends visiting national parks, the floating market, waterfalls, or taking part in cooking or pottery classes. Going further afield, you can visit Tonle Sap Lake, travel to the capital city of Phnom Penh, visit Kampong Khleang, a large floating village just outside Siem Reap, take a trip to the city of Battambang, or view the 10th-century Cambodian temple Banteay Srei.

With GVI Experiences, you could learn how to cook traditional dishes, visit the Lotus Textiles Farm by tuk-tuk, join a blessing ceremony with monks or visit the floating village of Kompong Khleang.

Ethics and safety

When you join a volunteer program in Cambodia, you do so knowing the safety and health of our participants and the people we work with are our highest priority. To ensure our projects follow stringent and current best practices and standards we’ve put in place rigorous ethical guidelines and employ on-the-ground ethics officers to ensure our projects follow these practices. 

Please note that GVI does not support orphanage volunteering. For more information take a look at our stance on orphanage volunteering. We regularly review our comprehensive child and vulnerable adult protection policy. We support ChildSafe, a global child protection initiative, and all our staff and participants are required to complete a police background check before arrival on the program, and on-site child protection training is provided once they arrive in the host country. We also protect children from cyber and real-world threats by ensuring our marketing follows child protection best practices.

We take every precaution to make sure our participants feel comfortable and safe in their work and living arrangements, no matter where they are in the world. We offer support every step of the way, and our trained support staff are available 24/7 to ensure all participants are taken care of.

We work according to our ten ethical principles and five human empowerment principles. Using our badge of ethics, we continuously reflect on and improve our policies and practices. 

To read more about the work our volunteers and interns have done, take a look at our recent report on impact and ethics. GVI is a British Standards 8848 compliant provider. 

If you have any questions about our volunteer programs and life on our Cambodia base, you can speak directly to one of our enrolment officers or alumni, who can answer any questions you have. 

FAQs

How old do I need to be to volunteer?

Anyone over 18 (including college students, gap year students, people on a career break and older adults) are welcome to join one of our volunteer programs in Cambodia. 

While there’s no maximum age for participants, if you’re under 18 and want to volunteer, we offer a number of teen volunteer programs all over the world. Specially designed for groups of high school students, we also offer a range of school trips abroad

No matter which stage of life you’re in, whether you want to travel solo or in a group, if you have one week or one year, there’s a volunteer program that matches your needs.

Can families volunteer in Cambodia?

This is a fantastic family option in a central location, offering family-friendly activities and an immersive cultural experience. Children aged 14 and above can join with adults, and there’s a 25% discount per child per adult. Families stay in private rooms with bathrooms at our community hub, which is near shops and amenities. Safety is our top priority – we’ve got health and safety procedures in place, our staff are trained in first aid and emergency response, and there are reliable medical facilities nearby.

Where will I stay during my program?

When you join a program in Cambodia you’ll stay in a guesthouse in the centre of Siem Reap, ideally located so you can take in all the city has to offer. Depending  on the needs of the participant, we offer a variety of accommodation options, including single rooms  and rooms shared by a maximum of three participants. You have the option to upgrade to a room with air conditioning. There’s also a pool available for leisure time and days off.

Are accommodation upgrades available?

Yes. The guesthouse offers single occupancy rooms with amenities like a TV, fridge, air conditioning and a spacious king-sized bed. Some rooms have the added benefit of a balcony overlooking the swimming pool.

Do I need any qualifications to volunteer in Cambodia?

No, you don’t need any specific qualifications to join a volunteering program in Cambodia. All our programs include health and safety and child and vulnerable adult protection training. 

Who will I work with?

You’ll work alongside a group of volunteers of all ages, from all over the world. Travelling abroad is an opportunity to meet people from a range of backgrounds with similar goals. Many of our participants make friends for life after joining a volunteer program, and go home with memories that last a lifetime. 

As our programs are locally led and run in collaboration with our partners on the ground, volunteers work closely with local community members.

Our permanent on-the-ground team of staff at every location will guide volunteers throughout their time on our programs. We offer 360-degree support throughout your journey, from the moment you book to the moment you arrive back home. 

How do I book?

If you’re excited about contributing to meaningful change by volunteering in Cambodia, get in touch with one or enrolment managers who will assist with your program booking.

Hireability

How volunteering in Cambodia adds to your resume

Many new graduates don’t add their volunteering abroad experience to their resumes. This is a missed opportunity because volunteering abroad helps to build skills like teamwork and intercultural competency that many hiring managers are looking for in candidates. Volunteering is an experience that adds to your personal development as well as your professional advancement.

What skills will I learn while volunteering in Cambodia?

During your time volunteering in Cambodia you’ll learn to communicate with people of all ages and different cultural backgrounds. You’ll also learn to be adaptable and resilient. You will come to appreciate the resilience and kindness of the Cambodian people and their willingness to learn and be supported – and hopefully return home with some of those qualities enhanced for your own future.  But, most importantly, you’ll gain a sense of relatedness to a greater global community.