What kind of backgrounds do the students that I’ll be working with have?
The children you will be working with come from the rural villages surrounding SHCC. You will teach a cross section of children, but all students are dealing with poverty as part of their everyday lives. The majority of the children have experienced difficulties in their pasts. Growing up, they may have lacked structure, discipline and/or been abused. Many have had little or no parental care and many will suffer malnutrition on varying scales. Although the children have improved in leaps and bounds over the years it is important to keep in mind where they have come from and be aware of the physical and emotional scars that they may carry.
Do any of the children have HIV?
Due to the UN’s child’s right to privacy we are unable to find out or disclose a child’s medical status or history. For this reason we take the same precautions with every child with the use of rubber gloves if First Aid is required.
Do I need to prepare anything before I arrive?
The more preparation you do beforehand, the better equipped you will be to work at SHCC. Please try and remember your childhood games or activities and bring them along to share. Keep in mind that most will need to be adapted to overcome language and developmental barriers. Interactive lessons and games involving props, drama and fun are especially good. Initiative will be your most valued resource. Please come prepared to think on your feet and give it your all.
What classes/programmes do you run?
I have specific skills, how can I apply them at SHCC?
Volunteers wanting to utilise specific skills and experience (for example IT, HR) should speak directly with Sambat or Joni to see how your skills can be best utilised and to formulate a separate program.
Do I need to provide a police check / disclosure before I volunteer?
If you have one of these and plan to volunteer for a long period of time (more than 1 month) please submit this along with your application. Volunteers are asked to sign a Volunteers Registration Form upon arrival, which SHCC are required to declare on a weekly basis to the Cambodia Police Department.
How long can I volunteer for?
This is entirely up to you. You can volunteer as much or as little of your time as you wish. The length of time volunteers work at SHCC ranges from several days to several months. But for our English teaching programme we do require a commitment of at least 3 weeks.
What hours am I expected to volunteer?
Again it is upto you, we are very flexible. We have a morning (7am – 11am), afternoon (1pm – 5pm) and evening session (5pm – 8pm) at school. Generally volunteers chose to work either the morning or afternoon session, or some the full day. Depending on the time you have to give, what you are wanting to achieve and the area you are wanting to work in, we can work with you organise the most suitable schedule for you.
Do I need health insurance?
We strongly recommend you take out comprehensive medical insurance to protect yourself against accidents or serious illness. Good medical treatment is minimal and can be costly. It is also wise to ensure your insurance includes evacuation cover. One point many insurance providers do not make clear is generally your policy will not cover you for moto travel (tuk tuks are ok), you are required to pay a further premium. Please be aware of this if choosing to travel by moto anywhere, or better yet upgrade your cover to cover motos as they are the main mode of transport here.
Do I need to insure my valuables?
Understandably, SHCC is not in a position to be responsible for personal loss or injury. Travel insurance will cover loss of items, although you will have to ensure you complete a police report. While we trust the children wholeheartedly, please don’t bring anything valuable unnecessarily to the centre.
How far away is SHCC from the town centre?
Approximately 10 – 12 km depending where in town you are.
How do I get to SHCC each day?
Either by bicycle, moto or tuk tuk. The majority of volunteer’s cycle to school each day as it is the cheapest option, but if you are in a group, a tuk tuk is very affordable.
Do you offer accommodation for volunteers?
Our volunteers that come directly to us (SHCC), yes we do. If you are coming through a volunteerism programme or organization, you will stay at a guesthouse arranged by the organisation. Volunteers that come directly through SHCC will stay at one of our preferred guesthouses either V&A Villa (http://www.vandavilla.com), Hak’s House (http://hakshouse.com/) or Angkor Wonder Guesthouse. Accommodation ranges from basic but comfortable to an upmarket guesthouse. Rooms include a fan or a/c ensuite with hot water, TV, desk, daily breakfast and purified water is provided.
Do I need to fundraise for SHCC?
We encourage all our volunteers to try to fundraise the donation to SHCC. We greatly appreciate that our volunteers are already giving their time and energy by coming to volunteer at SHCC. But for SHCC to continue to provide all that we do to our community and children we require financial contributions and as we have grown we can no longer rely solely on the hope that generous donors will come along. SHCC’s goal is to become self-sustainable, hence now providing the volunteer package amongst other things, we have many projects set up to help us achieve this goal but all only provide a small income and are reliant on many factors outside our control. We have set up a fundraising page on our website for volunteers to use as a resource for their fundraising. You will be surprised at just how many people whether friends, family or work colleagues may wish to support your volunteering spirit.
I would like to donate money/items to SHCC, how do I do this?
SHCC greatly appreciates and welcomes such generosity. If you wish to donate money or supplies (stationary, books, sports equipment etc) please speak directly with Sambat or Joni. They will then discuss with you how your donation can be best spent or used. Please do not give items to students or staff directly, as this encourages favouritism and can create jealousy. Also if you are wishing to purchase any items you may deem needed for the school, again please speak with management as often items are purchased that will never be used or that we may already have but that are just kept safely away. We do not want you to waste your money.
What will happen on my first day at SHCC?
On your first day, you will be greeted by either Sambat or Joni, and they will give you an orientation of SHCC and then a tour of the local village. They will answer any questions you may have. Once the orientation is complete you will be introduced to the Head of education and be allocated a schedule and /or classes. You will then meet the teacher you will be assigned to teach alongside.
Do I need to bring food and water with me?
No. There is a market in the village of Kro Bei Riel (2 minutes walk from the school) which has a range of fresh fruit, vegetables, local snacks and chilled drinks. Volunteers are encouraged to support the local economy by purchasing food and drinks here rather than in town. They are a lot cheaper in the village also. You will have lunch each day at the school with the staff and students that eat there and there is also filtered water available at the school.