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.
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.
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 base 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 take a tuk-tuk to visit a 9th-century temple, bike around the countryside of Siem Reap, learn how to cook traditional Cambodian dishes or spend a night sleeping alongside Asian elephants.
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.
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.
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. Volunteers stay in shared rooms with shared bathroom facilities. There is a laundry service at the guesthouse and you’ll also have access to communal spaces for project planning, social time and relaxation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. But, most importantly, you’ll gain a sense of relatedness to a greater global community.