Ethical Standards of Operations
Thank you for your interest in Feeding Dreams Cambodia Volunteering Program. The information provided will help you understand the context of our volunteering program and outline our expectations of conduct during your trip. Any further questions can be answered by firstname.lastname@example.org
Since opening in 2012 we have had hundreds of people from around the world enjoy the volunteering experience and the feedback has been positive. With a UN based child protection policy, Ministry of Education accredited curriculum and extremely low turnover of our Cambodian teachers, our program is an example of 'voluntourism' at its best.
With 9 years of living in Cambodia, Kerry Huntly has a wealth of experience working in Siem Reap in the not-for-profit sector. For a 2 year period during that time she was working with AusAid. Kerry has also been awarded 2 gold medals by the Cambodian Govt in recognition of her service to Cambodian people. Kerry's son Blaed is an extraordinary young man who speaks fluent Khmer and is very aware and sensitive of Cambodian culture. Together they have designed a volunteer program to utilize the enthusiasm and energy of volunteers. Our stringent volunteer Code of Conduct must be adhered to; ensuring the safety and well-being of our students and staff is paramount.
Feeding Dreams are known for professionalism; most of the volunteers and groups return again which is testament to the standard of our program. We have a long-standing relationship with the international humanitarian community; our reputation for integrity, compassion and sheer drive to help the poor is insurmountable. We work directly with Licadho and Adhoc, 2 NGO Cambodian Human Rights & Development Associations, as well as closely with the Cambodian Govt.
Ongoing monitoring and evaluation of our volunteer program is carried out by Arlene Gormley who has a Masters in Sustainable International Development. As part of studies she refined our volunteer program using the UN Post 2015 development agenda guidelines for volunteer program effectiveness.
Feeding Dreams rely on donations from humanitarians around the world. The volunteer placement fees enable us to operate a full and robust volunteer program; fully experienced and qualified staff who have taken child protection training, specifically for management of NGOs operating volunteer programs. The volunteer program allows you to work with professional, experienced and proven humanitarian leaders.
Volunteer's contribution in the class-room as teaching assistants are the driving force behind the success of our education program. We also welcome volunteers who wish to utilize their skills to help the NGO, such as web-design, graphic design, event planning for fundraisers, monitoring and evaluation of our programs.
We have a fully-functioning education, meals and social services program for 800 extremely poor children. All our Cambodian management are seasoned members of the Siem Reap humanitarian community and our reputation for efficiency and integrity has made us the leading small grass-roots NGO in this area.
Our volunteer program is a wonderful exchange of knowledge and life-experiences between all parties, our Cambodian teachers benefit greatly from support, our students gain confidence speaking English with foreigners and it connects us with the rest of the world, as most of our volunteers become committed and avid advocates of Feeding Dreams upon returning to their home country- this speaks volumes to the quality and ethical integrity and professionalism we adhere to.
WARNING ABOUT VOLUNTEERING AT ORPHANAGES
In the last 18 months there has been a major crack-down on short term volunteering in orphanages due to controversial debates about child protection. However, many are still operational and do not meet international standards of child protection.
Feeding Dreams ethos is to keep families united and we fully support the national plan to shut down these institutions and reunite the 'manufactured orphans' with their families. Therefore, we feel it is our duty to inform potential visitors to Siem Reap about exploitive nature of volunteering at an orphanage. Children living in institutions are most likely dealing with some level of trauma or separation anxiety. Research show that PTSD can be passed through generations, meaning that children of surviving Khmer Rouge victims might be in need of specialist care.
One of the worst things for a child living in an orphanage is to have a stranger 'move in' with them, sometimes even invited to sleep in the dormitories. Children are often 'scripted' to tell volunteers embellished stories of how they became orphans. The children are often kept under-weight and dirty, to invoke sympathy from volunteers. A myriad of things can happen in these situations; attachment from the children (substitute mothering syndrome), sexual abuse, and normalizing of deception.
Left: Educational literature provided to help inform people of the perils of orphanages.
Any legitimate orphanage would NEVER allow anyone to visit or sleep near the children.
If you have any information about rogue orphanages please contact email@example.com and we can contact the authorities.
In summary Feeding Dreams Volunteer Program exceeds international recommendations through:
- The low turnover of Cambodian teachers - each child knows their teacher very well - the volunteer is an assistant.
- Our open plan classrooms mean all volunteers, staff and students are visible from all angles
- Our volunteers are educated on our Code of Conduct (attached)
- Our Child Protection Policy is modeled on the UN Rights of the Child (attached)
- We have qualified staff to deliver the program and support the volunteers during their time here.
- We provide the local authorities of the names of all volunteers and photocopy of passport.
- We work closely with Licadho and Adhoc (Cambodian Human Rights & Development Associations) both NGO'S.
- We are registered with the Govt, and work together with the Cambodian Immigration Police.
Should you require further assistance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to your application and having you as part of our team here in Cambodia!