If you are considering volunteering with us, you are likely to have questions about your volunteer experience and visiting Cambodia itself and that's great, the more information you know prior to arrival, the better
Why volunteer with Feeding Dreams Cambodia?
Our program allows you to make real connections and differences. Our organisation is focused on a humanitarian approach, not experience or essential skills. The children need lots of love, care and support. If you are looking to broaden your character, able to dedicate your time and passionate about helping and change lives, our program is perfect for you.
What happens on arrival?
Upon arrival you will be greeted by one of our very welcoming staff members. You will then be transferred to your accommodation.
Once you are welcomed by the hotel team, settled in and have refreshed, you will be taken on an orientation tour of Siem Reap Town and your guide will also give you advice and tips which will make your stay more enjoyable.
The next step is your introduction to Feeding Dreams Cambodia. You will be collected from your Hotel early morning and transported to Feeding Dreams. Upon arrival, you will be given a tour of the centre and an introduction to operations on ground.
Before your work begins you will be given an induction which will explain your role during your time with us. At this time we also request you read, acknowledge and sign our Child Protection Policy and Code of Conduct.
After your induction is complete, you are ready to begin your volunteering experience. On-ground support and contact are available in and out of work hours.
What sort of qualifications or qualities should I have to volunteer?
No formal qualifications are required to volunteer for our program. If you do possess certain skills or specific abilities, these could be of benefit to our work. Please note these when submitting your application.
We've even had volunteers repair and help build houses in the nearby poor villages where some of our school children live. There is always a need for help and support.
Desirable qualities for volunteering include characteristics such as kindheartedness, sincerity, empathy, respect, diligence and patience.
An ability to be flexible is important. Even at our school, the daily routine can be altered or interrupted by priority situations and to have the ability to adapt in changing circumstances is fundamental to your experience.
What can I expect from visiting Cambodia?
Cambodia is a developing country, still rebuilding itself from years of genocide and atrocity. The people of Cambodia are incredibly resilient and welcoming. Despite their daily struggles and level of poverty, they smile widely and often.
It is however very important to respect the way of life here. Not everything happens quickly and efficiently and sometimes the response to this approach needs some patience and a positive attitude.
What can I expect to gain from my volunteer experience?
Our program offers the opportunity to gain a unique insight into the children, families and villages of Cambodia.
What you gain will ultimately depend on how much you wish to contribute. Displaying enthusiasm, energy and resourcefulness will enrich your experience and generate the most rewarding encounter.
Upon completion of your volunteer experience, you will be presented with a Certificate of Appreciation for your kind donation, support and participation in our volunteering program.
On departure, you will also take with you a true understanding of life in Cambodia, new friendships and connections and significantly, a bag full of heartfelt memories.
What about VISA’s for Cambodia?
You can obtain your Tourist VISA prior to arrival via e-VISA:
Or on arrival at either Siem Reap or Phnom Penh International Airports Application for a tourist visa requires:
• A completed visa application form
• A Passport with at least 6 months validity
• One recent photograph (4x6 cm)
• Appropriate visa fee (US$30)
This visa is valid for one month and can be easily extended through a travel agent once you are here for one further month.
Requirements for obtaining an ordinary (Business) visa into Cambodia (which is a preference when volunteering):
• A completed visa application form
• A Passport with at least 6 months validity
• One recent photograph (4x6 cm)
• Appropriate visa fee (US$35)
This visa is valid for one month and can be easily extended through a travel agent for up to 12 months
Can I cross over to Cambodia by land from Thailand or Vietnam and still get a visa?
Yes, but only a Tourist visa can be issued upon arrival at the border checkpoints into Cambodia
What about my accommodation in Siem Reap?
We are proud to say we have built a close relationship with the wonderful Treasure Oasis Hotelwhich is close to town, markets and all facilities. Most of our volunteers choose to stay here, as it provides a very safe, secure, relaxed, warm and friendly environment, and decor and furnishings truly reflect the Khmer architecture and culture. This beautiful 4 star Hotel is known for their commitment in providing the highest quality service and to leave a lasting impression with their hospitality. Staying with other volunteers also provides a great support system and the camaraderie shared is a very unique and positive experience.
Treasure Oasis accommodation offers a full buffet breakfast, 15% discount in Restaurant (serving both asian and western meals) 20% discount in Day Spa, free gym, room service, internet stations in foyer, and a gorgeous swimming pool. Rooms are fitted with air-con, flat screen cable television, wi-fi, safety boxes in every room, daily drinking water, and also offers options of Deluxe Twin, Double, Triple rooms or adjoining rooms. For further details view their website;www.treasureoasishotel.com
Treasure Oasis offer Feeding Dreams an exceptional competitive nightly rate for our visitors, friends and volunteers. We would be pleased to obtain a quote for you for your required dates. Feeding Dreams will liaise with the hotel, book and confirm your accommodation, however all costs will be your responsibility and are to be paid directly to the hotel.
If you prefer alternate accommodation we are also happy to book and confirm this for you.
What about money matters?
The currency used in Cambodia is US dollars. The local currency is Riel, however it is not as widely used as dollars and you will only obtain it when you receive change. It’s better to bring smaller denominations of US dollars as most items and services here in Cambodia are very minimal in cost.
There are many Money Exchange Offices in Siem Reap, and ATM's everywhere in town that dispense US$. Note: very few businesses here will accept payment by credit card. General rate of US$1 = 4,000 Riel
I want to bring some clothes or items with me but what about excess luggage?
Some airlines allow extra luggage to be carried beyond your allowance if you are bringing supplies to an international charity. We suggest you contact your airline prior to check in to arrange this in your booking. EG: Singapore Airlines usually allow an extra 10kg if they know you are bringing donations. Upon request, Feeding Dreams can provide a letter for your airline, confirming you are carrying donations for us.
What should I bring with me?
A camera is a must – Cambodia is a panorama of images.
If you are bringing a lap top or phone device, a power adapter to recharge (the two prong version is used in Cambodia) will be necessary but you can purchase one here.
Toiletries such as toothpaste, deodorant, soap, shampoo / conditioner are readily available and very cheap in Cambodia. Most types of medication are available over the counter without scripts. Items such as paracetamol, Strepsils, Hydralyte, even Beroccas are easily and cheaply purchased from local pharmacies.
Alcohol is particularly cheap in Cambodia, so don't bother buying any duty free on your way. For example a 1 litre bottle of Absolute Vodka costs US$10 - $12 at a local outlet.
Don't overload your bag with clothing – the shopping is terrific here and all part of the fun. Pack minimal and shop locally and support the Cambodian people.
What sort of clothing should I pack and how should I dress in Cambodia?
Bring comfortable cool and casual clothing to wear. It is important to remember and respect that you are coming to a country where women dress discreetly and are generally well covered. It is acceptable to dress in sleeveless tops (as it is VERY warm and humid) however plunging necklines or bare midriffs are not appropriate. And no short shorts or short skirts while teaching please. Similarly for men, t-shirts or short sleeved shirts are most appropriate.
What can I bring in the way of donations?
Items such as books, pens and crayons are very cheap and readily available in Siem Reap. However, imported educational resources such as blocks, Leggo, felt pens, are very expensive. Feeding Dreams would greatly appreciate any donations in kind for our very poor students and their families.
To discover our most useful donation items, view our wish list
How do I transport myself around Siem Reap?
Many volunteers choose to purchase a bicycle (around US$40) to use during their visit, which can then be donated to a child in need at departure. Bike helmets are readily available in Cambodia at a cost of around US$10. Our staff will help organize the purchase of your bicycle, and you can be peddling away in no time and you will soon become comfortable and familiar in Siem Reap's diverse traffic. It might look chaotic but it all works!
Other forms of transport are tuk-tuk, or public moto (motorbike). Public motos which carry 1 person cost around US$1.50 each way from our recommended hotel to our centre. A tuk-tuk which will carry 3 - 4 people will cost US$2.50 - $3 each way.
What is there to see and do whilst in Siem Reap?
Siem Reap is a destination bursting with sights and activities and there is something for everyone. You can do as much or as little as you like…
We have compiled some suggestions – see what to see and do in Siem Reap
What vaccinations do I need?
Please refer to your local Doctor for advice on the vaccinations required for Cambodia or follow your country's Government Travel and Health Advisory.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
Feeding Dreams strongly recommends you purchase Travel Insurance. This can be done at a very reasonable cost through your travel agent. It's sensible when travelling to be protected against belongings being lost or stolen, changes of travel itinerary and medically related incidents.
Cambodia is a developing country and quality health care is limited. If a serious illness or accident occurs, Siem Reap has its own International hospital but air evacuation to a neighbouring equipped hospital may be required.
Feeding Dreams Cambodia is not liable for any loss, damage, health issues or injuries you may incur during your volunteer period.
What about internet access and mobile phones?
Free Wifi is everywhere in Cambodia so if you wish to bring your laptop you'll be easily able to access the internet in restaurants, cafe's or bars. There are also many Internet Cafés where you can use a computer at a very low cost. Long distance phone calls can also be made from these internet centres for reasonable rates.
It is possible to buy a local phone Sim card for around $2 and buy credit to make calls on your phone. (Providing you have an unlocked phone which will accept the new Sim – If it is a Nokia, even better). This is a cheap way to make international calls as well as keeping in touch with your fellow volunteers. For example an international call from Cambodia to Australia costs around $0.15 cents per minute.
What is the climate like in Cambodia?
It's relatively warm all year round. April and May are usually the hottest and the most humid. The most popular time to visit is in November through to February when it is cool and dry but keep in mind it can be busy for sightseeing, restaurants etc.
The wet season is traditionally from about Mid -May through to October and although there are frequent downpours it can be a delightful time to visit and lesser crowds. The regular thunderstorms and showers cool things down and it becomes less dusty, clearer and greener.
What about the language barriers in Cambodia?
The official language of Cambodia is Khmer. Phrasebooks and dictionaries can be purchased from book stores but simple greetings and responses can all be easily learnt with practice and repetition and despite how you pronounce the words, your attempts to speak Khmer will be richly rewarded – they will love you for trying!
Our Khmer staff members at Feeding Dreams are always available if you need anything translated in detail. Most speak very good English and always value the chance to have a chat
We hope we have helped with your queries.
If you have any further questions or would like to know something specific, please feel welcome to contact us – We are always here to help.