Asia and Pacific Featured Program: Cambodia
The Kingdom of Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia. It borders Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. The Mekong River flows through Cambodia, as does the Tonlé Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Except for the Cardamom Mountains in the southwest, much of Cambodia has low elevation.
After the fall of the communist Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, there was an influx of migrants from the rural areas to the capital Phnom Penh. About 250,000 people, or 20 percent of the city’s population, live in squatter settlements, slums and other poor urban communities. They lack secure tenure or basic services as they settle in every conceivable empty space, from courtyards and rooftops to the sides of railway tracks, river banks and swamps.
In Cambodia, rural households account for nearly 90 percent of the country’s poor, with 85 percent of the population living in rural areas. In Phnom Penh, there are 564 slum areas with 300,000 people, or one-quarter of the city’s population. The number of people living in poverty housing rises rapidly; only ten years ago, 30,000 people lived in 187 slum areas.
Habitat for Humanity International registered a branch office in Cambodia in January 2003. Habitat’s program aims to reduce poverty by empowering communities to improve their access to affordable basic services and better living conditions.
A Habitat house is usually 31.5 square meters in size. The walls are made from fired brick with a reinforced concrete post. The layout comprises a living room, bedroom and a kitchen with a toilet. Habitat home partners repay mortgage loans pro-rated to their incomes, enabling even very poor families to benefit. The average repayment is approximately US$22 per month over a period of about five years.
Habitat for Humanity Cambodia has welcomed Global Village teams from the United States and elsewhere since 2006. Habitat Cambodia was one of the hosts for the Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project 2009 in the Mekong Delta.
In October 2010, Habitat Cambodia launched a three-year Siem Reap Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Promotion project (SRWSHP). The project approach includes Community-Led Total Sanitation, which promotes proper sanitation practices and explores practical solutions to achieve adequate water, sanitation, and hygiene practices.
Types of construction for volunteers
Phnom Penh, Battambang, and Takeo: Work on a volunteer project may involve laying bricks and mixing mortar, digging foundations, pouring cement or plastering the walls.
Siem Reap-Aqua Tower/Water Sanitation and Hygiene project: Habitat Cambodia has launched a three-year project focusing on providing clean water and sanitary bathroom facilities to families and communities. Work includes building water towers, building community toilets, building septic tanks, and digging trenches.
Phnom Penh. Siem Reap, Battambang, and Takeo
Team members should expect to stay at a hotel or a retreat center, depending on location. In a hotel, rooms will typically be double- or triple-occupancy. Some teams may stay in a shared space with a shared bath.
Food and water
Breakfast is usually provided at the hotel or at a local restaurant, and lunch is usually provided by the affiliate and eaten on the work site. Dinner is eaten at various restaurants.
Hosting structure and services
HFH Cambodia can work with teams for optional activities, including a cultural night, cooking class, school visit, orphanage visit and a farewell program with the community.
Day 1(typically Friday): Depart the US
Day 2 Saturday: Travel day
Day 3 Sunday: Arrival in entry city (Siemp Reap or Phnom Penh depending on host destination).Travel to affiliate site; welcome and orientation; dinner and rest,
Day 4-8 Typical work day (Modnay –Friday): Breakfast at accommodations or local restaurant; work from 9am-4pm with lunch on site; free time after work to clean up; dinner at local restaurant; time for team activities.
Day 9 (Saturday): Cultural activities
Day 10 (Sunday): Depart for home
Starting at $1,750
*View what is included in the standard budget.
Typically 12–15 participants, including the team leader. HFH Cambodia can, however, handle up to 20 members with special circumstances.
November–August and November–December.
Volunteer Engagement specialist
If you have read the FAQs and have further questions before you submit a Global Village trip proposal, please contact the Asia and the Pacific volunteer engagement specialist.