City orphanage school

Cambodia (C16) | View map
£154 p.w.

Price is based on 3 months
1 month

Volunteer in Cambodia to teach children in this orphanage community school

  • Volunteer in Cambodia in a small orphanage community school
  • Teach English to children to help them get a better start in life
  • Ideal for gap year students and those interested in working with children
  • An incredible opportunity to live and work in Phnom Penh and explore Cambodia
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Project summary

This project started in 2003 to address the needs of children with HIV and has continued to have a close association with Outreach International over the years.

The project was initially an orphanage providing care and shelter to the most disadvantaged children. It now serves primarily as a junior school, providing free education to the poorest children from the surrounding area. Around 30 children aged 10-17 are residential, with the older ones going out to attend senior school. The younger ones are joined by approximately 30 children aged 5-14 from the local community, where a small number of staff teachers and volunteers provide their education.

The orphanage school consists of a number of classrooms, a small IT suite, a staff room, living quarters, a tree house library and some rough outside spaces that volunteers have used to create recreational activities.

In their free time the children are trained in traditional Khmer dances, yoga and sport to enhance their self-discipline. Other activities are handicrafts, art and soccer. The children are now growing up and in addition to the usual duties help is needed with their integration into further education and their first jobs.


Volunteer roles and responsibilities

Volunteers are needed to work with children in small class sizes, teaching them a range of curriculum subjects. The main need is for English, where there are 3 classes in the morning and 2 each afternoon. The opportunity for the children to practice their English with native English speakers is highly regarded, because a knowledge of English can open the doors to a range of employment opportunities.

IT is also important and there are several good, modern computers to enable volunteers to share their knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

You would also be expected to get involved in a variety of activities in addition to teaching. Anyone with an interest in art, music, sport, dance or gardening who could run extra-curricular activities would be much appreciated. Sports, dance and yoga classes run at weekends for the residential children and volunteers are very much welcomed. The children are well looked after but the added capacity of volunteers provides more attention and stimulation for the children.

How you can make a difference

By teaching the children English, and possibly improving their maths and IT skills, you greatly improve their employment prospects and therefore their future. Helping them to develop their confidence and self-esteem is equally important and the interest and energy of volunteers provides a valuable additional dynamic to their education.

What is distinctive about this project:

This is a well run project that we have known for a long time and have good insight into. It is served by compassionate and caring staff and offers volunteers an opportunity to contribute to the education and well-being of disadvantaged children.

Blue Tiger Features:

This would be an ideal project for compassionate volunteers who would enjoy working with older children abroad. Individuals must appreciate that the children have often been neglected and need all the love, care and attention that they can get.

The staff are supportive and very welcoming. You would be encouraged to lead in classes where appropriate, which will include the need for you to prepare lessons under the guidance of the project leader, so it is not a ‘passive’ experience.

Phnom Penh remains a fascinating but demanding city; one that gives great access to the delights of rural Cambodia


There are a number of local Khmer holidays to be accounted for, in particular the Khmer new year. It is always hot in Phnom Penh, but it peaks in April and is wettest in September.


English is spoken by the majority of the staff and you are there to teach it to the children. Knowing some Khmer is both useful and a courtesy however.

Experience required:

While no formal qualifications are required, this is suited to volunteers interested in teaching, or those with some teaching experience. A criminal record check will be required.

Good to know:

You would stay in an Outreach International rented apartment with other volunteers working on different projects, so plenty of scope to make new friends and enjoy the huge amount Cambodia has to offer. Getting to the project each day will involve a 30 minute commute in a tuk tuk.

Price table

4 weeks8 weeks12 weeks16 weeks20 weeks6 months

Includes: Comprehensive travel insurance (supplements may apply to older travellers). Accommodation, airport transfer, in-country support, welcome meal. 8 hours private tuition in Khmer.
Excludes: Flights, visas, vaccinations. Cambodia fees DO NOT include meals or the local transport costs of travelling to your project. Volunteers either cook in the Outreach apartment, or eat in the numerous street stalls, cafes and restaurants. Budget from £5 a day for food. Budget from £5 per day for transport, depending on your preferred mode and destination.

Things to see and do

  • Angkor Wat
  • Toul Sleng Museum
  • Sihanoukville - Beach Resort
  • Street food
Ung Veasnanimol  (Nimol)

Country co-ordinator

Ung Veasnanimol (Nimol)

Nimol has enjoyed looking after volunteers at one of our orphanage projects in Phnom Penh since 2004. In 2013 we were delighted when she accepted the position of Cambodia coordinator for volunteers on all of our projects. She is a foster mother to 6 children, retains an administrative position at the orphanage and is also studying a Bachelors Degree in International Relations.

About Cambodia