If you’re like me on your travels you’re also looking for places to volunteer to put in your time and efforts to make a difference in this world. If you’re traveling for extended periods of time, it’s actually quite nice to take a break and feel like you’re back to ‘work’ again. I have volunteered at several places while traveling, and are constantly looking for new opportunities.
Before I begin, I would like to say that there are MANY scam orphanage’s wanting your volunteer ‘services’ in Cambodia. Most of them are illegal, have questionable practices, and you’re likely to see signs everywhere around Cambodia urging you NOT to support these organisations. However, this one is completely different.
New Futures Organisation is an incredible opportunity for you if you are looking to work with children and just so happen to be in Cambodia. Founded in 2007, NFO is a Cambodian NGO organisation that’s mission is to ‘create pathways out of poverty through education’. They support disadvantaged children and young adults through their orphanage and free rural school programs. Children in the rural school programs are unable to attend normal Cambodian public schools due to extreme poverty. Your job as a volunteer is to help with the free schools teaching English, playing with the kids, and being a source of happiness in their day to day life. You also get to experience more ‘authentic’ Cambodian life, as Takeo is far away from any tourist destination.
At the time I volunteered there in 2013, NFO also ran an English program for local monks and police officers. I do not know if those programs are still up and running. Sadly, NFO founder Neville passed away a few years ago and the organisation had to make some major changes in order to continue on. In 2013 NFO had 45 children living at their orphanage, and had already successfully sent a few students off to University in Phnom Penh, which the organisation fully supported. We worked daily at the heart breaking ‘Little Po’ school, one of the free rural schools, which consisted of 200 students and 1 full time teacher. My experiences volunteering at this school are some of my most treasured memories. Sadly, Little Po had to shut down, and my heart aches for the 200 children who had no where else to go to study and educate themselves in order to better their lives in the future. I hope that they were able to join one of the other rural school programs instead.
So check out my video of the time I spent working with New Futures Organisation. For a complete blog article about my experiences here, visit New Futures Organisation on travelblog.com.
Whatever you can do to support NFO would be highly appreciated. Visit their Facebook Page for more information.