Change your perspective! How do I become a volunteer?
06/2005: I am sitting in Hi-Khan’s living room for the first time. People around me are talking about Cambodia, a country that still is completely strange to me.
09/2005: I’m sitting in the plane to Bangkok, getting ready to board the bus to Cambodia!
I am spending four months living here in athe little village of Tropang Sdock. Along with constant ‘conversation’ with the villagers and little errands in Phnom Penh, I am teaching English and German (and a little bit of Kniffel). I’m also being taught a lot: to speak Khmer, to eat green fruit with chili, to build fences and to buy cows. I get to know people that are interesting and interested, rich in experience and thirsty for knowledge. I experience births, religious festivals, weddings and funerals. The most beautiful thing is when someone who has been sick for a long time becomes healthy again.
And today, I sit in Germany and think of the strange land I came to know, and I’m sure that I want to return quickly.
Lisa Scheel, Hamburg
You need good English skills and you shall come along with a strong will as much as plenty of patience to pass your skills on to others. You should mix well and act spontaneously though responsibly. Be prepared to understand the country, its culture and its people. Openness – but of course. Adaptability to different situations, taking personal responsibility and a certain sense of resilience are vital in the course of your placement. Cambodia is not an easy country to get by, not for the Cambodians and not - in some other way - for those who are used to completely different lifestyles.
Sorya e.V. is a non-profit organisation financed by donations and member fees. We cannot offer you a salary on site nor any allowances for travelling or other expenses. However, we will do our best to provide any advice to minimise your expenses and to make sure you spend your money on the real essentials and necessities such as appropriate vaccinations, correct documents, helpful travel hints and much else. Accommodation with us in the village is free of charge („quite comfy“, as we say among ourselves). We do not ask you to become a member of Sorya or to pay membership dues.
Our experience shows that the minimum time for volunteering with our programme shall be three months. The longer you stay in the village on site all the better. That’s how to come to know the local people - and the locals to get to know you - the right way! We believe continuity is essential to hold classes and to bolster our projects.
If you are interested in volunteering with Sorya, please send your application to our e-mail address people(at)sorya.org. Our people in Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna and elsewhere will be happy to talk to you personally. Former volunteers, our chairman and his peers have an open mind for your issues and questions at any time - and they will give you the feeling of how wonderful that experience is!