Cambodia is a country located in Asia between Vietnam and Thailand. Cambodia is fairly small, but has a portion of everything. You can lounge on the pristine beaches of Sihanoukville for a few days, then head up to Phnom Penh, a single large city in the country. From there on, you can head off on a ferry to Siem Riep, a town of older French influenced structures that backs onto the wild jungle, containing the jaw dropping Angkor Wat area. Cambodia has several opportunities and adventures. Most importantly, volunteering in this country will be an unforgettable experience.
Given all these amazing attractions, you might wonder why volunteers would be needed in Cambodia. The country has a sad history that occurred over 30 years ago. In the late 1970s, the Khmer Rouge came into power. Fronted by Brother Number One, Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge rallied the locals into a communist military movement.
Their goal was to return the country to the period of Angkor Wat when they were the dominant force in the region. The people who built the Angkor Wat structures were known as the Khmer and Rouge, referred to the communist beliefs of the group, although mainstream communists would probably blanch at the beliefs of Pol Pot and his ilk.
The story is a long and complex one, but the end result is the Khmer Rouge prevailed in defeating the government forces in Cambodia. They immediately herded all the people out of the cities and into the fields. Their goal was to return the society to an agricultural society.
Part and parcel to this, they began killing anyone considered an intellectual including government workers, doctors, lawyers, politicians and the list continues. Before the Vietnamese eventually defeated them, the Khmer managed to kill off an estimated 25 to 30 percent of the Cambodian population through direct violence, starvation and abuse. The previous rulers were proficient at killing the intellectual class of the population.
The country suffered a huge brain drain and for that reason, volunteers in several disciplines are needed. If looking for a very rewarding experience, volunteering in Cambodia is highly recommended. These areas include teachers, nurses, doctors, building technicians and health nutritionists. Cambodia lacks assistance in educational fields; such as, English language and current awareness is greatly appreciated. Moreover, the health facilities lack proper care and standards.
While volunteers assist in building a stronger country, take time to also appreciate one of Cambodia’s strongest economic pillars, called tourism. The country is booming with over 1 million visitors as per year and provides excellent tour packages for romantic couples and larger groups.
The destination site Angkor Wat and other related temples of Angkor, situated closely with Siem Reap. The infamous beach location- Sihanoukville, not only is rejuvenating after a long week of volunteerism, but has nearby restaurants and shops. Travelers express their fascination in certain destinations; such as, Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri. See the wonders of Khmer Empire, a beautiful historic site and tour in busy towns, namely, Kampot and Kep.