Once in Cambodia my initial idea was to spend 1 week travelling and 3 weeks volunteering somewhere in a school.
After collecting more information from the local people and better documenting myself about the country I’ve changed completely my mind, but of course not the desire to do something really concrete while being helpful with my staying here somehow.
So here what I have decided to do:
Why I’ve changed my mind?
Many people volunteer their time for the benefit of others. In Cambodia, several people are moved by what they read about the country, or witness with their own eyes during a visit, and are motivated to give up their time, and invariably their money, to come and help in some way.
Volunteering can bring benefits but by contrast, inappropriate volunteering can undermine local people’s confidence, impose the volunteer’s agenda, increase the dependency on outside help, so create more problems than it solves.
Then I started to think about the following questions:
– Does the project where I’ll be working meet a real need?
– Is my volunteer input really needed and will it contribute to improve the situation? (Or does the project really just need some money…)
– Will I have enough time to complete my tasks in a sustainable way ?
Teaching English, computer, sport or other subjects will have been nice and maybe useful but I am not sure about the sustainability, having only 4 weeks of time.
The above considerations are valid only for the specific Cambodia’s situation. In other country and situation, even one day is super useful.
So here’s the simple idea:
Who knows more than a local people what is needed to improve his/her and his/her family life ?
What is the faster and more concrete way to help out LOCALs people?
SPEND or DONATE money to support authentic and NOT well known LOCAL activities like, homestay, street food, etc. Maybe looking for not touristic places with less chances to own some money.
How you can DOUBLE the money those LOCALs people can recieve ?
You promote their activities, places, villages etc. TEMPTing other people to repeat the same experience and route you are doing.
Well this is exactly what I will do in the next weeks I will travel, TEMPTing you to live the same experiences and emotions.
And what the local people will do then?
They will be able to get additional incoming and chose what’s the best way to use it, for them an their family.