Once in Cambodia my initial idea was to spend one week travelling and three weeks volunteering somewhere in a school.
After collecting more information from the local people and better documenting myself about the country I reconsidered completely my objectives but, of course, the desire to do something really concrete and to be helpful while staying here, remained firmly unchanged.
So here what I decided to do:
Why did I change 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, and 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 in meet a real need?
– Is my volunteer input really needed and will it contribute to improve the situation? (Or the project just needs some money…)
– Will I have enough time to complete my tasks in a sustainable way ?
Teaching English, computer, sport or other subjects would be nice and maybe useful but I am not sure about its sustainability since I’ll here spend only 4 weeks of my time.
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 LOCAL people?
SPEND or DONATE money to support authentic and NOT well known LOCAL activities like, homestay, street food, etc. Maybe looking for non touristic places with less chance to own some money.
you can you DOUBLE the money those LOCAL people can receive ?
You promote their activities, places, villages etc. TEMPTing and INSPIRing other people to repeat the same experience and route you are doing.
Well this is exactly what I will do in the next weeks during my travel, surfing for LOCAL place where to spend my money, TEMPTing and INVITing you to live the same experiences and emotions s I’ll do.
And what will the local people do then?
They will be able to get additional incoming and choose what’s the best way to use it, for them and their family.