Cambodia offers its visitors a land of contrasts. Larger cities like Phnom Penh are fast developing a western style with many of the fast food chains setting up shop. But head to rural Cambodia and you take a step back in time to a place where life is a lot simpler.
One person enjoying the benefits of Cambodian village life is Kirsty Thorpe, an Australian teacher who has been volunteering with a child rescue organization a couple of hours from Phnom Penh.
In todays interview Kirsty shares what she loves about Cambodia, how she came to be involved in helping these young people and what you need to be wary of if you plan on volunteering overseas.
You can find out more on Kirsty blog at https://cambodianlife2015.wordpress.com
What I learned from Kirsty’s interview:
- It amazes me the attitude of people who have been through so much. Cambodia lost up to an estimated 3 million people -almost 25% of the population - to Pol Pot’s oppressive regime yet the people are consistently ranked amongst the warmest you can find.
- Again South East Asia gets top marks for safety. We’ve interviewed a number of women including Alice Nettleingham who consistently tell us how safe they find it and Cambodia is no exception.
- If you plan on volunteering ask where the money goes. Many organizations are honorable but there are others who are profiteering majorly from their efforts. Talk to those in charge, determine if the costs are relative to where you are going and make sure you get full disclosure on where the money ends up. If it goes to the community great, but in many cases administration charges can be inflated.
- Would your career benefit from the experience of volunteering? As a teacher Kirsty has been able to further her professional development through her teaching there. Perhaps your job could provide a similar opportunity?