Jenny Parkes

Why did you decide to volunteer abroad with IVHQ in Cambodia?

Jenny: I decided to volunteer with IVHQ in Cambodia as I was finishing up my uni degree and wanted to something before transitioning into full time work. I have always wanted to do some volunteer work and really wanted to do some travel in South East Asia aswell. I chose IVHQ because their fees were well priced and they had been recommended to me by a friend who had also volunteered with them in Nepal.

Jenny volunteering in Cambodia with IVHQ

Describe your day to day activities as a volunteer.

Jenny: Everyday I would travel by motorbike with another volunter to the orphanage arriving at 8.30, we would then teach a group of 6 children, aged 12 to 16, English for one hour. These children went to school in the afternoon and not the morning. After an hour of teaching we would look after the younger children ( the one to four year olds) and do activities with them such as drawing, face paintings, going for walks, and games like duck, duck goose. Then all the children will arrive home from school who had been there in the morning. The children would have lunch and so would we.

In the afternoon the children would either have a nap or we would read books with them in the library until two o'clock. At two, we taught the younger children (8 to 12 year olds) English, making sure to make it fun and exciting as they had been at school all morning and were tired. Lots of singing, games and art activities to do with numbers, letters and basic English words. Afterwards we would play games with the children until four when we caught a motorbike home. It was importnant to plan our classes well and prepare games for the children to play.

Jenny with one of her students in Cambodia

How has this experience impacted your future?

Jenny: The major highlight from volunteering was just spending time with the amazing children at the orphanage, hearing them laugh and be happy, and getting to know the other volunteers in the house.

The experience has made me want to return to do more volunteering and use my degree as an occupational therapist overseas with special needs children. I will never forget my time at the orphanage with some of the most incredible, happy children I have ever met!