Painting with Children Volunteer Project in Cambodia

Video and Photos

Girl painting with kids in Cambodia
Girl painting with kids in Cambodia
Volunteers and kids waving
Volunteers and kids waving


CCPP is a Cambodian NGO . It is our hope that eventually we will be able to hand over the NGO and its running to a fully Khmer team right now we have 11 Khmer staff and 2 who are not Cambodian. We hope our volunteers can bring something a little extra by sharing their relevant skill set with our staff and helping the project grow. Whether that’s carpentry, teaching skills, or just being great with the kids, we welcome people from all walks of life to join us at CCPP

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Questions & Answers


based on 13 reviews
  • Impact 9.5
  • Support 9
  • Fun 9.5
  • Value 9.3
  • Safety 8.8
Showing 1 - 13 of 13
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Yes, I recommend this program

CCPP - Amazing times... and keep coming back

I have volunteered several times in the past 2 years at CCPP and every time when I can return, it feels like coming back home.

I really like the general atmosphere, the enthusiasm and hard work both by the staff and the volunteers. The kids are full of joy, so eager to learn and try new things, games, activities, and they are always so grateful and excited when some old volunteer comes back again. The daily schedules are set up with a rotation of tasks and activities, so you may teach English in the morning, then help to serve lunch, and in the afternoon you may find yourself doing art lesson, cutting or repainting boards, or being on the truck on your way to a field trip with the kids – guaranteed that you get involved in everything and not get bored.

I have seen amazing improvements and new initatives in the past years – the project moved to a new campus, many new local employees have been hired, there is a nursery, regular English classes, computer rooms, morning yoga, dance lesson, talent shows – every volunteer can bring in something new and make a significant contribution to the improvement of the project and the kids’ life.

It is always very hard to leave this place at the end of my stay, but for me (and for many other volunteers) it is not a „good-bye”, but „see you later”.

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Yes, I recommend this program

CCPP - 1 month volunteering

I had a great time volunteering at CCPP, I had originally come to Sihanoukville as a tourist and seen the project and realised it was something I wanted to be a part of so came back after further travelling and spent a month there. The project is great as gives the kids a safe environment in which to earn money, when you see the extreme poverty there you realise how important this is. The kids get basic first aid from the volunteers, lunch everyday and have a fun environment in which they can paint, learn, play and gain important social skills in a safe environment.

I feel that the project could utilise the kid's art skills in other ways and make a more sellable product. Currently the paintings are done on boards and canvases which, as a traveller, are cumbersome and heavy to carry around, and hard to post home in Sihanoukville due to the some what lazy staff at the post office!

If the kids could paint on clothes, bags etc then I think more travellers would make purchases (my main purchases as a backpacker were clothes, as were many of my friends) and of course, would basically become advertising boards for the project as they travelled around the world! Giving great exposure to the project! The kids all seemed very content, and loving and I feel very happy and lucky to have been a part of the project and wish them the very best for the future.

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Yes, I recommend this program

My time at CCPP was a wonderful experience.

Normal days consisted of an 8am start, with 30mins of yoga with the children, then the painting started. When I was there, volunteers had to have had prepared a powerpoint presentation of an artist or 'concept' we wanted to have the children do. Then came the handing out of paper, pencils, eraser, etc. Once the children had drawn their 'mock' run we would give them boards with their ID numbers on so that they could paint on it and we would later put it on exhibition at the gallery. Once that was done, some of the volunteers would play activities with the children and others would be in the kitchen helping the lovely cook dish out the rice and food. Once lunch was served and the centre cleaned, volunteers would walk back to the gallery for our lunch break. Wanting to make the most of the amazing weather I was lucky enough to have had, I spent all my lunch breaks at the beach. After two hours, it was back to work for the afternoon shift until 5.
Working at CCPP is pretty basic, its the wonderful Khmer staff, children and the volunteers which make it an amazing experience.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience at CCPP

Having worked at a number of different NGOs in Asia, I am excited to wholeheartedly endorse CCPP. The direct impact you have on children's lives, the friendly and helpful staff, and their efforts to ensure these kids are allowed to be children. The program goes so much further than just the painting or the computer or english classes, it is reaching out to kids homes and families. Everything that goes in goes back out. Its run great, was a wonderful experience, certainly for me, and hopefully for the kids as well, and I would certainly recommend it for prospective volunteers. The highlight of my 7 months in Asia!

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Yes, I recommend this program

You'll fall in love with Cambodia!

I volunteered at CCPP for two months and then travelled around SE Asia for three months. My time at CCPP was definitely the best part of my experience in Asia. The staff are kind, supportive, funny and very hardworking. I was worried about being overwhelmed by all the kids and the kind of poverty and hardship they have to endure, and it was a bit of a shock initially, but once you start spending time with the kids, you realise the project is a real lifeline to so many young people and their families. You really make a difference to these kids and the feeling of being part of this special place makes it the most positive experience you could have volunteering, in my opinion.
Sihanoukville is changing fast. It is a beautiful place with amazing beaches, great people and a lot of problems. CCPP is so important, as the support it gives vulnerable young people can really transform their future.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience!!!!

I volunteered here for 6 weeks and it was a wonderful experience.
The focus is on art and education but you are left huge scope to add your influence onto this. As a result, although I am appalling at art I was able to give the children dance lessons and at the end of my stay they performed a mini musical, for which they had made props and costumes during their art sessions.
The kids had a great time, I was beyond rewarded by their enthusiasm and talent and it was amazing to feel part of such a ridiculously important effort.
On so many levels this NGO supports and enhances the children it sets out to help.
I can not recommend volunteering here highly enough to anyone who wants to make a difference, have an amazing time and give there heart away to these amazing children

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Yes, I recommend this program

A program for kids, not volunteers!

I was chock when I learn that I had to pay to volunteer. I mean, I'm giving my time and I have to give my money. As soon as I meet the kids, the teachers and I spoke to the leader of the center, I understood, the meaning of my donation, I understood that it was the food, the painting and the pens for these kids.
We are living in a guesthouse near the beach. Sihanoukville is the party place of Cambodia and it can be a little depressing to see all the painted drunk people walking in the street. That was my "bummer". I wanted to know Khmer people, not to party with tourists. The center was the reason to stay happy.
Volunteers are here for the kids, they have to come up with activities, teach and make sure that the children evolve in a learning structure, more than in a "it's all about pleasure". Don't read me wrong, they have fun, but they also have moments when they work, when we used of discipline.
During a day, I could give an art and craft lesson, play volley ball, teach English, teach computer, teach photoshop, play soccer, serve lunch. Our days were exhausting, but rewarding. Nothing is worth a smile, a laugh or just a thank you.
There are some pictures
If you commit to this experience, I must give you one advice: give the best of you from the start. Time will go faster than you ever experienced.
(I recommend this program to everyone I meet that could fit in this art/teaching/sport/fun environment)

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Yes, I recommend this program

I found friends and family in CCPP

I will never forget my time at CCPP. The other volunteers truly became like family. Living in each others pocket for at least 5 weeks will do that to you! As volunteers, we lived together, worked together and every night ate dinner together down on the beach. You cannot find a more amazing collection of people as the ones that continuously revolve through CCPP, willing to dedicate months at a time to the amazing children of Sihanoukville.
The work day was split into shifts with the first beginning at 8am and the last finishing at 7pm. Sometimes you'd be doing up to 8 hours in a day, and others, perhaps 2 hours. The work ranged from teaching English to Art to Workshop and Maintenance and working in the Gallery selling paintings. No day was ever the same. Everyone was great at being able to swap shifts and if anyone wanted a day off to explore or travel somewhere, the group would be more than happy to help. However, most of the time, people wanted more time at the centre!
The children are completely amazing. They are so keen to learn and absorb everything that you have to offer, it really makes you realise how much we take education for granted in our lifestyle. It's amazing to see kids that will make games out of the simplest things and be so grateful for even the tiniest gesture. You leave feeling like you've made a difference to peoples lives. Even selling 1 painting at $4, is $2 to the family of the child that painted it for food and clothes and $2 straight back to the centre for supplies and lunches. I will never forget the kids there and even though it has been a year since I volunteered, I genuinely miss each and every one of them.
Coming a close second to the regular trips down to the beach, lunch time was always insane! With any child that was already at the centre, plus the school day switch (morning school into afternoon school)and any other child that was hungry turn up, most of the time 100+ lunches would have to be served to hungry kids! The volunteers could have lunch at the centre if we wanted and if there were leftovers, but most of the time, we would pop to a shop or local restaurant with so many being around.
Sihanoukville has a huge range of bars and restaurants (we even found one that did an amazing Sunday roast with apple crumble and custard!)There is a brilliant nightlife with the beach buzzing until the early hours of the morning as most of them run across the sea front. But most of the time you will be too tired to make it past 12am! If you don't start until the afternoon the next day though, then dance the night away!
You will encounter some hostility from some of the children working on the beach. One of the absolute rules is that, as a volunteer, you cannot buy anything from them. CCPP is fighting to save kids from this dangerous job and those who still work there purely see you as someone who won't buy from them! I have to say, their vocabulary when you tell them you work for CCPP is very colourful and creative indeed, but they tell you off and move on. Harmless yet quite entertaining would be how I describe their negativity. It is a shame that their parents won't give them the chance to join us and take them away from being in such a vulnerable situation. The best you can do for them, is not buy from them. As a helpful pointer, don't buy from ANYONE on the beach, you say yes to one and then you can blink and there will be ten around you, sitting on your sun lounger and trying to thread-pluck your legs!
With so many travellers and people, it would be easy not to feel safe but it's completely the opposite. The volunteer house is in a gated community and even though there's nothing dangerous outside the gates, you couldn't feel safer or more comfortable. The locals were all more than keen to help you with anything that you wanted or needed. They were friendly and sociable and many of them joined us for dinners. We were getting a bigger group by the day! The house was excellent. The beds are all doubles, the rooms are all large and spacious and the living area with a TV and DVD helps for those wanting a quiet and cheap night in!
The staff at the centre were incredible people who lived and breathed the project and did everything in their power to change the lives of these kids. They are amazing people, no question.
I was unsure as to whether the project would be in a built up community so I travelled very light but took things just in case it was very remote (wind up torch, walking boots etc) but these weren't needed. It is a perfectly built up town with power and plug sockets and roads and everything you'd expect from a town.
I plan to go travelling again when I have saved enough and really want to return to CCPP and help again. A girl I was there with has already returned to do a second month and recently the volunteers have been raising money for a young teacher there to go abroad and she is now currently learning in and travelling Australia. You can't make much more of a difference than that! I hope to return one day and continue to help this amazing project which just grows and helps more and more families everyday. A truly special organisation.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Experience of a Lifetime

My time at CCPP was unforgettable. The other volunteers were fantastic people and the children were inspirational. I cant wait to return at the soonest opportunity.
The roster of work is well organised and allows plenty of down time to enjoy the local town and beach. Everyday was memorable and rewarding and every night involved fantastic food with friends.
Anyone with the opportunity to take part in this program shouldn't hesitate. It truly is an experience of a lifetime.

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Yes, I recommend this program

Bets experience in my life

It's been almost a year since I was with CCPP, I think about it every single day and have just booked my flight back for 2012. Really can't wait to get back there and see all the kids again. When you get up to the center in the morning a lot of children are already there waiting for you and their faces light up when they see the volunteers approaching, they wave, smile and ask you how you are. It's truly amazing to see these children and what a great opportunity CCPP gives them.

During the time I was there the amount of volunteers varied so for some weeks I worked only the morning or afternoon shift and some weeks I worked both morning and afternoon. You will have plenty of time to be on the beach if you want to and in the evenings all the volunteers usually went out for dinner together. You become like a family in the volunteer house and I've made friends for a life time.

As a volunteer you are more than welcome to have your own art lesson or come up with ideas and games for the children. They are open for anything and you will find it really hard to leave this project and all the kids in the end. If you're thinking about doing this, do it!

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Yes, I recommend this program

These kids NEED you!

Hard work and enthusiasm will see you through the day at CCPP. I visited only for a short time but continue to support and recommend the program from home. The children at CCPP made such an impression on me that my continued support was never an option! The children love the program and the interaction with international volunteers. Their commitment to CCPP is inspiring, and the hard work of full time staff is commendable. I hope to one day work in a role this meaningful. If you are comfortable around children, and enjoy hard, and rewarding, work then please visit CCPP! You will not regret it!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Creativity, kids and beaches, CCPP is incredible!

I volunteered earlier this year (2011) with a friend, and we've already booked our return trip for 2012. We had the most incredible time!

The organisation is a fantastic initiative, and is an important part of the Sihanoukville community, offering not only a fun and creative education to the kids in a safe, welcoming environment, but also supports children with clothing, bikes, nutritious food, as well as well as the family with food, rent assistance and loans.

This is a great program for those wanting to embrace their creative side, to try new things, as well as those wanting to escape to a new, friendly community and with a friendly, rewarding vibe.

The best part of the program is having the ability to work with the Khmer staff to plan and run art classes, activities and teach English. Not to mention the incredibly kids!

Our usual day was:
8am start at the centre with the volunteers and do yoga with the kids
9am Run art program and English Class
11am Activities
11.30am Serve lunch
12noon Lunch break
2pm - Another group of kids come through, run art and english
3.30pm activities
5pm Finish

7.30pm head out to dinner with group/part of - around $2.50-$3.50 for a meal
and the night usually ended with 50c beers on the beach!

The working week was usually 6 days, depending on how many volunteers were there, and Sundays were spent on one of the beautiful beaches or local islands near by!

The accommodation was great, we had access to free wifi and the whole community was incredible.

Sihanoukville is a pretty notorious beach / party town, so there is always a night life, people to meet, experiences to be had and incredible drink specials!

There are also a few great back bars, great for escaping the intensity of the beach scene- to chill out with a glass of wine and some great music. Plus amazing food!

There is so much to love about CCPP, the kids and Sihanoukville, its definitely worth the every minute! Can't wait to go back!

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Yes, I recommend this program

Life changing experience at CCPP

And I'm not talking about the kids life, I'm talking about mine.
I came firs to CCPP at March 2009, for one month. I end up staying for almost a year.
Every morning, when we open the project at 8 AM, you see so many kids already waiting for you outside, and you know that this place for them is so much more than just getting a free meal, its their home.
Even though the project has its programs, there is always a place for your own ideas and creativity.
One of the most exciting days at CCPP, was the first day of school. for weeks we were busy with preparations: bags, uniforms, registration... and on the day, they all showed up early, dressing nice, waiting. going to school dose not sound very special, but it is for them because other wise, they couldnt have this opportunity.
I learned so much about them,about myself and about love.