Location
  • Cambodia
Length
1 to 12 weeks

Program Details

Language
English
Age Min.
18
Timeframe
Year Round
Housing
Host Family Hostel
Groups
Small Group (1-15) Medium Group (16-30) Large Group (31+)
Travel Type
Budget Family Older Travelers Solo

Pricing

Starting Price
350
Price Details
IFRE is a 501(c)3 organization, so your program fee will be tax deductible. IFRE Volunteers is proud to offer the world’s best fee.
Our programs are now more affordable than ever. We are proud to focus on the humanitarian aspect of our business, not on profit. We work very hard and smart to keep our costs down, especially for the volunteers because we know the value of your donated time and efforts.
What's Included
Accommodation Some Activities Airport Transfers Meals Transportation Travel Insurance
What's Not Included
Airfare Transportation Visa
Jan 09, 2020
Mar 20, 2022
1 traveler is looking at this program

About Program

Do you want to travel to an exotic country where you will have the opportunity to experience a new culture while giving back to the local community?
While Cambodia is breathtakingly beautiful and rich in culture, it is also a country that is desperately struggling to prosper. Volunteering in Cambodia is an opportunity to truly touch the lives of the local people who are in need of assistance, while also having the time to discover some of the intriguing wonders of this exotic country.
Our Cambodian volunteer opportunities for those with a medical background include general healthcare placements as well as HIV/AIDS awareness. If you are more interested in supporting the advancement of the younger generations of Cambodians, you can teach English or help out in an orphanage. Volunteers can also join the community improvement project, where you will have the chance to improve the quality of life for those who are living there.

Consider your impact: Volunteering abroad can be a rewarding experience for both volunteers and local communities, and at Go Overseas, we believe all volunteers should have the resources to make informed decisions about the type of volunteer project they want to partake in. However, despite best intentions, some organizations offering placements in orphanages may unknowingly place children in danger. You can read about the potential dangers of orphanage volunteering here.

Video and Photos

Program Highlights

  • The world’s most affordable volunteer programs – starting at $350.
  • Low Fees are paid directly to host families and projects with absolutely no middlemen!
  • Experience the personal satisfaction of improving the lives of adults and children in Cambodia who desperately need assistance.
  • Your one-time low fee cover accommodations, food, project costs, and support by expert and trustworthy local staffs.
  • Your safety is our utmost priority. We fully understand it can feel intimidating to be far from home in an unfamiliar country. But you’ll never feel alone with our 24/7 expert support staff and services.

Related Programs

Program Reviews

9.2 Rating
based on 5 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 80%
  • 7-8 rating 20%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.4
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 8.8
  • Value 9.2
  • Safety 8.8
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews
Default avatar
Susanne
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Absolutely amazing experience

As a medical doctor, the volunteer organization IFRE placed me at the Soviet Friendship Hospital in Phnom Penh for 2 weeks.

The application was not difficult, and I got a placement very short term (2 weeks) as I had been hoping.

Upon arrival, everybody got an introduction concerning the history of the country and local habits. Some even got an organized tour of Phnom Penh. The local office of IFRE was available almost night and day, every problem was solved promptly and very friendly. They even organized private trips for the volunteers on the weekends on request.

I stayed at a rather basic hostel, together with 8 other volunteers, mostly much younger than me. While the other volunteers were working at schools and orphanages, I was the only doctor.
That hostel already was quite an experience. No A/C. No pool or outdoor sitting area. No toilet paper (you are told to bring your own). The shower is very basic, too. Constant noise as the roads are very busy.

Of the three meals that are prepared for you every day, they wrap up your lunch nicely so you can eat it at the hospital.

I was introduced on the plastic surgery ward and immediately started working.

The work is pretty much organized the same way as in Germany ( and probably other western countries, too). Ward round, then surgery, once a week you work at the outpatient department.

The kind of medical conditions though are really not what I was used to. The Soviet Friendship Hospital, built in the early 1960s, was at some point the largest hospital South-Eastern Asia. It is built in a way that the wards are long balconies and the rooms for the patients are connected to this long balcony and have small openings in the wall facing the central courtyard. The rooms are cooled that way by the little bit of wind that is blowing. A good system, if flocks of birds would not fly in and out all day long.

My ward had 25 rooms with 4 patients each. And the amazing thing: healthcare is absolutely free.
Only the poorest of the poorest go there. The hygienic conditions are not optimal, of course. The materials rather old or cheap.
But staff does an awesome job there!

As most of the patients come from the really poor parts of town or remote vilages where there is literally no healthcare (and they couldn't afford it anyway), they show up with very advanced conditions. Bone tumors the size of oranges, having penetrated the skin weeks ago, infected all over. Weeks old open fractures. Chronic wounds. 10 huge lymph nodes on each side of the neck.

On my third day they started to let me do most of the surgery. The Cambodian doctors and students assisted me and asked many, many questions. It would have come in handy if I spoke French. But some of the colleagues spoke some English, and most of the reports were written in Roman letters, so communication worked quite well considering.

The workload sometimes was massive. The smell was unbelievable. But all in all it was absolutely enjoyable to work in such a motivated and interested environment.
Prepare though to struggle with the fact that the patients get absolutely no after treatment but a few antibiotic pills. Chemotherapy or Physiotherapy are not available. It must be hard for the doctors here to know, which ever effort they make, the outcome will be less than ideal. Most of the colleagues I met were at least partially trained in France or Korea.

At the end of the work day one passes the patients' relatives who live, wash and cook on the hospital premises, and take a TukTuk ( 2 USD) back to the hostel to have dinner with he other volunteers. The food is amazing, by the way.

You have to be flexible of course. Things don’t go your way all the time. You sometimes have to search all operating rooms on all levels of the hospital for scrubs. There will be no change of scrubs, and after the first surgery everything is wet with sweat. The sterile gloves have to be handled with care, the material tends to tear. You cannot do the same surgery twice back to back, they have each set of instruments just once.

Bring a white gown or 2, and blue T-Shirts, as well as toe covering shoes. You will need the shoes in the operating room, as special shoes are not provided. Bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer, as it is not always available. Bring a lock so you can lock in your belongings at the hospital while you work.

So, this exoerience is not cheap, but very well organized and vey rewarding and interesting.
It was my first time volunteering abroad, and I can absolutely recommend it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Try to get away for the weekends, see the beautiful countryside of Cambodia and Angkor Wat.
5 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Joseph
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Meaningful experience with high impact

I chose to work on a community development program 1x1 with the main program manager in the volunteer office. My project was to assist in a school building project in a small and poor village in Cambodia. My responsibilities were to re-write and improve the funding proposal (12 pages+), write the newsletter (5 pages+) to the current supporters who have already donated to the project, edit a marketing video that was previously recorded, and start the GoFundMe page for the project. I was only volunteering here 2 weeks and I definitely feel like I had a huge impact. During my time in Phnom Penh, I also visited the village where the school would be built. Although I left Cambodia after those 2 weeks, I have been in weekly contact with the program manager to help finish the project and we are nearly done!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be open. Cambodia is an extremely different culture from the US / England / the western world. The people are absolutely lovely but live a different life to us "as we know it." You will enjoy the project more if you do not have expectations as to what you will gain or add on your resume.
18 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Thank you for your feedback.

Default avatar
Isaac
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Review of IRFE

As a solo traveler for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect moving to a new country for a couple months, but now I understand how much fun and growth you can take away from an experience like this. This program helps people learn how to become leaders and teacher which provides a lot of support and help to communities. I learned how to not only be an English teacher but also how to communicate with people and to build relationships built on similarities and differences. Although things got confusing and tiring sometimes, the connection with the children is something I’ll never forget,

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The most surprising thing was how much I actually learned about Cambodia and it’s people
15 people found this review helpful.
Default avatar
Jessie
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Unforgettable Experience at Nutrition Center Phnom Penh

It was such an unforgettable experience for me to take care of abandoned disabled orphans. 70% of them are disabled and 20% are HIV positive. I am amazed by the overall environment for the orphans. It is actually quite organised. As I understand I was the first Singaporean to volunteer in Nutrition Center Phnom Penh, and it was also my first time taking care of disabled orphans, I was worried and nervous. Nevertheless, I managed to pick it up very fast. I encouraged more Asian volunteers to support such program for the disabled orphans. The local teachers are very friendly and helpful. They helped me to understand the needs of each individual orphans. We had a great fruitful time during my 10 days in Phnom Penh. I would definitely be back to visit them again.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would suggest to give a brief of the area and environment of the volunteers house so that we can prepare ready before the trip.
18 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Dear Jessie,

Thank you for your wonderful feedback and the lovely pictures. We greatly appreciate you for taking out the time to volunteer with us and are happy that you enjoyed the project. We wish you all the best for your future endeavours.

Default avatar
Parker
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Loved the Overall Experience Very Much

I volunteered with IFRE’s Teaching English Program in Cambodia. I was assigned to a Charity School as an English teacher for 4 weeks. I must say that the experience was incredible. The whole process right from inception to the end was hassle-free. The IFRE team was very prompt with replies, which was very helpful. I was picked up by a driver at the airport upon my arrival at Phenom Penh. The teaching was challenging because of the language barrier. The children were very enthusiastic and eager to learn, which made my experience even better. My primary responsibility was teaching the group of beautiful and enthusiastic children. I not only taught them but also shared with them special bond- laughing, playing, drawing, painting and so on.

The IFRE staffs are responsive, sincere, helpful, up front. Support while at the site was also very good. Any questions or requests I had for the local coordinators were quickly responded to.

I would definitely recommend IFRE to anyone considering a volunteering placement.

What would you improve about this program?
Well, the program was great I would however say that the currency exchange was a problem. I would have appreciated if someone had informed me about this.
20 people found this review helpful.
Response from IFRE Volunteers Abroad

Dear Parker,

Thank you for your wonderful feedback. We greatly appreciate you for taking out the time to volunteer with us and are happy that you enjoyed the project. We apologize about the problems you had with currency exchange and will ensure our future volunteers will not face similar issue.

We wish you all the best for your future endeavours.

Questions & Answers