Every year, groups of young French volunteers come to Cambodia to work in the Sré Ampil children’s home. Some feedback.
Located 27 km south of Phnom Penh, the Sré Ampil children’s home looks after around 40 children who are either orphans or who have been abandoned by their parents who are too poor to care for them. Present since the home was opened in 1994, Agir pour le Cambodge has taken responsibility for the medical care of these children and for providing extra lessons in Khmer, foreign languages, maths and science, in order to help them to make progress at school. APLC also pays the school an annual subsidy to help with its running costs.
Additionally, every summer since 2011, groups of young French volunteers, coordinated by APLC, organise activities and carry out repair works at Sré Ampil.
Here’s what one of the July 2018 volunteers had to say:
“We spent four weeks at the Sré Ampil children’s home. With two other volunteers, we were in charge of around 15 children, the eldest of which were 13. I was very motivated by this project (games, manual activities, etc.) but I must admit that it was much more enriching than I’d imagined. If I had to highlight just one thing, it would be the links that we were able to forge with the children, notwithstanding the language barrier (as their English is still rather basic) and our different cultures and ways of living. But both volunteers and children were so keen to communicate and to be together and that was what was important. Volunteering at Sré Ampil puts an end to pre-conceived ideas and the discovery of other references. For example, there is not the same notion of time. We experienced this when we working on building repairs. We were also able to discover a country that is perhaps less well known by the younger generation, and to learn about its history.
This was my first experience of volunteering and since I got back, I’ve been encouraging other young people I know to go out and volunteer. You get so much back in return.”