Inspired by a similar activity organized in Tunisia as part of the Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future project, the Volunteerism Caravan was launched by the UNV Field Unit in Cambodia in partnership with VolCam in June 2014, to broaden the scope of the Recognize me! Campaign . Recognize me! is an awareness raising campaign which aims at nationwide recognition of volunteers and their contribution to Cambodia’s development by giving them faces and voice through a collection of pictures and videos that were presented at International Volunteer Day (IVD) 2013 in Phnom Penh.
The objective of the Caravan is to gather different segments of society and create a space for debate and dialogue around volunteerism, through exchange of experiences, networking and community-led actions. The Caravan is travelling to different provinces in Cambodia, engaging volunteers and their organisation counterparts on discussions related the current status of volunteerism in Cambodia and its contribution to Cambodia’s development. The research collected will be presented during IVD Celebrations in Phnom Penh on 5th December and used to update the 2008 publication: Volunteerism, harnessing the potential to develop Cambodia.
All sessions will be organized according to the following template:
- Presentation on the Volunteerism Caravan
- Short introduction about volunteerism at a regional, national and global level
- Group work around the following questions:
- Community Activity facilitated by the volunteers.
Volunteerism Caravans’ Stops so far:
On the 11th of June, more than 30 national and international volunteers arrived from different parts of the province of Battambang to attend the pilot of the Volunteerism Caravan organized while UNV was holding its annual retreat.
On 10th September, over 750 national and international volunteers from all over Cambodia joined together to participate in the 4th National Forum on Volunteerism, an event jointly organized by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) and the Cambodia Volunteering Network (VolCam) members.
The Forum began with a session called “What is new in volunteering?”, which saw an interactive discussion between H.E. Tauch Choeun, Director General, General Department of Youth, MoEYS, Isabelle Devylder, UNV Programme Officer and the participants on the current status of volunteerism in Cambodia; and the official launch of the Volunteerism Caravan. Subsequently, the volunteers participated in the Caravan group work, facilitated by the VSO ICS Volunteers, and presented their discussion findings to the Forum.
On the 14th November, 50 participants from both local and international volunteer organizations attended the Volunteerism Caravan in Kratie. The dialogues were facilitated by the same VSO ICS Volunteers who facilitated the previous Caravan stop at the National Forum in September.
In the afternoon many of the Caravan participants took part in a community activity facilitated by the Kratie VSO ICSE Team at the Kratie Krong High school. The objective of the afternoon was to promote environmental awareness in young people, focusing on how littering and waste disposal affects the community. The event included a fun and interactive recycling activity where teams of students and volunteers raced to make a bin made out of used water bottles, followed by rubbish picking in the school.
On the 25th November, the Volunteerism Caravan held its final 2014 session of at Banlong, Ratanakiri. Over 60 national and international volunteers joined together to discuss issues related to volunteerism. These dialogues brought in a special perspective as they were attended by indigenous youth of Ratanakiri, and newly arrived VSO ICS volunteers. The facilitators of the Caravan were once again the VSO ICS Volunteers that have previously facilitated in Phnom Penh and Kratie.
In the afternoon, long term VSO volunteers organized the Caravan participants to help out in renovating a library for a local school. The Cha Lung library is part of the English Access Micro Scholarship Programme sponsored by the USA Embassy and the North-Eastern English center. Volunteers helped by painting and re-designing the building, planting trees, and rubbish picking in the school.
For a summary of the main outcomes from the previous two sessions, click here.