With more people travelling to Cambodia to volunteer, we want to teach more of a lesser known phenomenon. Cambodian volunteers are working everyday towards the development of their communities. Here are the five things you probably didn’t know!
First and foremost, Cambodia is one of the most youthful countries in the region. With more than half of its total population below 25 years of age, Cambodia is an ideal showcase where volunteers influence their own future and the future of their community.
Secondly, volunteering is deeply rooted in the Cambodian society. People have always helped each other during the harvesting seasons, to overcome natural disasters or building new houses. Nowadays the concept of volunteerism is taken more seriously by Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, UN Volunteers and many Volunteer Involving Organisations.
Volunteerism develops skills for young Cambodian people. With limited other opportunities, volunteering with one of the organizations or in the community, is a great way for young people to learn soft and hard skills. Volunteers successfully learn how to communicate, cooperate, lead and get things done. These skills help when a former volunteer applies for a job.
Migration is our fourth on the list. Usually young Cambodians leave their villages for a low-skilled jobs. On the other hand, the “cleverest” youth leave to work in towns or abroad . This leaves rural areas underdeveloped compared to towns and cities. With more people volunteering in their communities, they become more engaged in the social life and development in their villages. They will strengthen the bond with the place of their origin and undertake the responsibility for the future development
Lastly, for most of the Volunteer Involving Organisations, the most important selection criterion is the commitment of the potential volunteer. Knowledge comes second and prior experience is the least important criterion. This is great news for all the committed youth. With these findings, they know that volunteering helps to get experience and prepare themselves for the future job.
These five things were found out during the UN Volunteers research on Volunteerism and Youth Employment in Cambodia. Many more findings you probably didn’t know about are in the book that is now accessible online: