Inspirational expats share their experiences of volunteering
Our Charities Coordinator, Kate Burke, invited Briony Blohm and Sharon Boyle, volunteers at Caring for Cambodia, to share information about their experiences volunteering and the work of this charity, which provides schooling to children in Cambodia.
What made you decide to volunteer for Caring for Cambodia?
I have always felt a strong connection to Cambodia and its people since my first visit in 1996. After a second trip this year with my family, I came away wanting to contribute something to a country still clearly on its knees despite some progress in the twenty years since my first visit. I then became involved with Caring for Cambodia (CFC), a non-profit, non-governmental charitable organisation.
What does Caring for Cambodia do?
CFC was founded by Jamie Amelio around fifteen years ago when she saw the need to improve education in Cambodia. The organisation now runs 21 schools and provides a free education for over 6,600 impoverished children living in Siem Reap. CFC delivers a child-friendly curriculum with professionally trained teachers and modern, technologically equipped schools. Every student receives essential supplies, and, in a country where most people subsist on less than USD1 per day, CFC provides medical screenings and two nutritious meals per day, thereby increasing attention and focus while also decreasing illness.
What volunteering opportunities are there for expats living in Singapore?
CFC relies on volunteers and charitable donations. Volunteering with CFC can take as much or as little time as you have available - every hour can directly impact the life of a Cambodian child.
For example, one of our volunteers, Sharon Boyle, is a British expat living in Singapore. She has been a CFC volunteer for four years. She started out on the ‘Beck and Call’ team, and was on call for tasks like envelope stuffing and helping assemble hygiene packs on an ad hoc basis. As she became more involved, she took on more commitments and she currently runs the School Trips Programme.
Can people volunteer in Cambodia?
Yes, CFC runs annual “Make a Difference” trips. Participants spend several days helping out at a CFC school - serving breakfast, painting doors and desks, and building a wall. They also get to tour Siem Reap’s historic temples. Our volunteer Sharon took her son on one of the trips and sad that it was a fantastic way to spend quality time with her son in an enriching environment.
Any big events coming up for Caring for Cambodia?
CFC’s major fundraising event of the new year will take place in Singapore on February 25th! Join supporters for a glamorous sunset cruise on the South China Sea aboard the unique Royal Albatross luxury yacht. Enjoy cocktails, dinner, dancing and a fabulous auction with exquisite prizes up for grabs. For more details and to purchase tickets, please visit CFC’s website (www.caringforcambodia.org), or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can our members find out more?
There are countless ways to get involved with CFC’s activities. Whether you sponsor someone in a race, organise a collection campaign for needed items, set up a charitable event in your own community, want to go on one of our trips, or decide to donate your time, CFC needs your help. Get involved by getting in touch at email@example.com and here.