We ask all potential volunteers to carefully consider the requirements of our organisation before making an application to join our volunteer program.
Here at Friends of Koh Rong, we believe that volunteers can have a real and lasting positive impact on an organisation and the wider local community. Our team of volunteers work both locally and around the globe to ensure that our overheads are kept low, and our local team on the ground can focus on the important work of education and community development.
We understand that Koh Rong is an appealing place to volunteer, and receive many applications from potential volunteers. The harmful effects of ‘voluntourism’ are well documented, and we accept only skilled volunteers with professional or practical experience who can commit to a minimum period of time. Our on-site volunteers assist in building capacity for ongoing development within the organisation, by transferring their skills to our local staff, to create real, long-lasting change. We also enforce a strict Child Protection Policy, which must be adhered to by all staff and volunteers.
Successful volunteers at FoKR are enthusiastic individuals with skills, innovation and expertise who are willing to work directly with our staff to share, collaborate and empower local people.
We require all volunteers to commit to a minimum of two months, unless the volunteer can present a plan of short term work before coming to Koh Rong that management has agreed to. Volunteers are expected to cover their own food and accommodation costs.Please be aware that in addition to the following requirements, all volunteers are required to undergo a screening process. If you think you may have skills beneficial to the work Friends of Koh Rong does, please read on and get in contact.
Adhering to Child Protection Policies
To ensure the safety of all children we do not allow short term volunteers to work with children unsupervised. Friends of Koh Rong does not support voluntourism with children as this can cause negative long-term effects on a Childs development. Many of the children we work with come from less than ideal homes, and easily form strong attachments to our staff and volunteers. We require all volunteers to adhere to our child protection policy and code of conduct when they arrive as a volunteer which is strictly enforced by staff at all times. Any breaches to this policy will lead to immediate dismissal.
The ability to ‘rough it’
Koh Rong is a remote island in a developing country. As such, many of the things that you may take for granted at home are simply not available here. Food is basic but tasty although air-conditioning doesn’t exist, and electricity can be sporadic. If you have ever been described as ‘high maintenance’, Koh Rong probably isn’t the place for you. We work hard to ensure that our volunteers are safe, cared for, happy and healthy, but there are limits to our abilities. Many things (e.g. power cuts) are simply beyond our control, and adaptability is required. At the same time, whatever inconveniences you encounter are also probably being felt by our community, who we work and live alongside with. This is the true Cambodian experience!
Friends of Koh Rong is a small grass-roots developing organisation. How far we have come and what we have achieved is a testament to the volunteers who have been with us in the past, and remain with us now. We ask our volunteers to be proactive in their work – if you see that something needs doing, or have an idea that could develop into something great, have a chat about it with our staff and get it done. Our staff and long-term volunteers often have many things on their plate, and value people who are problem solvers, and have the ability to be able to work with minimal supervision.
Cultural Sensitivity and Awareness
Koh Rong is changing rapidly, and Westernisation and tourism has had a big impact on the way the local community lives. Although this is a typically South East Asian beach destination in many ways, it is also still a traditional and conservative place. We ask our volunteers to keep this in mind in their interactions with locals. Being culturally aware can mean things as simple as not wearing a bikini through the village, and showing respect to village elders. Our staff and long term volunteers have lived in this community for a while, and you will be briefed on appropriate behaviour when you arrive.
Medical Travel Insurance
Medical travel insurance is compulsory to volunteer at Friends of Koh Rong. Whilst we take all due care to keep our people happy and healthy, sometimes things go wrong. The remote nature of Koh Rong means that the cost associated with getting to and receiving treatment at a Western-standard hospital can add up very quickly. As such, we require all volunteers to provide proof of medical insurance. Koh Rong is remote, and people do get sick. Clinics on the mainland can deal with many common problems, however serious medical emergencies would need to be dealt with in Phnom Penh or Bangkok. Having medical insurance can save you thousands. Some insurance companies that you might want to look into for budget travel insurance include World Nomads and Covermore (Australians).