I first traveled to Cambodia as a tourist in 2007 and returned after a month enthusiastically because I had exceptionally nice encounters with Cambodians. This was followed in 2009 by a sabbatical year to get to know a world beyond my technical job by being socially involved. When I came across Sorya's volunteer program on the internet, I was quickly won over by the way the association is committed and works with Sorya Cambodia.
The following months as a volunteer I taught as a German teacher and as an English co-teacher. How nice it was to see how enthusiastically the students learned and how much fun we had co-teaching. In addition to learning, it was probably also a great entertainment factor for the children.
As a technician who thinks sustainably, I was of course very interested in the water village project that was going on at the time. I inspected the water tanks built years ago with the help of Vibol, who as a translator helped communicate with the villagers and tank owners. For me, the little wear and tear and the ease of repair were further arguments for the maturity and usefulness of the project that Dorothea launched in 2006.
My attachment to Cambodia and trust in Sorya is also based on the numerous encounters and experiences on site: sharing everyday life together, cooking evenings with the Sorya Cambodia staff, celebrating weddings, religious festivals and holidays. All the memories are very present, even if they are now years ago.
“I gave my time and attention as a volunteer with no expectation of anything in return. After 5 months I left Tropeangs Dock richly gifted with unforgettable experiences and memories and a connection that has lasted to this day.”
Cedric Dussex, Switzerland
Building bridges, making friends, learning and overcoming challenges together
Intercultural exchange means learning together, promotes tolerance and strengthens solidarity in our globalised world. With our work, we build bridges between different cultures, between people of different origins, views, values and language. That is why we believe that exchange between staff, students and volunteers is an irreplaceably precious experience for all.
Therefore, we annually provide up to four places for interested people from all over the world who we would like to give the opportunity to live and work in Cambodia with Sorya, to collectively learn and to expand their horizons. We are not looking for "helpers" who are on a mission to save poor people!
Instead, we are looking for people who want to explore opportunities for global learning and international encounters on eye level. The main goal of a voluntary service is to initiate intercultural learning processes in order to overcome prejudices and racism and to promote an understanding of each other in a globalised world. The volunteer service must follow a spirit of mutual respect and tolerance.
All this and more can be good reasons to do voluntary service with us!
What does it look like?
Our volunteers accompany our full-time teachers as co-teachers in the respective classes. In this tandem, the focus is on joint exchange and planning lessons together. In addition, the volunteers can develop freely within Sorya and initiate and carry out their own small projects according to their own interests and strengths; be it regular football training, making music, painting, theatre...
As a matter of principle, Sorya does not charge any money for the volunteers' commitment. In addition, we offer free accommodation at the project sites. However, since too frequent changes of contact persons are detrimental to our students, the absolute minimum time for a volunteer service is six months, but preferably one year.
How to apply?
If you are convinced that you are a good fit for Sorya and Sorya is a good fit for you, please send your application consisting of a motivation letter (max. 2 pages) and a CV in English to julian[at]sorya.org.
Weltwärts (for German citizens only)
Are you interested in a volunteer service funded by the German government as part of the weltwärts programme? Then check out our partner DRK Mecklenburg-Vorpommern https://www.drk-freiwillig-mv.de/internationaler-freiwilligendienst/einsatzlaender/kambodscha/sorya_cambodia
My few months living in Tropang Sdock will forever be something very special. This wonderful school filled with such amazing students and teachers made a lasting impression on me and I still miss the sound of happy and playing children at almost any time of the day. Those were very formative months for me.