Why do we need volunteers?
Treak Community Centre is a very special place for many reasons. Our wish to create opportunity not dependency extends to all parts of our work, including our staff, who are all Cambodian. We also want our staff to learn new skills and increase their ability, confidence, and self worth so that they can better serve the people we are trying to help in Treak village.
Dara is an excellent teacher, and he and Salin are also able to use the skills and experiences that volunteers bring in ways that help develop the staff and the school.
Successful volunteer placements bring benefits for the volunteer, our staff, and the local community. We strive to make sure that the time you commit at Treak Community Centre brings the greatest possible benefit to the village. Our staff and the children really enjoy having volunteers at the centre. They appreciate the cultural exchanges as well as the English and other skills that volunteers bring.
What can I do?
There are many different ways volunteers can offer their help in Treak Community Centre. (It may also be possible to combine activities; please ask us about this if you are interested).
Young Learners’ Programme
This runs Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and then from 1.00 p.m. until 4.00 p.m. Most volunteers tend to work from 8.00 until 4.00 though there is flexibility in the working hours. The programme includes English classes, library sessions, arts & crafts, PSHE, plus basic science, IT, and maths sessions and is attended by children and young people from 8 to around 20 years old. The English classes follow a set curriculum and our teachers produce lesson plans each week that includes time in the library. Volunteers work alongside our English speaking Cambodian staff in a support role, either working with the class as a whole or with smaller groups. Volunteers are encouraged to incorporate their own experiences into the lessons and there are plenty of opportunities to share cultural exchanges with the students. These inputs are especially helpful for students to practice their conversational English, to improve their pronunciation, and to learn more about other countries and cultures.
Children’s Programme (formerly the Nursery)
This runs Monday to Friday from 8.00 a.m. to 11.00 a.m. and 1.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m. and volunteers support our teachers in a variety of tasks. The children are aged between 4 and 7 years and are split across 2 levels with activities that reflect their different ages and abilities. Volunteers help with the learning through play activities, the more formal lessons, and with the hygiene programme (handwashing/teeth cleaning). There is also help needed to supervise the outside play periods.
Construction work at our school
With the help of volunteers we have built a brand new school for the village. The main structures are now complete but there is still much to do. This is a great opportunity for individual supporters, families or groups from universities, schools and companies.
“A Rubbish Idea!”
This innovative programme takes waste plastic and incorporates it into bricks. We then use the bricks to build toilets in the village for families who don’t have one.
Groups from universities, secondary schools, and other organisations, visit us throughout the year. The programme provides an exciting opportunity for groups that links problem solving, team work, environmental issues, cultural immersion/exchange, discussion and reflection. It incorporates some innovative construction work and raises awareness of sustainability, health and sanitation issues. Governments in many countries have initiatives to inspire students to take up careers in science, technology, engineering and maths, and this programme ticks many boxes for the STEM subjects as well as sustainability strands in schools.
Gardening and maintenance
There is always something to do in our garden, from the usual garden work to sharing experiences with our garden workers. We are always looking for innovative ways to grow food and improve the soil. In addition there is always plenty of work to do maintaining the garden and the centre.
We are always interested to hear from people with IT and web design skills, experience in marketing, innovative ideas for fundraising, organising abilities or other skills, that help to support our management team and advance our work.
When volunteers were unable to travel during the Covid pandemic we hosted a wide range of volunteers who did their placements online. These were very successful and we have made these a permanent option. They enable people to volunteer who maybe don’t want, or are unable, to travel. If you are interested in volunteer from the comfort of your own home then drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org