Children with Hope for Development (CHD) is a grassroots Cambodian Non-Governmental organization. It is based in Po Village, Takeo Province, Cambodia and is located approximately 94 kilometres from the capital city Phnom Penh. The village is in a poorly serviced remote, rural area with unmade roads.
The children in the Po village come from poor rice cropping families and have limited opportunities to help them break out of the cycle of poverty. Jan, Marketing Manager at Volunteer World, took the chance to interview Sokha Treng, founder and project director of CHD.
Hi Sokha, Thank you for your time. Volunteer World is really interested in your social project and you dedication for helping kids and we want to know more about it. You are the founder and actual project director of Children with Hope for Development (CHD) in Cambodia.
Let us start from the beginning, why did you establish the project?
Thank you Jan for this Interview. I established Children with Hope for Development (CHD) for giving poor children and teenager in Cambodia opportunities to for the future.
I want to reduce the poverty in their families and in their communities.
These aims should primarily be accomplished through education. Many children quit studying to help their parents at work to gain income for supporting the family. I founded this project to help the children in this situation.
What is the status quo of the project now?
The CHD School is located in Po Village (Takeo Province) and offers free education and provides school material to the children in the age between 6 to 17 years in this village and its surrounding communities. It is an after school program. This ensures that all children can attend the free CHD classes.
The goal is to break the cycle of poverty in our rural village by giving our children the educational tools to compete with children from urban and private schools.
CHD School mainly provides English classes. A good knowledge of English is mandatory to apply for higher education and for many jobs.
What are you experience with volunteers and their impact to your project so far?
The volunteers helped teach the children English, they have shared their own teaching style. They shared their experiences and ideas to progress the school. When the volunteers finished their volunteering work, we always gave them the certification of appreciation.
In which ways volunteers can help the project?
- Teaching English: We need volunteers to help with teaching in different classes. The volunteers first hospitate and are introduced to the class before they run classes on their own. The children are very enthusiastic and willing to learn.
- Helping around: You can play with the kids, help with various building projects, design displays, fundraise, etc. Anything that benefits the children is a great help. All ideas are welcomed.
- Bring essential products: Rice, fruits and other foods, hygiene products, English-teaching books, notebooks, writing and painting equipment, games and toys, children’s clothes, shoes, bags, etc.
- Financial donations: Any contribution, no matter how small, is a great support.
Which kind of costs volunteers should expect?
- The volunteers have to pay for their food on their own. The price of a meal starts from 2 $ for one person
- The volunteer has the possibility to live in our guesthouse. The room with a fan costs 6$/person/night and 150 USD per month. The rooms are clean and include towels and sheets, two beds and a small ensuite, mosquito /fly screens, no cooking facilities.
- The room with air-conditioning costs 12$USD per person/night.
- Travel expense have to be covered by the volunteers and bike hire is available at a rental of1.50$ USD per day because the CHD school is located 8 km from Takeo town.
- Volunteers should expect expenses around 350$USD to 450$USD per month
- If a pick up at the airport is needed, we can arrange it.
Which problems volunteers might face with?
The volunteers are faced with the cultural specialties in Cambodia. The kids are shy and the teaching style is different compared to a western teaching approach. Generally the Cambodian culture is conservative.
Volunteers should dress appropriately for respecting the conservative culture in Cambodia. The children are made to feel uncomfortable if they see volunteers (especially female) wearing revealing clothing. In rural areas the children are less used to westerners compared to cities.
What do you recommend to the volunteers to do in their free time in Cambodia?
Cambodia is a kingdom of wonder, volunteers can relax or take the opportunity to explore other parts of the local town, meet nice and friendly Cambodian people, taste tasty local food, go sightseeing or shopping or of course traveling. There are many interesting and beautiful spots in Cambodia, such as the Temples of Angkor Wat, a world culture heritages site, different National Parks and volunteers can go on adventure trips to forests or the beaches in the South.
Thank you very much for the interview
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