HOW TO: VOLUNTEER IN CAMBODIA

Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Do you remember the Khmer Rouge?
Have you ever heard of the genocide in Cambodia?
If not, take a look here to read a bit about the history of Cambodia.
Disclaimer: I am no historian, and certainly no expert of the subject.
However, I can say by visiting Cambodia and doing extensive research 
on the genocide, there are things I have learned that I think are worth sharing.
Every country has its chosen trauma and chosen glory, 
and unfortunately Cambodia's left many children orphaned.
My husband Spencer and I (Kylie, triplet #1) lived in Asia for a while.
After our job was finished, we decided to backpack Southeast Asia.
Cambodia was among our favorite places to visit, 
primarily because of its humbling history and the children.

To make our adventures by day at Angkor Wat more meaningful,
we decided to dedicate our evenings to volunteering at orphanages.
We simply asked our tuk-tuk driver if he knew of any, and off we went.
Santhe Peap has about 20 children who have been orphaned by various things...
Whether children are orphaned by poverty, hunger, violence in the home, 
inability to be provided for, or parents who died in the Khmer Rouge,
many end up in orphanages, or as we like to call it, a "House of Peace."

Children at the House of Peace are incredible. Their ages vary from primary age to 18. 
Santhe Peap is unique because children are able to receive an education.
They grow their own food in their own garden, sleep on mats, work in the fields,
and are responsible for daily chores including cooking, cleaning, and teaching.
Their faces radiate happiness.
We spent the majority of our time helping in the garden and playing games.
They loved to play tag, volleyball, and soccer. Among their favorites was to dance traditional Khmer and sing, always happy to entertain their guests.
They had crazy cool skills and beautiful voices. 
I spent a lot of time hanging out with these girls.
They liked to tease me and throw stuff at me, but that was okay... 
it was all in good fun (or so I like to think heehee).
I took plenty of pictures of them so they could crowd around the camera 
and see what they looked like. 

One of these fine girlies even gave me the only printed photo she had so I could take it home and never forget. Even without the photo, this experience is something
I could never  possibly let slip away from my memory.
It was hot, sticky, humid, dusty and beautiful in Cambodia.
They fed us a delicious meal of morning glory and rice from their own garden.
We sat together knee to knee on woven mats and ate in quiet unison.
It was a beautiful site - to see all these happy children scarf down their food
and share what little they had with two complete strangers was truly humbling. 
If you ever plan on visiting Cambodia to see the famous Angkor Wat or just to explore,
Traveling Triplets highly recommends stopping by Santhe Peap, 
Cambodian Children's House of Peace.
Here's how you can help and or get involved!

Get involved. 
Don't just travel to travel.
Travel to make a difference.

It will make your trip far more rewarding than you ever imagined.
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9 comments on HOW TO: VOLUNTEER IN CAMBODIA

  1. The Artist Who Never StarvedFebruary 8, 2012 at 9:40 PM

    Thanks for sharing :) When I make it to cambodia in the future I will definately visit the orphanage.

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  2. haha that is so funny we always do that! and yes, ky tends to do that to me :)

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  3. love this ky. absolutely love it. what a beautiful experience. thanks for sharing! you write so well :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing! That seems like an amazing experience! Its definitely now on my list of something I want to do if I ever make it to Angkor Wat

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  5. They are all so cute! That's the best way to travel... to make a difference.

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  6. love this kylie. absolutely love this. i was touched and seriously cant wait to do this. there is nothing i want to do more when i travel then to help children. i LOVE it!

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  7. o my heck megs i just read your comment and it is freakishly similar to mine hahaha! did you get the shivers too? i did haha!

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  8. Hi! I'm just visiting your page for the first time. I saw Cambodia and my heart melted! I spent 10 weeks in Siem Reap last summer working for People for Care and Learning! My heart is in love with the people of Cambodia. Thanks for sharing your lovely travels! My team and I also traveled to KL, Malaysia for a few days too!

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  9. awesome, we're glad you found us :) feel free to share any of your travels with us, we'd love to hear :)

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