Volunteering in Cambodia; How We Did It!
If you guys have followed me, you’ll know my initial goal was to travel to every country in the world, which I finished in 2017. Since then I accidentally started a non-profit called Mudita Adventures, we’ve since donated over $200,000USD, built playgrounds, classrooms, malaria clinics, freshwater plants etc in 10 countries around the world. You can see our past projects here. Well this blog post was originally written 3 years inviting you guys to help us with volunteering in Cambodia, well you did it, so thank you!
You can see the results of our efforts at volunteering in Cambodia in the 2 photos below, but basically we built a playground for an impoverished community in Battambang, Cambodia for kids who had never even used a swing before. Then we helped them give the whole place a facelift and set them up with a revenue driver, where we donated a set of bikes and the wherewithal to run bike tours in the town and help fund the school. 16 people can and helped volunteer with us in Cambodia, from 12 different countries, and it was so much fun!
Mudita Adventures (formally called givebackgiveaway.com) has since grown and we know run projects all around the world. We hope you guys can join us on one of our upcoming trips. Change the way you travel!
THE WAS THE OLD POST WHERE I ASKED YOU GUYS TO COME VOLUNTEER IN CAMBODIA HELP, YOU DID, AND THANK YOU!
Want to come volunteering in Cambodia? And backpacking Thailand for 2 weeks this December?! Even better, we’re going to donate and build an awesome playground for an impoverished school in Battambang, Cambodia and donate a whole host of equipment to the kids and teachers there! We want to make this school a place where the kids want to come to every day, and help give them the platform they need to break the cycle of poverty.
But that’s not all we’ll be doing on the trip, so check out all the info and hopefully I’ll see you guys in Thailand in December! But remember, there are only 10 spots for sale (and 3 of them were sold yesterday, on day 1!)
THE STORY BEHIND IT
If you’ve been following me, you’ll know my buddy and I founded a charity last year, called the GiveBack GiveAway. We feel very privileged to be able to travel the world and traveling through the depths of West Africa last year, we wanted to give something back. So we crowdfunded from my awesome followers online and put together a trip to Senegal and the Gambia As an incentive to donate, one donator would be drawn randomly from a hat and flown from anywhere in the world to Dakar, Senegal and come with us for 2 weeks around Senegal to see the work our money was doing. There was a lot of interest so we ended up bringing along 6 others people who wanted an adventure and all profits and funds went straight to our partner charity in Senegal.
We didn’t really know what we were doing but we had the most amazing time! With the money, we hired local contractors to build 80 market tables for single mothers in the region, where previously they sold their wares on the dusty, dirty ground, breaking their backs up and down all day, now they could proudly present their stuff for sale on proper market stalls. We traveled around the country, donating bags of rice to families who had lost their children to the European migrant crisis, donated sports goods to local charities and overlanded the whole time. Such an awesome adventure! So we decided to do it again this year, but in Thailand and Cambodia.
GETTING AROUND CAMBODIA: NOW YOU CAN BOOK YOUR TICKETS ONLINE!
More pics of our trip last year to Senegal, click to enlarge!
We did it! We reached our $10, 000 fund raising target over at our fund raising page: chuffed.org/project/19267 (if you want to do something good, feel free to donate more, it ALL goes to the school. And we randomly selected our winner yesterday (September 26th 2016), it was a Mr John Brett who we are now chatting to and organising his flights in and out of Asia.
Again though, we’ve had a lot of people asking could they join the trip, so we thought “Why not, it’ll be fun!”. So we’re selling 10 spots to join us on this awesome trip this December 2th-16th, we can’t sell more because we want the trip to have a tightknit group, and we want to be able to make a difference with our partner school and not necessarily have 100 people show up and disorientate everything, so yeah – 10 spots up for grabs, and 10 spots only!
WHAT WE’LL BE DOING IN 2016! The schedule and dates:
The schedule is pretty sweet, and you guys are going to love it! When I’m not on my journey to every country in the world, I live in Bangkok, Thailand so this place is my home. We’ll be starting the trip in Bangkok on December 2nd, where myself and Josh, my co-founder of the GiveBack GiveAway, and from there we go on an adventure!
December 2nd & 3rd: Bangkok, Thailand
So our first 2 nights are in the best city in the world. We’ll have a group dinner in my favourite local Thai night market on the evening of the 2nd once everyone has arrived, get to know each other, maybe sample a few of the local Thai drinks
The next day we’ll do a little tour of Bangkok. We’ll get to see some amazing temples, go for a Thai massage, ride the canal boats in the city, eat Thai food, ride tuk-tuks and love life.
December 4th: Bangkok to Battambang, Cambodia
If you’ve never backpacked before, it’s time to earn your stripes! We’ll be doing a fun overland trip from Bangkok, all across the west of Thailand (either by local train, or mini-bus) to the Cambodian border. Once there, we’ll help sort everyone out with visas and cross into our second country, Cambodia! Another minibus will take us to Battambang, in western Cambodia and home to our partner school. We’ll check into our hotel, have a big dinner together and chat about the school, the playground and the donations
December 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th: Battambang, Cambodia
We’ll be staying in Battambang overseeing the construction of the playground for the kids at the school. Also, we’ll be sourcing everything we can to donate to the school, you guys will help us here. All the money we have left over after construction of the playground, we’re all going to make sure it goes to the best use possible for the school. So one morning we’ll have a chat with the head teacher, and then we’ll all have a meeting and workout what it is the kids, the teachers and the school need most. From here, we’ll go and get everything in town (white boards, stationary, sports equipment, even projectors and computers if we can raise more money!), and we’ll bring it back and help set up the improvements.
Each day will have an activity at the school (donation ceremony, sports events, English teaching), plus a cool activity in the area like the amazing bamboo train. It’ll be a brilliant 4 days, and we’ll feel nice and settled as a group whilst still having an incredible adventure in the Cambodian countryside!
December 9th: Battambang to Siem Reap, Cambodia
Our projects will be complete, the school will be rejuvenated and it’s time to bid our new Cambodian friends goodbye! We’re off to see one of the Wonders of the Ancient World – Angkor Wat. December 9th will be a transit day, where we’ll try to visit an amazing floating village en route to Siem Reap. Once in Siem Reap, the town beside the temple complex, we’ll have dinner and celebrate all the great work we’ve done. Also it’s my birthday, so that should work out nicely!
December 10th: Angkor Wat, Siem Reap Cambodia
Perhaps the hightlight of the trip! We’ll take tuktuks from our hotel to the most stunning temple complex in the world, Angkor Wat, so see the most breathtaking sunrise of your life. Monks wandering around centuries old temples, trees breaking through ancient Buddhist Stupas, this place will blow your mind.
The evening will be in Siem Reap, group dinner and perhaps an activity if we have energy after the sightseeing!
December 11th: Siem Reap to Koh Chang, Thailand
Back to the backpacking life as we cross, overland, back into Thailand and on to Koh Chang, a famous Thai island, home to backpackers, holiday makers and paradise! We’ll take a local ferry to the island, check in that night to our hotel and chill. Then we have 3 days to kick back and do what we want.
December 12th, 13th and 14th: Koh Chang, Thailand
Time to make your friends jealous on Instagram and Facebook. Banana smoothies for $1k on the beach as you lounge in the hammock, paddle boarding in the fresh water, hiking up the mountains, renting scooters to drive around the island – it’s up to you. We have 3 days to do what we want, you can be as active or as lazy as you want!
December 15th: Koh Chang to Bangkok, Thailand
The struggle is real. Time to start contemplating returning home! We’ll be back across the ferry, onto the bus and heading to Bangkok. We’ll have one last dinner together on our last night in Bangkok and out for leaving drinks, maybe we can all splurge a little for some skybar cocktails!
December 16th: Leave Bangkok (or stay, up to you!)
If our trip last year is anything to go by, it’ll be tears and an emotional goodbye to all your new found friends! December 16th is the last day, you can fly out of Bangkok that day or head off somewhere to continue your backpacking adventure. I’m happy to chat with you and help you plan that too, I’ve traveled quite a bit!
Ok folks, so that’s our schedule. Fun, adventurous, crazy, but most importantly it’ll actually help a local community. Any and all profits from the tour will go straight to donating more equipment to the school, so rather than jump on a G Adventure tour, or some ‘Volunteer programme’ where the money goes into the founders pockets, come with us and know that you’re truly doing good. And our trip will be far more fun anyway!
Remember we only have 10 spots for sale, and it looks like 3 of them are gone already on day 1! The price wil be:
Early bird price: $1399USD if you book between today and Monday October 3rd
Standard price: $1499 if you book after Monday October 3rd
Payment: 50% up front to reserve your spot, 50% within 4 weeks.
All airport transfers
All Hotels (2 people to a room) – Hotels will all have wifi, air-con and most will have pools too.
All transport between cities and countries
All group activities
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED:
Food – Meals will start at around $1!
Alcohol – Drinks start at around $1k in Thailand
Travel insurance – I recommend World Nomads, but up to you guys
Flights to/from Bangkok – I saw a ridiculous price from London for 317GBP/$411 return! Flights are cheap right now, it’s only about $650 from the states too, amazing.
Independent activities – If you want to paraglide in Koh Chang, for example, that’s up to you
Local transport – Getting around the cities and towns. In Bangkok, for example, we’ll ride the local transport, $1 a time or so. Tuktuks, motorbike taxis, canal boats, all super cheap.
NOTE: Thanks for all the messages about joining everyone, but to make it fair for everyone who comes, we can only accept people at any stage of the trip if they join us on the whole trip. However, if you want to join us just for the school section in Cambodia, we maybe are able to accept people who are willing to donate $500 to our charity, directly for the school. It’s not more bodies the school needs, it’s more funds. Thanks, everyone! 🙂
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