What you will be doing
Our history in Phnom Penh
Packed along the edge of the Mekong Delta in Phnom Penh are hundreds of shacks, providing shelter to families who struggle day-to-day to make a living and feed their children. The nearby rubbish tips – which scar the horizon, stretching for miles – are their only source of income, where they root through waste with toxic fumes to find things to sell. Many children die here – either from the fumes, polluted water surrounding them or the huge trucks who pay no mind to them.
Ten years’ ago, many of these families were forcibly removed from their shacks so the Government could redevelop the land for profit. Left homeless – many with young children, Pastor Sara and Mission Direct worked quickly to secure some land and build some small dwellings to take these families off of the streets – creating Koh Brabey village. Over the years this has evolved into a happy community with a school, a medical centre and church. However, due to the urgency of the need, these single-storey homes were built without foundations and started to become not fit for purpose, with many flooding during the rainy season.
This led to us partnering with Pastor Sara’s Fellowship of Hope to build solid, two-story ‘forever’ homes to move the families into and since 2007, we have built three schools, countless houses and medical facilities for Happy Village and New Happy Village.
What you will do if you join a team this year
By joining this team, you’ll help locals to build another home – no skills or strength necessary. There is always something to do – from laying bricks, passing materials, painting and clearing – as well as entertaining the local children! Cambodia is a great place for all ages and many volunteers have come as a family (from age 7 to 87!).
By joining this team, you’ll travel with the building team to the same area. Whilst they build, the medical/health care professionals teams will have the opportunity to share their skills and support local people in this field with their work in the community.
You will also visit and help at a number of community projects in the region. This includes hair-washing of children in the slums or meeting girls rescued from the sex trade.
As well as watching the sunrise over the ancient Angkor Wat Temple (a breath-taking sight!) you’ll also explore some of Cambodia’s solemn history with an optional visit to the Killing Fields and the notorious Tao Sleng prison.
Orientation and reunion days
Each mission team has an orientation day held in the UK prior to their trip. This gives you the opportunity to meet your fellow team members as well as some or all of the country staff team. The day aims to fully prepare you for your trip, equipping you with all of the information you need and giving you the chance to ask any questions. Lunch and refreshments are provided. The date of orientation for this team is: 2 November 2019.
Your trip contribution also includes a UK reunion day once you have returned home after your mission trip. This is an opportunity to reconvene with your team and look back on some of the highlights and memories of the two weeks. Feedback from previous volunteers has taught us that this reunion is also important to help teams reflect and digest what they’ve seen and experienced as well as understand how it has affected them. We’ll also aim to help you ensure that your two-week mission makes a lasting difference in your life. Lunch and refreshments are provided. The date of reunion for this team is: 16 May 2020.