The Big Picture
Volunteer In Cambodia (VIC)
With local Phnom Penh students and international volunteer teachers helping to raise money for development work in rural communities, VIC forms a unique model of learning, cultural exchange, and sustainable fundraising. VIC provides an opportunity for foreign volunteers to learn and experience life in Cambodia for 3 months. The experiences includes teaching English a 10-weeks course at Conversations With Foreigner (CWF)– English school.
VIC and CWF was initially founded in 2006 with support from the Australian Government AusAid VIDA program. VIC is a Local NGO and has been recognized by Cambodian Ministry of Interior. VIC channel sources of volunteer teachers to CWF- an English school and CWF is licensed by Cambodian Ministry of Commerce being run as a business and recognized by Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS). This model enable CWF to provide meaningful English courses to local students and able to generate sustainable income to operate both VIC & CWF. Additionally, some of its profits is also used to donate to Local NGOs working for livelihood development and environmental conversation in rural Cambodia. VIC & CWF is governed by a Board of Directors, the majority of who are Cambodian.
Many local NGOs rely on project-by-project funding, which can be problematic, so CWF was set up a social business to offer affordable conversational English language courses for local students in Phnom Penh in order to help raise regular funding for the important work of local NGOs. This project is an attempt to create a more sustainable source of funding through an activity which contributes positively to the community. Profits from the school are given directly to Local NGOs.
Since our inception we have raised over US$153K for our NGO partners, hosted more than 600 volunteers, and we now teach up to 500 students every day. We’re dedicated to improving Cambodian skills, opportunities and increasing our cultural perspective, and dedicated to the mission of our partners.
To provide affordable conversational English courses and support volunteer experiences while raising money for NGOs’ work.
A self-sufficient NGOs working to improve livelihoods with rural communities in Cambodia.
In many volunteer programs, volunteers work directly with the poorest people. Our volunteers don’t. Our students in Phnom Penh can at least afford money to study – more fortunate than many. Instead, volunteers are contributing to a social enterprise and the long-term sustainability of development partners- to work to improve livelihoods with rural communities. Rural communities make up 80% of Cambodia’s population.
We believe this model of volunteering with social business is more sustainable for educational development, rural communities with environmental conservation and Cambodia. We welcome any comments or suggestions you have.
The English Language
There is a thirst for learning in Cambodia, especially in young people, and providing affordable English courses contribute to fulfilling the desire of Cambodian people to communicate in the international language in various aspects of life.
It is hoped this will not impact negatively on the traditional Cambodian language and culture, but instead serve to strengthen the commitment of Cambodian people to retain, share and promote the uniqueness of their language and culture through improved communication and learning with the rest of the world.
The working language of ASEAN is English, and with tourism and international investment on the rise, Cambodia’s youth are at the brink of seizing opportunities not seen for decades. Knowledge of the English language is becoming crucial, regardless of whether a student is studying to work in tourism, business, or trying to find work in a riverside restaurant.
The Coordinating Committee for International Voluntary Service (CCIVS) describes volunteering as where:
“The volunteer offers time, energy and effort to a project of benefit to a community, and… the community offers to the volunteer an opportunity for experimentation, learning and personal and collective development.”
Our volunteers immerse themselves in the urban Phnom Penh community, learn the Khmer language, travel and explore Cambodia, as well as having the opportunity to visit various development activities in rural communities.
In covering their own expenses, volunteers may also appreciate more fully the opportunity given to them by the Cambodian people – people whose warm, welcoming smiles defy both the neglect and the aggressive interference from Western and other foreigners in recent history.
Finance and Reporting
CWF is audited annually by independent auditors to ensure full transparency of all financial transactions; compliance with local laws; compliance with our vision and mission, as determined by the Board of Directors.
We make all reports public in the interests of full disclosure and transparency. For more information and to download our financial reports, please visit our Financials page.