Hi, I am Joachim, 30 years old and from Germany. In 2011 and after 7 years of work I decided to take a break and fulfill my dream to travel around the world combined with being socially engaged. Searching for good projects to work in I heard through friends about two projects to volunteer in. One being “Casa Hogar de Jesus” in Ecuador, South America where I volunteered in the Summer of 2011 and Krou Yeung Centre in Cambodia where I arrived in January 2012 for 3 months.
Once I was convinced that Krou Yeung Centre would be the experience I was looking for I booked my flights and requested a 6 months visa at my arrival. After some minor hick-ups with receiving my visa which “forced me” to stay in Phnom Penh for 4 days, I made my way to Banlung where Krou Yeung Centre is located and where I received a warm welcome from all staff.
The next day I basically hit the ground working, mainly focusing on building this home-page in my first two to three weeks and acclimatizing to the English teaching by teaching three part-time classes every day.
Within the first week the director of the Krou Yeung Centre, Sopheap Yin, and myself decided to focus my efforts also on the “Our Dream” initiative and actively trying to help local people in need. In this matter I was identifying local families in need, researching solutions for them and then trying to realize those with them. This was by far the most rewarding part of my work and an experience I can recommend for everybody.
The weekends I used to explore the region and country, as Banlung is a bit off the track, that requires often some hours of bus-travelling but the area itself has already a lot to offer and Banlung certainly has its charm. Also with the Krou Yeung staff being a very young crowd and very caring I had a social life right from the start, so it never really got boring.
All in all the three months here in Cambodia were a great experience and exactly what I was looking for to kick off the second part of my travels. Being able to help local families was my personal highlight and the team and students of Krou Yeung Centre are what makes this a great experience – everybody is friendly, helping and caring on top of that the nature and weather are beautiful, the food and fruits delicious and living here is affordable for western standards.
I guess this only leaves me with saying a big “THANK YOU” to the Krou Yeung team and students and if you should have any specific questions don’t hesitate to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – the guys here will forward your email to me.