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We would like to invite you to put something special into your travels around Cambodia.
NFO is seeking volunteers to help in the Children’s home and to teach English in our village schools and community education program.
Relax in the peaceful countryside while helping enrich the lives of the children at New Futures.
Who volunteers at NFO?
Anyone and everyone! NFO's previous volunteers have come from numerous countries and from every continent; from a diverse range of social, economic, cultural and religious backgrounds. They've ranged in age from gap-year A-level students to retired couples, university students on vacation and high-flying professionals taking a career break. We have had couples and singles on a round-the-world trip of a lifetime to whole families on vacation. We've been helped and supported by engineers, teachers, hairdressers, office workers, police officers, sports coaches, lawyers, sales assistants, company directors, carpenters, flight attendants, and even a squadron of US Marines. Regardless of their varying backgrounds, NFO volunteers have one thing in common - a desire to make a difference and help the children of Takeo.
What do volunteers do?
There is always plenty to do here at NFO. There are English classes at the Children's home as well as the village schools and classes for the monks and the police. Some volunteers do a bit of teaching, to help the children improve their vocabulary and reading skills - this is often done through games, songs and play, not just through 'formal' teaching methods!
But teaching is by no means the only thing to do at NFO - volunteers in the past have used their varied skills in many ways to benefit the Children's home and training centre. Previous projects undertaken by volunteers have included digging drains, building a volleyball court and adventure playground;
helping the children design and paint murals on and around the Children's home building, decorating bedrooms, renovating the medical room, constructing a roof over the dining area, working on the construction of the new Vocational Training Centre building, helping out on the farm and building an organic compost heap, to name but a few.
Alternatively, you could help out in the Vocational Training Centre perhaps teaching children to sew or cook, or to Email and improve their typing and IT skills - or maybe you'll be roped into joining a game of volleyball or football with the kids. Whatever you do, it will be a great benefit to the children, and you'll have an unforgettable experience.
How to get to Takeo
To get to Takeo from Phnom Penh : head to the Central Market and look for the Phnom Penh Sorya bus company - they are next to a petrol/gas station. Ask at the ticket office for the bus to Takeo, which is the last stop (approx. 2 1/2hrs). In Takeo, the bus stops close to the main market, from where guests can either walk (around 20 minutes) or take a moto or tuktuk to the volunteer centre. A map and further directions are available here - We recommend you to print this out and bring it with you to Takeo. Alternatively, a taxi from Phnom Penh to Takeo should take around 1 1/2 hours and should cost around $25-30. If you contact NFO at least 48hrs in advance, we can arrange for a reliable and trusted taxi driver to collect you from your guesthouse and transport you to Takeo.
From Siem Reap : Take a bus to Phnom Penh and follow the instructions above
From Sihanoukville, Kep or Kampot : Either take one of the frequent bus services to Phnom Penh and follow the instructions above; or ask at the bus terminal for services stopping in Ang Tasom. Ang Tasom is a small town around 20km from Takeo which is used as a rest stop by many bus companies - However, not every bus makes a stop here, especially in the afternoons, so make sure the driver knows where you want to get off. From here, you can take a tuktuk to Takeo itself (around 20-30 minutes drive).
From Vietnam, Laos or Thailand : Take a bus or plane (Air Asia offer very cheap flights) to Phnom Penh, then follow the directions above. It may also be possible to take a boat to Takeo along the canal from the border crossing at Chau Doc in Vietnam; but Cambodian visas would need to be arranged in advance as there is no instant visa service at this border post.
Where you can stay
New Futures can provide accommodation at the Volunteer Centre in town. The centre is based in a large house, located a short 5-10 minute cycle from the Children’s home. Our large rooms can sleep between
one to three visitors, and all are equipped with en-suite bathroom and shower facilities. There is a communal lounge area a balcony containing comfortable chairs and couches. We have a selection of books, games, and DVDs to help make your stay more enjoyable. Wireless Internet access is provided throughout the centre. During busy periods when the house is full up, many volunteers stay at one of the many excellent, cheap, clean and friendly guesthouses in the town. NFO staff can make recommendations and arrange your booking if you choose to stay at a guesthouse.
Delicious breakfast and evening meals are available, cooked by our housekeeping staff or alternatively there are a number of cheap local restaurants in the town. The staff at the centre also provide a laundry service as a small business to supplement their salaries. They also run a small shop where they sell drinks, snacks, bathroom supplies and most importantly chocolate.
Does it cost anything to volunteer with New Futures?
We do not expect our volunteers to pay to spend their time here. The only fee that you will pay is on arrival where you will be asked to go through our registration procedure as part of our child safety policy. You will need to pay an upfront $25 registration fee to cover our actual costs of registering all visitors with the social services, immigration and police etc. Any spare funds left from the registration fee also help to support the organisation.
However, if you choose to stay in the accommodation at the volunteer centre, we do make a small charge to cover costs. Currently, prices per room are $5 per night for single occupancy, $7 for double occupancy and $9 for a triple room. All rooms are large and contain ensuite shower and bathroom facilities and storage. Alternatively, there are a number of guesthouses in Takeo. Rates for these vary, but a number of guesthouses in and around the town receive regular positive reviews from volunteers, and charge between $7-10 a night for a room with fan; $10-15 air-conditioned rooms are also available in many guesthouses.
If volunteers wish to make a further donation to NFO, they are, of course, always gratefully recieved!
Takeo is in the southeast of Cambodia, and is the capital of Takeo province. It is located to the south of Phnom Penh, approximately halfway between the capital and Kampot.
For more information on what it is like to volunteer with New Futures Organisation, you can download a PDF version of our volunteer welcome pack by clicking here.
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