Volunteer With Us
Sunshine welcomes volunteers who have a specific skill which will support and enhance our program. The longer you can stay, the better, and we recommend 3-6 months as a minimum. It takes that long just to settle in and get to know the children.
Volunteers should uphold and respect the Christian ethos and values of Sunshine, as well as support our vision and philosophy.
All our staff are Cambodian and most of our work is conducted in Khmer. The children and families will have little or no English. A willingness to learn basic Khmer is appreciated. For those wishing to run activities in the children's clubs, an ability to control groups of lively youngsters is highly desirable! Primarily we are looking for volunteers with either an educational or community development background. Specific skills we are looking for:
- ESL/EFL teachers, particularly those who are TESOL trained, and speak English as a first language. Please note that the Cambodian school year runs from October to July and the clubs are run only two days per week during that time.
- Anyone with community development experience relating to families.
- Anyone with media/communications experience to film short video clips and/or help update the website.
Enquiries should be made through our contact form.
All volunteers must provide a CV, two character references, and police clearance check. They are also responsible for organizing and paying for their own travel, full insurance (including medical evacuation in case of severe illness or accident), accommodation and meals. Sunshine staff are happy to provide information and assistance where required. We look forward to welcoming you!
CHILD PROTECTION POLICYSunshine Cambodia has strict policies in place to protect the children in our programs. All volunteers are expected to adhere to these policies at all times. Read the PDF
VOLUNTEER TIPSUseful local info for any potential volunteers. Read
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Tips for Volunteers
Updated: November 2015
What to pack?
- Clothes that go below the knee. Spaghetti-straps and revealing tops are discouraged.
- Shoes that are easy to slip on and off.
- Sunscreen and hats are recommended.
- Quality toiletries, basic medicines, stationery and clothes are cheap and easily available.
Accommodation in Phnom Penh
- Budget: $5-$15
- Low-range hotel: $15-$40
- Mid-range hotel: $40-$100
- Previous Sunshine volunteers have stayed at Goldiana, Golden Gate, 252 Hotel, Indochine, Cambodiana, Lux Apartments, Le President, Frangipani Villa and Harvest Inn.
- For long stays, it is more economical to rent an apartment or small house for $150 - $500 per month, depending on size and location. Local housekeepers and cooks can be easily arranged.
Food in Phnom Penh
- Western restaurant: $4-$8 with lots of choice.
- Khmer restaurant: $1-$4. Avoid street food unless it has been freshly cooked in front of you.
- Bottled water: $0.30-$1. Tap water is not recommended for tourists. Cylindrical ice cubes in bought drinks are generally safe.
- Tuk-Tuk: $2-$5 a ride.
- Taxi: $7/hour or $30/day.
- Only ride on a motorbike if your travel insurance covers motorbike accidents.
- Tuk-tuks are relatively safe but will cost more in the evening.
- Tourist Visa (1 month, non-extendable): $37 online - apply here; $30 on arrival.
- Other types of Visa can be obtained and further information is available here
- Hotels and guesthouses usually provide airport pick-ups or drop-offs if requested.
- An airport taxi to most places in the city costs $9, and $7 for a tuk-tuk.
Safety Against Theft
- If you bring expensive equipment such as a laptop, mobile phone or a digital camera, please
bring a long-strapped bag to carry it in with the strap across your body.
- Theft is fairly common in all areas of Phnom Penh, especially in the market areas. Do not carry your passport or large amounts of money around with you. But do keep a photocopy of the info page of your passport on you.
- Sunshine accepts no responsibility for lost or stolen items. We recommend that you don't bring items with high monetary or sentimental value and that you remove all valuable items from view in your accommodation and on your person. Label all your belongings.
Telephone and Internet
- Landline numbers begin with 023, just about all other numbers are mobile.
- Ready-to-use SIM cards are available at the airport and elsewhere.
- Prepaid wireless internet cards can be bought at hotspots.
- Internet cafes cost $0.50-$1/hour and usually have Skype or other equivalent.
- Medicine can be bought from numerous pharmacies around town. There is no prescription system here.
- There are several international-standard clinics and hospitals but for very serious cases, evacuation to Bangkok or Singapore is recommended.
- Travel insurance is mandatory for all volunteers.
- Check with your doctor about vaccinations for typhoid, Hepatitis A etc. Rabies and Japanese Encephalitis shots are much cheaper and easier to obtain in Phnom Penh.
Tips courtesy of River Kids Project. See also Canby Publications for more travellers information for Cambodia.