Current Peace Corps Cambodia Projects

24 03 2012

Tim and I are lucky to serve in Cambodia with around 100 other energetic, creative and passionate volunteers. This means that any one time, there are 100 of us collaborating with our host communities on project ideas. So I wanted to share with you some of these projects to  give you a small taste of the great work that volunteers are doing across Cambodia. Please understand though that this is not in any way intended to be a comprehensive list.

As you will see, some of them still need additional funding so please click on the links to donate if you are feeling generous. (Please, do be generous, but not too generous though, Tim and I have some projects in the works too! We might need your help soon as well!)

Disclaimer: This information comes from talking with people, checking Facebook, etc. To the best of my knowledge the information below is accurate, but it’s possible I’ve made mistakes. If you have any questions about specific projects, I can contact the volunteer working on it.

Recently Completed/In Progress

  • Youth Volunteerism Workshop: 50 students in Kampong Thom province came together to brainstorm areas for youth involvement in the community. Then, in small groups, they designed projects, created budgets and planned how to implement them. Projects ranged from dental hygiene education in the health center to a climate change awareness day to a conflict resolution workshop.
  • National Creative Writing Competition: In several high schools across the country, students took part in a creative writing competition. The judging was not based on grammar or spelling, but centered on the use of imagination and creativity. Out of the local winners emerged national winners who will now go on to compete with students in Peace Corps countries across the globe.
  • Spelling Bee: Recently in Banteay Meanchey, several volunteers worked together to organize a spelling bee. Similarly to the writing competition, students first competed at their local high schools and then advanced to the provincial level competition later on.
  • Traveling Health Fair: All of the volunteers in the province in Pursat worked together to conduct a traveling health fair for the high school students in the communities where they work. Topics included exercise, team building, girls’ empowerment, traffic safety, and clean water, among others.
  • Kampot River Clean-Up: Earlier this month, several Peace Corps Volunteers partnered with an NGO and several local schools to host a river clean-up. Over three hundred people showed up, including expats, students, teachers and local government officials. The participants spent several hours walking or rowing up and down the Kampot River, cleaning up the massive amounts of trash that pollute one of the city’s finest resources.
  • Make Maek Exhibition: One volunteer in Battambang spends much of his time creating space for art in the community and providing artistic education and outlets. He currently has an exhibition at an art gallery in town that has been recognized by both national and international news outlets for the way it is opening up the art scene in northwestern Cambodia.

Coming Soon

  • Create Cambodia Arts Festival: This project aims to start the first national arts festival for young people. Students from all over the country will meet together in the capital to share their talents, ranging from dancing to painting to fashion design to poetry. They will not only have the opportunity to connect with other artistically-minded students, but also to meet professional artists and representatives from NGOs and art programs. You can donate to the project here.
  • Traveling Art Show: After attending a series of art instruction workshops, students in schools across six provinces will create a piece of art inspired by the famous Gandhi quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” The artwork will then be displayed through a traveling art show. To donate to this project, which will help foster creativity, confidence and optimism among the participants, click here.
  • Libraries: Libraries are not a part of cities and schools here in the same way that they are in the United States, so building or equipping a library is a common project for volunteers. Currently, there are two volunteers accepting donations for their library projects, both in the southeastern part of the country. Please consider donating to their projects here and here.

So congratulations to all of my fellow volunteers on the extraordinary work you’re doing! I can’t wait to see what other great ideas emerge from this group.

To those of you back home, if you want to see what projects are waiting on funding  at any time in the future, you can check the Volunteer Projects page on the Peace Corps website. And, finally, if you’re wondering why so many of the projects focus on the arts, check back soon for some commentary on that.

Katie

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