FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I would like to volunteer at Our Village at NHCC, what do I do?
Please contact us at least two weeks before your arrival telling us about yourself and your reasons for wanting to volunteer at NHCC.
What documentation will I need in order to get into the country?
You need a current passport that does not expire within six months of your trip. You will also need a visa issued by the Cambodian government to enter the country.
There are two ways to obtain a Cambodian visa. If you would like to purchase it online before your trip, visit https://www.evisa.gov.kh/. You may also purchase it at the airport in Phnom Penh when you arrive. If you apply online you will need a passport-size photo in jpeg format. If you get your visa when you arrive at the airport, you will need two passport-size photos.
Note that the visa allows for a stay of 30 days in Cambodia. It is good for single entry only, meaning it is not possible enter Cambodia, leave to spend a weekend in Vietnam and re-enter Cambodia with the same visa. A new visa is required.
If you plan to be with NHCC more than one month, get a business visa, which is available only on arrival in Cambodia.
What health information should I have before coming to Cambodia?
Before your trip, we recommend that you see a healthcare provider who specializes in travel medicine. If you have a medical condition, you should also share your travel plans with any doctors you are currently seeing for other medical reasons.
Both malaria and dengue fever are spread by mosquitos. The mosquito that carries malaria is present throughout most of the country, except around Phnom Penh, at the temple complex at Angkor Wat (Siem Reap), and the area around Lake Tonle Sap. The mosquito that carries dengue fever is present throughout the country.
There are preventive medications available for malaria, but not for dengue fever. Consult with your doctor before about medications that prevent malaria and learn to recognize the symptoms of both illnesses.
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance before you leave home.
What should I know about HIV and AIDS? Could I catch the virus from the children?
The HIV virus is transmitted through bodily fluids. Because our children are on ARV medications that suppress the virus, there is no risk of being infected with HIV from them. The children are aware of their HIV status and are well informed about what do in cases of bleeding. Although you will get practical information about HIV and AIDS on your arrival, you should know the basics about both. An Internet search will yield many articles about both.
How will I be needed in the village?
There are many things to do in the Village, such as assisting a classroom teacher, gardening, painting, or simply playing and spending time with the children. Volunteers may assist with special events on weekends or school holidays. We will work out your role and placement in more detail when you are here.
What does a typical day at the village look like?
- 5:30-6:00 am Breakfast for volunteers
- 6.00 am Children take their ARV medicine
- 6:30 – 6:45 am Children leave for school and the market truck leaves
- 7:00 – 10:30 am Children are in class, volunteer work period
- 11:00 am Lunch for volunteers
- 11:30 am to 1:00 pm Rest time for children (and volunteers)
- 1:00 to 4:00 pm Onsite classes for children, volunteer work period
- 5:00 pm Dinner for volunteers
- 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm Playtime for children
- 6:00 pm Children take their ARV medicine
- 6:00 – 7:00 pm English classes for the older children
- 8:30 pm Bedtime for children (and volunteers go to the Volunteer Center)
Where will I sleep?
There is a Volunteer Center made up of three houses. Volunteer groups will sleep in gender-specific dorms. Individual volunteers will sleep in shared rooms.
What facilities are available for volunteers?
The Volunteer Center is equipped with electricity, Wi-Fi, a refrigerator, and a small kitchen corner with coffee, tea and hot and cold water. Sheets and a towel are provided and beds have mosquito nets. You will wash your clothing by hand. We provide laundry soap.
What will I eat in the village?
Volunteers eat with our teachers in the white cluster kitchen area. There are three Western style meals each day. Breakfast typically includes rice, eggs, bananas, or packaged biscuits. Lunch and dinner are made up of rice, vegetables and meat. We can accommodate vegetarian and vegans, just let us know in advance. Some volunteers prefer a more Western-style breakfast and bring their own cereals or bread and jam and eat at the Volunteer Center.
Is there a shop near the Village?
There is a small shop outside the village that sells soft drinks and snacks.
How long can I stay?
Ideally you should consider staying one week to give yourself the opportunity to experience life at the Village. On the other hand, you may stay for just a few days or for several months. Of course the longer you stay the better the experience. No matter how long you stay, your help is needed and very much appreciated.
Should I bring gifts for the children?
You can bring donations, but please give them directly to John and Kathy so they can be distributed appropriately. As part of our Child Protection Guidelines, gifts and money are not to be given to any children by volunteers.
What are the guidelines for volunteers when I am there?
Glad you asked, please review the Volunteer Guidelines before you arrive.
What will happen if I become ill in Cambodia? What happens if I have dental problems?
We have a clinic onsite with a nurse 5 days a week who can address minor medical issues. There is a clinic in Phnom Penh operated by the SOS Hospital, as well as a good dentist, for more serious problems. Make sure that you have travel insurance before you start your journey.
Is there a possibility to spend some time in Phnom Penh? Will I see the main sights?
If you are here for two weeks or longer and if there is no special project planned over the weekend, of course you can spend your free time in the city. We try to help with transportation and can give you tips on accommodations and food.
We can also arrange a visit to Tuol Sleng, the infamous Khmer Rouge prison, and the Killing Fields, both of which are poignant reminders of the atrocities committed by the Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979.
Is there a Western-style supermarket in Phnom Penh?
Yes, you will find all common products you might need at one of the Lucky supermarkets in the city and at any U-care Pharmacy.
How much do I have to pay? What is my money used for?
Individual volunteers are requested to contribute US $200 per week to cover orientation, food, safe drinking water and lodging, Wi-Fi connectivity, and airport pick-up and transportation to Our Village. For long-term volunteers, the fee is reduced to US $100 per week after the first four weeks.
Note that we also have special rates for groups who volunteer. Please contact John Tucker for available dates and costs. Groups are expected to make a contribution to support the work of NHCC.
We also offer special discounts for family groups.
What further things can I do to help NHCC?
There are several ways to help us. You might write about your experiences at Our Village on your blog or on your Facebook page. You could also “Like” NHCC on Facebook and ask your friends to join as well.
You could also post a review on Great Nonprofits, a website for people to contribute reviews for nonprofits they admire. Type “New Hope for Cambodian Children” in their search box.
To help medically when you are Phnom Penh, you can donate blood. Ask Kathy and John for more information about why this is so important. They will also let you know where to donate.