Volunteering at Salariin Kampuchea by Frank Scrivens
I first came to Cambodia in November 2006, just travelling and sightseeing.
I stayed in a small guesthouse in Siem Reap and I saw on their noticeboard an
advertisement by Salariin Kampuchea looking for volunteers to teach English. I
thought it might be interesting to come back one day and do some teaching at
this little school. I made a note of the email address and continued on my
travels. I didn’t take the idea too seriously and never thought I would really do
I returned to Australia and kept thinking about how to go back to Cambodia and
do teaching. I am a surveyor by profession and did not have any teaching
experience. I found out about the TESOL course, enrolled in the course and
obtained my certificate. I did this while still attending to my surveying work.
I returned to Cambodia in March 2009 and did six months teaching at Salariin
Kampuchea. It was a wonderful and rewarding experience. I had to return to
Australia to continue with my job, but kept thinking of Cambodia, and how I
could come back again, the attraction being the people of Cambodia. They are a
delightful and happy race of people, considering the recent history of the
country. Considering that I am supposed to be there to help them, I think it is
the other way around; my spirits are always given a lift when I am with the
I think I have now been here about six times for varying lengths of time, and
there is always something to do. There are a variety of things you can do as a
volunteer, not just teaching English to the students. You can help in the library,
do teacher training, help with the life skills course or just do some football
For teaching English, I found the TESOL course invaluable, it was full of good
ideas and activities about how to teach English to people that do not have
English as their first language. If you have no teaching experience, I recommend
the TESOL certificate.
Whatever you do, you will be rewarded by the experience.