Frequently Asked Questions
Who can volunteer?
Anyone can volunteer, from the young to the young-at-heart. Our building teams are made up of people from all over the world and from diverse backgrounds.
Are there age limits?
Individual volunteers must be at least 18 years old. Younger children may be accepted when families volunteer. Children under 16 usually find the physical aspects of our building work too strenuous.
Do I need building experience to volunteer?
No building experience is required. All you need is a willingness to have a go and learn new skills. Our builders are adept at leading volunteer teams and showing them what to do.
What are the volunteer hours?
Volunteer work hours are Monday to Friday. We pick you up from your guesthouse at 7am. We usually finish building around midday, before the weather gets too hot. Occasionally volunteers might be asked to stay later to finish a project. These hours also enable volunteers to spend time seeing the attractions and sights of Siem Reap and its surrounds.
What will I be expected to do on the building site?
Volunteers help with all stages of the build. You will saw the timber to size, hammer nails and build stairs. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to do these things. Our builders can show you how to do it all. We use only hand tools, no power tools are needed or used.
What do I need to take with me?
It gets hot on the site so you should bring a hat and sunscreen. We advise wearing long sleeves for sun protection. We recommend wearing closed-in shoes. We supply water for all volunteers.
When can I volunteer?
We take volunteers all year round. However, we are a small team and we can only do a few houses at the same time. So please contact us with your preferred dates and we will let you know our availability.
How long does a house build take?
It usually takes us four days to build a house. We start on Monday and finish on Thursday, working mostly in the mornings. On Friday we go to the house for the house blessing. This is a special cultural experience, worth being a part of. This is also when we hand over the keys of the new house to the family.
How much does a house cost?
It costs US$2900 to build a VBC house. Our houses have concrete footings to protect houses from termites. They are solid timber houses (although we are investigating more sustainable options) with a tin roof.
Do I have to raise money for a whole house?
We take volunteers who raise the funds for an entire house or we charge a portion of the building cost for those who are unable to raise the full amount or want to drop in as casual volunteers. You may also be involved in other projects such as building wells or toilets.
How safe is it to volunteer in Cambodia?
Cambodia is considered a safe country for tourists. However, as with all travel you should always be cautious and use your common sense. Travel insurance is essential if you volunteer with VBC.
How do I volunteer?
What else do I need to know?
- Volunteers are responsible for their cost of travel to Cambodia and within Cambodia. VBC will provide transport to the building site.
- Volunteers must organise their own visa.
- Volunteers must have valid travel insurance.
- You will be responsible for organising your own lunch and dinner every day.
How can I help from afar?
You don’t need to come and build a house to support VBC. Many people and organisations support VBC from their own countries in a variety of ways.
- Make a cash donation
- Hold a fundraising event of your own or with your friends or colleagues
- Spread the word about VBC and our projects
- Donate essential items like tools, books, safety clothing (check with our team and we can tell you what is most needed at the time).