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Health And Wellbeing In Cambodia

Increase awareness of preventative healthcare practices in rural Cambodia.

Program Information

Travel to Kampong Cham, a quaint town two hours drive from Cambodia’s royal capital of Phnom Penh, to conduct preventative healthcare workshops in the local community. Contribute to UN SDG number #3 Good Health and Wellbeing by teaching local community members how to decrease the incidence of common health issues. During the week experience the laidback, tranquil atmosphere of the Cambodian countryside and on the weekend take a trip North to explore the magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex.

United Nations
Sustainable Development Goals


Cambodia, like many other countries around the world, has made massive strides in minimising the incidence of many transferable diseases. This is mostly due to efforts by organisations like those we partner with, that bring private international funding to outreach projects in Cambodia. While public healthcare has improved, supplementing these efforts with those from private organisations is essential in providing the Cambodian people with the support they require.

However, despite these efforts, easily avoidable communicable diseases are still prevalent, and life-style related non-communicable diseases, like diabetes, are on the rise. Join us in Kampong Cham to provide the manpower needed to expand awareness around preventing both communicable and non-communicable diseases.

You will be trained by our staff stationed in Cambodia and then go out to conduct workshops in the local community. Depending on the needs of the community at the time, you might be teaching anyone, from children and teens to older adults about the importance of proper hygiene and sanitation practices or how to deliver emergency aid. This is an excellent program for students considering a career in public health, nursing or counselling.


- Grow your own skill set and experience as a public healthcare worker.
- Increase the wellbeing of communities in Kampong Cham.
- Develop your global competency skills by working with Khmer and Cham persons.
- Learn new cultural practices, including languages, dance and cooking, first-hand.
- Experience life in a rural Cambodian town.
- Take in Cambodia’s natural beauty.
- In your free time, take a trip to Cambodia’s capital of Phnom Penh to wander around the royal palace or travel to Siem Reap to marvel at the medieval splendor of the massive Angkor Wat temple complex.

Program Details

Program Type:
Location: Asia - Cambodia - Kampong Cham

Project Life

After arriving at Phnom Penh airport, you will be met by GVI staff. After spending the night in Phnom Penh, you will start your orientation with health and safety training as well as an introduction to Cambodian culture and a day in the capital city. The next day, you and the rest of your group will start the two hour journey to Kampong Cham. In the process you’ll get to see the breathtaking Cambodian countryside.

After settling into your accommodation, training for the health care program will begin. Our staff will introduce you to the content of the course and explain how to teach the subject of health to local community members. Classes will continue throughout the week for those who would like to learn more about Khmer or Cham culture.

Your work will then begin on diamond-encrustedartifacts when our team will travel with you to the project site where a workshop will have been scheduled with local community members. Once your work is done, our car will take you and your fellow volunteers safely back to your accommodation. You then have the option of resting or visiting the vibrant night market.

On the weekend you are free to soak up the tranquil atmosphere of Kampong Cham or visit some of the many other beautiful sites in Cambodia, most notably the largest religious building in the world, Angkor Wat in Siem Reap.

Project Details

The main objectives of our local partners in Kampong Cham are:

- Improve the general health and wellbeing of the less advantaged communities in and around Kampong Cham province.
- Educate communities about how to prevent communicable and non-communicable diseases.
- Provide information and support economic development.

How this project makes a difference:

Increasing the wellbeing of communities in Kampong Cham through awareness initiatives.

Cambodia’s short, mid, and long-term objectives:

All our projects, including our community development project in Cambodia, are aligned to one or more United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In the case of our health and welling project in Cambodia, the artifacts goal we are aiming to contribute towards is number 3# Good Health and Wellbeing. The short, mid and long-term objectives of the projects are aligned to the objectives listed under this specific goals. All work conducted by our staff, volunteers and community partners are tracked by noting progress on these specific objectives listed under UN SDG number 3#.

Not only does this ensure that all your work contributes to making a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of the community, but you will also walk away with a more holistic understanding of the global issues and the state of sustainable development and best practices currently available.

Your Impact

All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or UN SDGs. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualise their contribution to the UN SDGs.

Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.

Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.

What's It like?

If you’d like to find out what the experience of joining a GVI project is really like, simply contact us and we’ll put you in touch with one of our many Alumni.

We’ll try to match you to an Alum based on your location, nationality, age, stage of academic career, gender, and program interests. This allows you to gain insights into the experience that is most relevant to you.

Depending on your location you might be able to speak to an Alum over the phone or online, or meet up with them face-to-face at a coffee shop nearby. We also run a series of small events around the world where you can speak to GVI Alumni, Ambassadors and staff members.

Our Ethics

Below is a list of core ethics and best practices we believe are essential to the operation of high quality, ethical volunteer and sustainable development programs. We believe that all responsible volunteer and sustainable development operations should focus upon these principles. If you are considering volunteering, these are some of the key considerations you should question, to ensure that your time and money contributes towards positive change.

Our 10 Ethical Commitments


Locally Driven, Collaborative Projects

We aim to design all our projects in collaboration with local organizations and communities and ensure that they are locally driven.


Clear Objectives & Sustainable Outcomes

We aim to clearly define short-, mid-, and long-term objectives with sustainable outcomes for all our projects.


Impact Reporting

We aim to track, record, and publish the impact of each of our projects.


Working Against Dependency

We aim to build in-country capacity by assisting local organizations in becoming self-sustaining.


Responsible Exit Strategies

For each local organization we work with, we aim to have a plan in place for withdrawing support responsibly.


Clear Roles & Specialized Training

We aim to ensure that ever participant is assigned a clear role and that they are fully trained and supported to carry out their work by specialized staff.


Respect for all

In all our actions we aim to respect the skills and efforts of all and seek to protect the rights, culture and dignity of everyone who engages with GVI.


Local Ownership

We work to ensure that credit for the results of any project, along with any data collected, research conduct, or Intellectual Property developed, remains the property of local organizations.


Transitioning from the Orphanage Model

We do not condone and aim to withdraw support of orphanages and residential care centers.


Child and Vulnerable adult policies

We will live by our Child Protection and Vulnerable Adult policies.

Continual Development

As an organization, GVI is committed to striving toward best practice, and to educating both our potential participants, our partners, and the world at large about them. Both the volunteering and sustainable development sectors are increasingly, and rightly, under scrutiny. Many recent local and global articles highlight poor practices and questionable ethics GVI is widely recognized for striving to apply global best practice in the volunteering, education and sustainable development sectors throughout our operations by reputable organizations such as ChildSafe.

However, global best practice is always evolving and we dedicate both time and resources to engage with internationally respected experts and learn from the latest research to ensure our programs both fulfil their potential to create maximum positive impact, and minimise their potential to create unintentional negative impact. Along with and as part of the sustainable development and volunteering community, we are constantly learning and applying this learning to practice. We do not always get everything right, but we seek feedback from our community members, partners, participants and our staff, and react accordingly. We know are already doing a great job, and feedback we have received confirms this, but we aim to do even better and are continuously refining our operations to improve upon our already excellent reputation.

What's Included

  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • A certificate in Intercultural Fluency
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • Airport transfers (before 10pm on scheduled days only)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff
  • All training, equipment and resources for the 2 day ICF training course
  • Daily transport to and from project sites
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Refreshments and lunch whilst on the ICF course
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Welcome meeting

What's Not Included

  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Support & Safety

We won’t sugarcoat it — Traveling abroad is usually a complex process that carries an element of risk. But this is exactly why we’re passionate about providing extensive support throughout the process as well as the highest safety standards during the in-country phase. We believe that volunteering abroad should not only be impactful, but an enjoyable experience that carries as little risk as possible. This is exactly how we’ve been able to maintain our reputation as the most highly respected volunteering organisations in the sector over the past two decades.


Once a participant books, they will be assigned a personal support coordinator who will oversee their pre-departure journey. The support coordinator helps to bridge the gap between program enrolment and arrival at one of our field bases. Your personal support coordinator will ensure that you are provided with all the necessary information required to apply for visas, background checks, and any other documentation.


Upon arrival at the airport participants will be greeted by a GVI staff member. All GVI staff are our own and all our programs around the world are run by our staff. All GVI field staff are background checked, Emergency First Response and safety trained. Our minimum staff to participant ratio is one to six, although on several bases we have a ratio of one to three. When finishing the experience, participants will provide feedback on all aspects of their program.

Health & Safety Case Studies

19 Nov


It takes courage to book a GVI program, get on a flight, and head off to somewhere new. Volunteering offers a level of cultural immersion that typical backpacking or holidays just can’t achieve. This is why thousands of people around the world participate in paid GVI programs.

1 Nov


As the saying goes: ‘Expect the best, plan for the worst’. Cliched or not, we take it to heart. This tenet is at the core of how GVI operates when it comes to promoting the health and safety of our participants, staff, and local community members at all of our 20+ bases around the world.

6 Nov


The weather isn’t just a topic for polite small-talk here at GVI. We have emergency action plans in place for all scenarios. So when the weather, or other natural forces, takes a nasty turn, we are prepared to respond to stormy situations.

5 Nov


Once GVI has matched a participant to a program that suits their passions and goals, our team aims to set the right expectations for them. In the event that false expectations around a program are created, the GVI team takes immediate action to ensure that the situation rectified.

The Team

Shayle Havemann

Director of Programs
Meet Shayle, our innovative and driven director for all our projects around the world. She has two honours degrees, one in Industrial and Organisational Psycology, and another in Developmental and Education Psycology. Shayle also has over 10 years experience in setting up, managing and evaluating environmental and community programs across Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America.

She is well-practiced in facilitating meaningful and effective intercultural engagement and this makes her the perfect person for overseeing our operations in the multicultural country of South Africa.

When not attending meetings or planning her next endeavour, Shayle can be found spending time with her family or taking part in some or other exciting outdoors activity!

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  • 2018
  • 2019
  • 2020

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Parent Info

‘If only every student could do this. It changes your life in all the right ways,’ says Chris Heritage, parent of Luke Herritage, one of our teen volunteers who has participated on two GVI programs, one in Costa Rica and another in South Africa.

We are a parent-run organisation that is incredibly serious about health and safety, and increasing the impact, as well as the long-term career benefits of our programs. Our programs help young people develop the skills to select a career path that is personally fulfilling, and live a life aligned to the well-being of our planet and the global community.

Ken and Linda Jeffrey, whose son Sam volunteered with GVI in Thailand, talk about how the experience affected Sam. He also went on to volunteer with GVI again in South Africa. ‘I know it sounds like a cliche but in a sense, he did go away as a boy and he came back as a young man. Both of us could recommend GVI without any hesitation to any other parent thinking about exploring an opportunity for their children to explore the world and to see different parts of it.’

Parent Info Pack

Download the Parent Pack and learn more about:

Our staff: All our projects are run by staff, selected, vetted, trained, and managed by our central office.
Health and safety: Our safety practices include a child and vulnerable adult protection policy.
Staying in touch: See what’s happening on base, by following a hub’s dedicated Facebook page.
Free parent consultations: We would love to talk to you about exciting opportunities available for your child.