[Last September, Global Service Corps’ (GSC) Executive Director traveled to Cambodia to work on expanding GSC’s service-learning programs. In January, he will return to Cambodia with some GSC staff memebers to expand upon these developments (expect updates around February!). For now, the following travelogue presents the recent developments with GSC’s programs and introduces GSC’s partner organizations and the individuals who are working to improve the lives of Cambodians.
This post highlights the Child and Orphan Care Program.]
In yesterdays post, readers were introduced to one of Global Service Corps’ (GSC) partner organizations, Youth For Peace (YFP) and the Community Development and Youth Leadership Training Program. This post is all about GSC’s Child and Orphan Care Program (formerly known as the Children and Orphanage Care Program). The Child and Orphan Care Program has gone through several modifications over the years as orphan care practices evolve in Cambodia. GSC has adjusted the program and is happy to welcome new partner organizations to the program.
GSC now works with our partner organization’s children’s community, orphan residential center, and feeding centers in Phnom Penh and a nearby province as a part of the Child and Orphan Care Program. In this program, GSC works with these centers to provide psycho-social support, English training and other educational and recreational activities. Depending on the needs of our partner organizations and the volunteer’s interests and program length, participants in the Child and Orphan Care Program may be placed at a children’s residential community, a feeding center for marginalized kids or a vetted center for orphans.
Those placed at the children’s community will live with a community of youth, buzzing with energy and curiosity. Established more as a home than a child care center, it is home to youth who have been infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Young people of all backgrounds live together and participate in activities such as art projects, recreation, nightly meditation and communal meals. Volunteers may also be engaging in activities such as teaching basic English lessons and providing guidance and mentor-ship. Each volunteer communicates with the community volunteer coordinator to agree on a special project based on the volunteer’s interests and expertise.
Volunteers working at a feeding center engage in activities such as assisting in providing meals for up to 250 kids whose home life may not be intact or who live on the streets. Other activities may include teaching basic English lessons, providing guidance and mentor-ship, or assisting with other group activities as you become part of a collective effort to encourage the healthy growth and development of Cambodia’s young people. Daily activities will vary according to the needs and schedules of each placement.
Volunteers assisting the staff of the orphan residential center are integrated into the daily activities of the center and can participate in a variety of activities with the children. These include English lessons, IT Training courses (basic computer skills), painting lessons (drawing and coloring sessions) and cultural exchange activities (dancing including traditional Khmer dance, singing songs, and different kinds of sports). Volunteer participants may combine the feeding care center activity in the morning with the orphan care program in the afternoon.
Volunteers serving with the Child and Orphan Care Program must possess the ability to be flexible, patient and to take initiative. Volunteers may lead one or two of their own planned activities, sharing with the kids their talents, hobbies and interests.
GSC has been pleased with the evolution of the Child and Orphan Care Program and is happy to be able to expand the work volunteers can do. If you are interested in learning more about this program, or GSC’s other programs, click here.
Check back tomorrow to learn about updates with the Teach English Abroad Program!