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New website to spread volunteer opportunities in Cambodia
21 January 2010

Phnom Penh: UNV and VolCam (Network of International and Local Volunteer Agencies and Volunteer Involving Organisations in Cambodia) launched new volunteer web site during International Volunteer Day celebrations in Phnom Penh on 5 and 7 December 2009.

VolCam presented the new web site and its directory of volunteer service opportunities as a resource for international and national volunteers to find volunteer service opportunities in Cambodia. Organizations registered on the website displayed materials for participants and explained how to get involved in volunteer opportunities.

IVD was run under UNV campaign’s theme “Volunteering for our Planet”. A booth hosted the UN campaign “Seal the Deal” where students signed the petition on line to support the UN world campaign on climate change. Participants were encouraged to use art as a way of “Volunteering for our Planet” and helped paint two murals expressing how they perceive climate change. Students received painting material to draw their own environment, slogans and pictures on a t-shirt or a recycled bag. They created and handed out leaflets with easy tips in Khmer about how to behave more environmentally friendly.

At the “Eco-logic” booth, two private sector companies displayed environmental friendly products and explained to students the environmental benefit of using renewable energy. They showed how solar panels work, explained recycling processes and showed products made of recycled tetra pack, mosquito nets and paper.

National and international UNV volunteers played a key role in organizing IVD and mobilizing students to come along. Over 700 university students and young volunteers from Phnom Penh participated in IVD celebration that was covered by 20 different newspapers, radios and TV.

Over 530 people including community members, Commune Council members, rangers, students, monks, local police, and teachers from different areas of the Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve came together to participate in IVD celebration under the topic “Volunteering for our Planet”. Environment and volunteer quiz competitions and traditional games raised awareness of environmental issues under banners that displayed slogans on forest, water and hygiene. These events were led and managed by self help groups’ volunteer steering committees with the support from national UNV volunteers working under the Tonle Sap Conservation Project. Hy Tanghorn, a national UNV volunteer and community engagement specialist who played a key role in getting community volunteers, said “For more than two years, I’ve worked as a national UNV volunteer in the remote area of Steung Sen. I’m very proud to have shared and learnt from our experiences in volunteering to alleviate climate change effects on Tonle Sap. It is necessary to continue promoting and supporting volunteers in the most affected areas to raise awareness on this issue and take action”.