I taught here for one year.
This is a wonderful place for children to grow up. They learn in English and Khmer at the village school and everyone involved works hard to make sure the children are happy and healthy. The money volunteers donate is used properly! The children are fed healthy, local food, they get a small allowance to buy their own clothes, they get a gift at Christmas, etc. It was amazing to see all the children riding around with friends on their new bicycles at Christmas! Money is used to send students to universities and trade schools. I especially like that every effort is made to help the children be self-sufficient once they leave the village. Some students even return to the village to work once they are finished university.
This is one of the legitimate NGOs in Cambodia. They are doing good work and helping children that would otherwise be neglected or abandoned. Volunteering here helps break the stereotypes about people living with HIV, and lets you see what people are capable of when provided with the proper medicine. It is especially amazing to see how the proper care and medicine transforms children that were quite sick into healthy, funny, and feisty kids. I often forget the children have HIV- instead, I see how capable they are, how helpful they are, how curious they are, and how they can't wait to go to the playground after school to play with their friends, teachers and volunteers. They especially love when volunteers join them at the weekly dance and weekly movie night!
Volunteers get 3 meals a day and snacks and sleep at the Volunteer Center on site. Transportation is provided on weekends to go into Phnom Penh or to the grocery store. But the best part is spending time with the children. You can come and help out with the school, you can teach the students new things (magic, gymnastics, art, sports, music, etc), or you can paint a mural in the village. Some volunteers even return every year or two!
The NHCC website answers FAQ and John and Kathy are also happy to answer any questions. They take good care of you. Come volunteer! You will have an amazing time and it will change your life!