Hi, my name is Kolja. I am 19 yeas old and I just finished my high school examn in 2015. This year, in the beginning of 2016, with the support of helpucation e.V. I had the great opportunity to travel to Cambodia and visit the AKC as a volunteer. Here is what I experienced.
Unfortunately a homestay in Samrong as a foreigner is not allowed yet so I lived in Siem Reap, one of the biggest cities in the the country, which is well known for its vibrant traveler scene. The Angkor Kids Center is located 45 minutes drive from Siem Reap but fortunately Samnang organised a friendly Tuk Tuk driver, Proy, who drove me to the AKC. I enjoyed it every time, because for me it was interesting to observe the local people and to enjoy the landscape by driving past. Nevertheless this distance is an effort and complicates volunteering.
The lessons in the AKC take place in the evening, so every day I arrived at AKC around 5 pm. At this time, many children play marbles at the playground or on the area around the AKC. The lessons usually start a bit later when the teachers arrive at 5:30 pm. On my first day there the children didn’t notice me, they were so much preoccupied by their games. It was a pleasant atmosphere. After the arrival of the young teachers, I had a friendly conversation with them about my journey and me in person but also about their lives. Most of the teachers are still students in other schools. They teach after that in their free time as volunteers.
The classes with the younger kids were very loud. Almost 40 children and one young teacher who gave his best to teach them in English. It was all about the pronunciation: The teacher spoke out a word loudly and the class repeated it screaming. You can imagine that the lessons were quite vivid. Unlike the lessons for the older ones. Especially Phlom did very serious and good teaching. It was a pleasure to talk to his class on a high level. I told them things about Germany and my live and they gave me an insight into their lives. It was a very open and kind atmosphere.
I stayed for two weeks in Siem Reap, worked together with Samnang, with the teachers and the children and joined the “fence-project“. It was a great time and I was sad to leave this place. But I carry all the nice experiences with me. Until today it makes me happy when I think about that I’ve been at the AKC.