Explore Cambodia and volunteer with THISWORLDEXISTS
Adventure travel and education volunteer opportunity in Cambodia
Cambodia is a stunningly beautiful country with a tragic past. 1953 saw the country gain it’s independence from nearly a century of French rule. After Prince Sihanouk was overturned by their prime minister in 1970 he formed a guerrilla movement with Cambodian Communists (the Khmer Rouge, headed by Pol Pot from 1962) and fought against the Cambodian Army.
Over time, the Cambodian Army lost territory until on 17 April 1975, Khmer Rouge forces entered the capital city, Phnom Penh and defeated the ruling Lon Nol Army.
The seizure of Phnom Peng marked the beginning of genocide in Cambodia.
An estimated 1.5 million lives were lost to starvation, execution, disease and overwork due to the Khmer Rouge ideology. Pol Pot ordered teachers, doctors, politicians, people with soft hands (non workers) and those who wore glasses (perceived as smart) to be executed, resulting in a devastating loss of human capital across the entire country.
Cambodia has gradually recovered from the Khmer Rouge regime, however the psychological scars remain for survivors and their families. Civil War and the threat of the Khmer Rouge remained imminent until the late 1990s. Since the 1990s Cambodia has opened up to the outside world and the economy has grown rapidly. Cambodia now has a very young population and by 2005 a staggering 75% of Cambodians were too young to have experienced the genocide.
With such a huge loss of human capital, THISWORLDEXISTS are proud to be investing in education to help alleviate the effects of poverty in disadvantaged communities through the country. Our first project is located in Boeing Kunchung Primary School, Koh Kong District.