Teams of students and volunteers made trash bins from plastic bottles before taking part in a clean-up at the high school during a visit by the UNV Volunteerism Caravan in Cambodia to Kratie province. (Maeve Anne Halpin/UNV, 2014)

Volunteerism Caravan in Cambodia helps UNV raise awareness in remote communities

inspired by a similar activity organized in Tunisia, the UNV Field Unit is Cambodia has been operating a Volunteerism Caravan which has been engaging volunteers and organizations in remote areas in discussions about the current status of volunteerism and its contribution to Cambodia's development.

Last week, the Volunteerism Caravan in Cambodia rolled into Kratie province, where the UNV Field Unit took part in a community activity at the Kratie Krong High school.

The UNV Field Unit in Cambodia launched the Volunteerism Caravan in June 2014 to travel to different provinces in the country, inspired by a similar activity organized in Tunisia as part of the Arab Youth Volunteering for a Better Future project.

In Cambodia, Field Unit personnel, often with UN Volunteers, on the Caravan have been engaging volunteers and their organization counterparts in discussions about the current status of volunteerism in Cambodia and its contribution to Cambodia’s development.

The objective of the Kratie stop, facilitated by the VSO International Citizen Service (ICS) Team, was to promote environmental awareness in young people, focusing on how littering and waste disposal affects the community.

“In a recycling game, teams of students and volunteers raced to make rubbish collection bins out of used water bottles,” said Maeve Anne Halpin, UN Youth Volunteer in Communication, Outreach and Youth at the UNV Field Unit in Cambodia. “Then everyone took part picking up rubbish around the school.”

The UNV Field Unit in Cambodia mounted the Volunteerism Caravan in partnership with the Cambodia Volunteering Network (VolCam) and has been working in close cooperation with VSO which has helped organize and mobilize volunteers and communities in each location.

In June and September, the Volunteerism Caravan made stops in Battambang and Phnom Penh, in conjunction with gatherings of national and international volunteers. On 25 November 2014, the caravan made its last stop in Banlong, Ratanakiri.

Research collected during the various sessions will be presented during IVD celebrations in Phnom Penh on 5 December and used to update the 2008 publication, Volunteerism, harnessing the potential to develop Cambodia.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia