Travel with a Purpose
Fall in love with the natural beauty of the landscape, be inspired by a people who have lived through war, genocide and extreme poverty and yet still exude warmth, hope and courage we can all aspire to.
Whether you want to take a morning out of your schedule to help serve a meal to our students, or come of part as a larger group to tackle a building project, we are ready to help you make CFC part of your Cambodian experience.
All CFC schools are located just outside Siem Reap, and can be reached from the town center in approximately 20 minutes via tuk-tuk. Siem Reap is serviced by an international airport served by airlines arriving from Asian countries such as Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Korea, Myanmar, and Japan.
Our schools operate Monday to Saturday from 7am to 5pm (classes are not in session from 11am to 1pm for lunch). Visiting hours are by appointment only.
All Cambodian schools are closed in August and September, and also for 3 weeks in April. A limited number of volunteers visit during these periods to work on maintenance projects, or to assist with summer school activities.
Take a Trip FAQs:
What can I do?
We have numerous opportunities for our volunteers to help out and make a difference.
- Take a half hour tour of a school
- Serve a meal and interact with the students to see how our Food for Thought program operates
- Be part of a single or multi-day service project
We can help you plan a trip that works with your schedule and budget. Please understand that we seldom allow volunteers in the classrooms, as we find it disruptive to our students and teachers. A trip Guide to Siem Reap, CFC Preferred Hotel Rates, CFC guides and drivers are available for Caring Friend members.
How much does a project cost?
We do ask that our volunteers be willing to donate the funds required to purchase the materials necessary for their specific project. We have many projects on our wish list to fit budgets from as little as two hundred dollars, to a few thousand, for example;
- Outfitting classrooms
Please contact us for more information and a list of projects on our current wish list. Donations are tax deductible in the United States, and a tax receipt will be provided.
Where Do I Stay?
CFC has built up relationships with several hotels in Siem Reap, and we can provide you a list of those which offer reduced rates to CFC members. Our CFC Trip Guide is also available on request. It features helpful tips on how to maximize your time in Siem Reap, including a guide to dining out.
CFC Recommended Tour Guides
As a Caring Friend member, we are happy to connect you with wonderful guides and drivers who can take you to the temples and around the greater Siem Reap area.
What is my first step to planning a trip?
Your first step would be to let us know the dates you would like to go, we ask that you give us at least 2 weeks notice prior to your arrival for planning purposes. One of our Trip Coordinators will contact you to help you organize your trip. Some things to consider are; how many will be in your group, the length of time you would like to spend at a school or on a service project, and what your project budget might be.
What is Food for Thought?
Food for Thought is a meal program sponsored by CFC donors where all children are given two healthy meals every day. It was discovered that many of the children came to school hungry, which affected their focus and academic performance.
How do I help with Food for Thought?
To help you must first make an appointment through our travel coordinators. Once your date and the school you are helping at has been confirmed by CFC, you will be asked to arrive at 6:00am.
We offer our opportunities to participate in the Food for Thought Program on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday & Saturday. Not available on Thursdays or Sundays.
Can I give out items to the children when I visit the schools?
We do not allow our volunteers to distribute any items to our students. If you have any donations please contact us or a member of our CFC staff.
What do I wear when I visit a school?
Cambodian culture is very conservative, so please no short shorts, muscle shirts or spaghetti straps. Low-cut tops for women are also discouraged.
Can I drink the water at a school?
While our water is filtered and is safe for the Cambodian children, we do advise our volunteers to bring their own bottled water to the school.
Is there a snack shop or vending machine where I can buy a snack?
Please bring your own snack with you when you come.
Can I bring my children with me on a service project?
Age of children on service projects is 8 and up.
How do I choose my service project?
Unfortunately we are not able to have our volunteers choose a specific project, but we will certainly recommend something that is suitable for your group, given the ages, duration, budget, etc. Our trip coordinators will typically propose a project and discuss with you before confirming. If you have a specific skill set that we might be interested in, please let us know.
How do I pay for my project?
Once a project has been confirmed for you, you will receive an invoice via email, with directions for payment. Checks can be written in US Dollars. You can also pay via Credit card on our website.
What will I be invoiced for?
You will only pay for the cost of materials needed for your project, and in some cases (group trips) you may be invoiced for transportation and guide services, instead of paying for these when you are in Siem Reap. CFC does not make any money on these fees, and 100% goes to the project at the school.
Will CFC book my hotel and airfare?
As CFC is 100% volunteer run, we do ask that you book your own hotels, and we are happy to provide you with a list of our preferred hotels. For group trips, we do assist with hotel bookings.
Can I drop into a school during the day when I have time in my schedule?
We ask that all visits be by appointment only. This allows our schools to be run smoothly and professionally and ensures the safety and well-being of our students.
How much notice do you need to book a trip?
We ask that you give us at least a 2 weeks notice prior to your arrival in Siem Reap. The sooner the better! We do appreciate having the time necessary to plan your trip, and on some occasions have had to turn last minute volunteers down. We also get very busy, particularly over holiday weekends and will accept volunteer bookings on a first-come, first-served basis.
Can anyone visit a school?
We do book appointments for non-CFC members to tour a school or participate in Food for Thought. However, for any service trips or projects, we do ask that our volunteers be Caring Friend members.
Do you accept long term volunteers?
Yes, provided that the volunteer has been screened by our staff, and has a skill set that we need. Please contact us for further details.