“I found out about the Volunteer Graphic Design position through Linkedin as I was browsing to look for other work opportunities. I applied because I know it’s a good opportunity and have been wanting to be involved with an NGO for quite sometime. Fortunately enough, after weeks of interviews and waiting, I got the position and that made me really happy. Pre-departure planning with Professionals doing Good kept me busy for a while because it takes a lot of time to plan and prepare my arrival and stay in Cambodia. I had no idea how much documents, requirements, and planning I needed to do before my arrival. But it was a good learning process, I enjoyed gathering every requirement needed such as the reference letters, police record checks, passport photo and more. It already made me feel more independent and mature knowing that I can go and do these things for myself. As for the funds that I needed for Cambodia, that was the biggest challenge I faced but also I received an incredible amount of support from my own family at that time. I used up some of my earnings and savings for my plane ticket and accommodation. My parents and siblings all chipped in for my travel insurance, accommodation and pocket money for the whole duration of my stay. I felt a little bit shy initially because I did not expect them to help me financially since this was my own choice. But I felt really lucky to have them as my family because of the love and support that they willingly gave me once they found out that I got accepted for the position.
I have a lot of goals and hopes for this project. I hope I am able to give the best of my design skills to create effective marketing materials such as brochures, leaflets and posters to attract more funds for New Hope Cambodia in Siem Reap. I aim to help impart my skill as a designer and somewhat teach the basics to some of the staff of New Hope Cambodia. So when I leave, they will be able to continue the work or at least have some knowledge in designing and using the software. I hope I am able learn a lot about Cambodia’s rich culture, traditions and history. I aim to be able to try their local food specialties and learn to speak a little bit of Khmer. I aim to be able to get the most experience as I can in the few months that I will be here.
The next day after my arrival, I was given the orientation tour by New Hope Cambodia. Vichtyea and Bang showed me and my dad around the entire school. I met the students, teachers, staff, the assistant teacher volunteers and the CEO, Ron Carter. I felt good seeing them all, knowing that they will be the people that I will interact with everyday. These people have the same passion as me, helping those in need and working for an organization that has a noble cause. And for me, that was more than enough to get me more excited about volunteering. My first day or even the first week was already busy, filled with important designs tasks. I am currently still doing 3 brochure projects for the school. Each leaflet is focused on each department of the school such as the Sponsorship department, volunteer department and community development. I admit it gets a bit overwhelming because it is such an important task and I am handling the design layout all by myself. But I love every second of it. I have been given the creative freedom to design these brochures and I only hope to give the best of my ability for the betterment of the organization.
I have met a lot of new people and everyone is very welcoming and nice. The teachers invited me to have lunch with them on my first week and that felt good. To be included. Despite them just meeting me, they have welcomed me just like how they welcome a friend. They shared their time and food with me which I really appreciate and will always cherish. During the weekends, I will try my best to try new experiences such as discovering a new cafe or restaurant. Or go on a tour which I have done last week. I went to the Angkor Wat temple sunrise tour and it was amazing. The best sunrise that I have seen in my life. I was lucky to have met new friends during the tour since it was a shared tour with other tourists. We spent half the day just touring in the temples, absorbing the local area and culture. It was absolutely beautiful. I can’t wait for the upcoming weeks and the many more days that I will get to experience here.”