Volunteer profiles

We would like to present some of our current and previous volunteers. In their profiles they talk about their time in Cambodia and work at Mlup Baitong.

Home country: France

Time at Mlup Baitong: October 2019 – January 2020

Projects: English Teaching, Waste Management at O Chorm


During my mission with Mlup Baitong I stayed in Battambang province where I was teaching English to a class of young teenagers. Even though I had no experience in this field, I really enjoyed it. At first, the students were a bit shy to speak with a foreigner but from day to day they were feeling more and more confident as a real complicity took place. In addition to the classic lesson they were usually receiving, I taught them about my culture and the lifestyle in my country, trying to make the lesson as interactive as possible. This experience was really rewarding as I was seeing the students having fun while learning.
Besides teaching English, I was also involved in a waste management project at O Chorm Eco-Tourism site. I taught the community a way of giving a second life to their plastic waste by making ecobricks which can be used in construction. This project has great potential to sensitize people to waste management in a country which is overwhelmed by plastic pollution.
During my whole time in Battambang, I was staying with the family of my colleague Retthy. He shared a lot with me about the Khmer culture and let me meet all his friends which made my time in Cambodia an unforgettable experience.


Florian Chabaud


Paul Wolf


Home country: Germany

Time at Mlup Baitong: August 2018 – August 2019

Projects: Administration in Phnom Penh, English Teaching at Chrok La-Eang


The year I volunteered at Mlup Baitong and thus stayed in Cambodia was a very eye-opening experience for me. For a few months, I worked in the office in Phnom Penh, but most of the time I spend living in Pursat province in a small village with my host family. During that time, my main task was teaching English at the ecotourism site “Chrok La-Eang” and the local primary school.
These experiences and the wonderful people I met throughout the year sustainably enlarged my narrow view of the world and enriched it with various perspectives. I did not just gain a deeper understanding of the hard-working NGOs and the challenges they face. I also realised what it means to have such a limited view that comes hand in hand with the numerous privileges I have as a young man from Central Europe. My year as a volunteer at Mlup Baitong taught me to actively recognize those privileges and the importance of utilizing them for the rest of my life.


Home country: Germany

Time at Mlup Baitong: August 2016 – August 2017

Projects: Community-Based Ecotourism, Teaching Community


During my volunteer service with Mlup Baitong, I experienced and learned a lot. I stayed, aside from Phnom Penh, in the provinces Kampong Speu and Pursat, where I could take part in Cambodia’s culture. While I spent some time at ecotourism destinations, I learned about different projects and their implementation. I decided to promote this way of travelling and created some advertisements for two projects in Chambok and Chrork La-Eang. These two places showed me that ecotourism is a great alternative to conventional tourism. In host families I participated in their daily life and was a part of their villages. The bonding of communities was absolutely unique and influenced me. You can see the richness of Cambodia’s culture especially in the countryside. I’ve never met so many kind, generous and warm-hearted people, who soon I could call my friends.


Elisabeth Keuten


Wibke Hagemeier



Home country: Germany

Time at Mlup Baitong: August 2015 – August 2016

Activities: Eco-Tourism, Community Forestry, Website, Teaching

While volunteering at Mlup Baitong, I was able to gain a lot of interesting experiences and knowledge about the work of an NGO in the subject of community livelihood environmental development, but also a lot of skills while accompanying the staff to the field. Throughout the year I participated in various projects of Mlup Baitong, such as Ecotourism or Community Forestry. Since I was staying in Cambodia for a whole year, I had many opportunities to get to know the country and its beautiful culture. I will always remember the great times with my colleagues, who eventually became my friends and the numerous adventures we had. It is very hard to name just one thing I enjoyed the most about my year, but the many interesting encounters with people from Cambodia and all over the world would definitely be among them.

Home country: Germany

Time at Mlup Baitong: August 2014 – August 2015

 

During my time with Mlup Baitong I was involved into two projects. For the first four months, I lived in Trapaeng Krolang together with the field staff of Mlup Baitong. They always took me to the villages and showed me their work. In the evenings I went to Krang Serei to teach basic German and English to children. For the rest of the year, I lived in Chambok in a host family. Chambok is a CBET (Community Based Eco Tourism). I had a lot contact to tourists, made some projects like tree planting and taught English to children. I loved the dedication, how the children were learning and coming to my classes, as well as the openness and the affability Chambok’s people showed to me. It was an unforgettable experience for me and I will always keep that time in my mind.


Nikolaj Doneck


Ai Ichitsubo



Home country: Japan

Time at Mlup Baitong: April 2013 – November 2013

Projects: Community Based Eco-Tourism Project Chambok, Community Based Eco-Tourism Project Preah Romkel and Community Forestry Management

I worked as an intern at Mlup Baitong for four months. During my internship, I stayed in Kampong Speu province almost 3 months and I taught English and Japanese to children in the village. Except for teaching them, I climbed mountains and made some maps to protect the forest with villagers. Climbing the mountain was really hard, but I recognized the importance of protecting nature. Through my activities at MB, I learned that trying various things are really valuable. The first step to our growth is to try!

Home country: Germany

Time at Mlup Baitong: 2009 – 2010

Projects: Chambok & Krang Serei Community


For one year I was teaching English to the children of Chambok and Krang Serei in support of Mlup Baitong. It was a very valuable experience and I have great memories from this time. While living together with the team of Mlup Baitong I had the chance to learn a lot about the culture and lives of Cambodians. As there were so many remarkable stories it’s difficult to tell what I loved most, but I really enjoyed to see the progress of the children learning English as well as the cooking sessions with the team. I want to thank Mlup Baitong again for the great time we had together.


Sebastian Lotz


Hollie Grant



Home country: United Kingdom

Time at Mlup Baitong: September 2008 – March 2010

Activities: Community Forestry and Community Based Eco-Tourism in Stung Treng.

As a VSO volunteer partnered with Mlup Baitong, I worked closely with MB staff to develop strategies for the Community Forestry and Community Based Eco-Tourism projects. I also worked with the Executive Director to write several successful fundraising proposals. My best memories from MB are of our work in the project site of Preah Rumkel. After a long day’s work we would talk over any remaining issues while watching the river dolphins playing at sunset.

Home country: Germany

Time at Mlup Baitong: 2008-2009

Activities: Community Based Forestry Project in Kampong Speu (Traeng Trayoueng office): Reports, documentation, English teaching, boundary demarcation and general support.

 

I supported the project officer in the day-to-day work of the Community Based Forestry (CBF) project (e.g. CBF site boundary demarcation, photo documentation, report writing, teaching new colleagues how to use GPS for boundary demarcation etc.), and I also had my own task: teaching English and environmental education in the CBF village Kraing Serei. I liked this variety in my tasks. I often accompanied Mlup Baitong co-workers of all the projects based in the office to their field work. This way I learned not only about the life situation of Cambodian villagers but also how grassroots work of an environmental NGO works and what problems it faces. Additionally, I gained practical skills in Khmer language, project planning and GPS usage. I loved to have my own responsibility with the teaching – which was an extremely insightful learning-by-doing process and created still-lasting friendships with several of my students. What I loved most about my time at Mlup Baitong was sharing everyday life as well as free time with my Cambodian colleagues who really made me feel included and became like a family to me. The experience with Mlup Baitong made me want to actively become engaged for more global justice and environmental protection, which I still am.


Eva Pfannerstill


Marius Koepchen



Home country: Germany

Time at Mlup Baitong: 1 year

Activities: Teaching English, helping out in community work and environmental work of Mlup Baitong office in Prey Rumeat

 

My time in Cambodia was a very rich experience for me. Especially because I was staying in a rural part of Cambodia living together in a big house with my coworkers at Mlup Baitong. I learned a lot about Cambodia but also about my own culture while I had this totally different perspective. I loved teaching English and learning Khmer myself and having contact to the local people was amazing. I also got to know quite a lot of the beautiful country Cambodia travelling on the weekends. This year changed a lot for my thinking about the world and people, so I think and act much more politically. It was great 🙂