Volunteer in Cambodia - Siem reap - maninio.com - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia

Volunteering in a non-profit organisation “Touch a life”

Siem Reap – Cambodia

The most powerful moments of my 1 month in Cambodia was during Volunteering days in Siem Reap. After a lot of research about volunteering, I decide to attend a 2 day volunteering on the organisation “Touch a life”. The organisation is run by a lovely lady named Mavis Ching. She feeds hungry children and delivers meals to families in nearby villages. With the help of volunteers, 3 times a week. You can join them as many days, weeks or even months. They need your help. 🙂  The food preparation and delivery is for 660 poor people, each person receives a cup of rice, an omelette and a cup of soup once a week (every Saturday). For the majority of these people, this is the only food they have during a week…think it twice…Once a week!! It took me a few shocking moments until I understand and realise it…

Touch a Life

In addition, a small food delivery for 50 people takes place in the village nearby, every Wednesday, and food lunch, on the house’s front yard every Monday. Except for the food, the centre provides medicine to the ones in need and helps them in their daily lives needs with an exchange of volunteering at the centre. 

I arrive early in the morning, where Mrs Mavis and few other volunteers from Singapore, China, France, Iraq, England, Germany and few locals greet me politely. There is an outdoor kitchen and it’s the place where we prepare the food. 3 gas stoves for the omelette preparation and 3 gas stoves for the soup and rice preparation. 

Volunteer in Cambodia - Siem reap - maninio.com - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia

volunteer in touch a life - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Fresh eggs from the cambodia market- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Depending on the availability, there is a standard person who prepares the omelette with the help of one more volunteer. The rest, participate actively in soup and rice preparation, afterwards on the packing and lastly on the delivery around the villages. The work has to be done fast, we have only from 8 am – around 3 pm to finalise all the cooking and packing for 660 people. The delivery has to be finalised by around 6.30pm. So in case you are wondering whether the volunteers offer quality time, my answer is yes the work is exclusively by volunteers. 


Volunteers have fun in touch a life - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Omelette cooking in touch a life - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Omelette with herbs - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Omelette is ready to be delivered to poor kids- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Fresh rice cleaning- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com


My role is to cut vegetables and to measure the rice. The rice has to be measured equally and to add/omit accordingly. 

Sticky rice preparation for poor kids - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Rice wrapping for poor kids- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Rice packaging - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

We cut, cut, cut quickly, we laugh, we joke, we sing, we chat, we exchange ideas, we sweat and sweat. Despite the fact that it’s very hot and humid and we have to speed up in order to catch up with the time, we really have a great time!

Volunteers have fun- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Carrots from market in siem reap - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Fresh beans from markets in Cambodia - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Fresh eggplants from Cambodian markets- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Eggplant cut for Cambodian soup - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Food preparation for poor kids - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Cambodian soup cooking - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Soup preparation- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Omelette and Pepper

We make a break for a quick breakfast which is Bread, Omelette and Pepper sauce, which is absolutely delicious, especially the pepper sauce! 

Breakfast time in touch a life- #volunteertouchalife #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

We finalise the packing and here we leave for the villages deliveries. Nothing prepared me for the things to come…

Firstly we stop in the city for food distribution to a few street kids. We continue to the next destination where it’s a land of huts, earthen streets and dust. But also endless poverty… We cross a small road inside the forest and we reach a small village. Firstly, my feelings are controversial…From the one hand, I am horrified with the situation but on the other hand,  happy that I can help at least for 2 days. 

We reach and enter the first house, where an old man leaves alone. His skin colour is dark, dark hair, sad face and he is skinny very skinny. His house is just a small room, smells urine and consists of a wooden bed. How to describe his expression the moment he sees us??? A huge smile appeared to his face, I haven’t ever seen such a smile like a butterfly opens her wings, I am impressed by his calmness, politeness and his gratefulness for the food. One of the most profound expressions of love gave to us was to bow his head and keep saying  “thank you, thank you”, trying to communicate with his little English. 

That was the moment that I snap and outburst. I come out of the room and start crying. I notice that I am not the only one, we keep in silence for a while and I am wondering why life is so hard for some people, hundreds of thoughts passing through my mind…for my life, peace, death, happiness, poverty…everything in just a few seconds. That man in that room, with that big smile, hunts me and inspires up to date. 

Food is ready for villages deliveries in siem reap- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Siem reap villages in Cambodia - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Poor man in village of siem reap asking for food - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

The Key to Life

We move to the next room where a blind sick woman lives alone also. Next for our deliveries…everybody knows when the volunteers arrive, they run and shout anxiously to catch up the queue for the food pick up. It is a great exchange of smiles and big thank you’s of adorable children and women. We see a  shocking poverty, lots of kids with bloated stomachs due to hunger, abandoned women with their kids. Believe me, the photos are not showing the large scale of our feelings and the situation in Cambodia.

Kids and parents waiting for their food in siem reap- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com


Just love village kids in Siem Reap #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Volunteer for food with a village lady- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Poor kids in siem reap villages- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Village lady peeling garlic at her work- #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

Siem reap villages poor people- #volunteersiemreap #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

It is almost 6 pm and we delivered all the food. We are exhausted by the heat and the dust but we have no right to complain. Our main feeling is Happiness, the more we give the happier we feel.

On Monday we cook for around 50 school kids Tom yum soup, vegetables, rice and chilly sauce. The kids arrive at 11.30 and the front yard fills up with cute sounds, smiles and hugs. 

Cooking in the organisation touch a life -#volunteerintouchalife #volunteerincambodia maninio.com



Volunteer in Cambodia, school kids having lunch - Siem Reap - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

I wish the time is not passing so quickly. All I know that I feel good in a sense that I had really succeeded in what I came here for To make a difference even for a very limited time. We have so much in our lives and they have little… who are happiest? Guess and you may re-evaluate your life. 

Volunteering team - Siem Reap  - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com

If you ever visit Cambodia and you wish to participate in or to help with other ways this is the site: Touch a Life and the Facebook page

A huge thank you to Mrs Abi and all the amazing volunteers! They make my time better than ever imagined! Life changing experience indeed. 

““This is the key to life: To expect everything to be given to you from above. Yet to be genuinely surprised and forever grateful, when they are. Expecting all good things to be yours, while not knowing how to take anything for granted. If there may be a key in life, this is the key.”
― C. JoyBell C.” 

For my experience in Angkor Wat, you can view it Here


Volunteer in Cambodia - Siem Reap  - #volunteerinasia #volunteerinsiemreap maninio.com

Volunteer in Cambodia - Siem Reap - touch a life - #volunteerinasia #volunteerincambodia maninio.com