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The Kingdom of Cambodia welcomes more than 500 volunteers every year, for missions ranging from a few days to several years.

Volunteers’ profiles are very varied and depend in particular on the forms of volunteering and the dispatching organisations, in this country which has more than a thousand local and international NGOs.

Find out all the information for your volunteering in Cambodia.


Volunteering in Cambodia

Every year in Cambodia, France Volontaire registers a large number of International Volunteers for Exchange and Solidarity (VIES), making the Kingdom the leading host country for volunteers in Asia. The year 2022 saw an upturn in the number of volunteers compared with previous years, with at least 226 short- and long-term volunteers in Cambodia!

  • 131 Volunteers for International Solidarity (VSI)
  • 37 Service Civique volunteers
  • More than 56 volunteers in International Solidarity Camps (CSI)
  • At least 3 Skills Exchange Volunteers (VEC)

France Volontaires has been working in Cambodia since 2002 and opened the first Asian Volunteering Centre in Phnom Penh in 2011. Our team is at the disposal of volunteering stakeholders and volunteers to support them in defining and accomplishing their mission and to help them in their administrative procedures or inform them about the country.

Our missions & services

The Volunteering Centre in Cambodia has several missions, including:

  • Developing volunteer missions
  • Promoting responsible volunteering
  • Capacity building
  • Documentation, information and resource centre
  • Coordinating the volunteer network
  • Organising monthly activities

Our partners

Volunteer host organisations in Cambodia

There are many volunteer host organisations in Cambodia, here is a non-exhaustive list of some of the host organisations:

  • Toutes à l’Ecole
  • Passerelles Numériques
  • Pour Un Sourire d’Enfant
  • Krousar Thmey
  • Acting for Cambodia
Dispatching/sending organisations that are members of France Volontaires
  • The European Guild
  • Service de Coopération au Développement (SCD – Development Cooperation Service)
  • Délégation Catholique pour la Coopération (DCC – Catholic Delegation for Cooperation)
  • Scouts et Guides de France (SGdF)

Settling into Cambodia

Identity card

  • Official name: Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Location: Surrounded by Thailand to the west, Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the south-west for its access to the sea
  • Currency: Nation, Religion, King
  • Area: 181,035 km², 25 provinces
  • Population: 16.7 million inhabitants (2020)
  • Currency: the Riel but the US dollar is widely used ($1 = approx. R 4000)
  • Capital city: Phnom Penh
  • Other major cities: Siem Reap, Battambang, Sihanoukville
  • Official language: Khmer
  • Religions: Theravada Buddhism (state religion) (97%), Islam (Cham 2%), other religions
  • Ethnic groups: Khmer in majority, Vietnamese, Cham, Chinese and several ethnic minorities, mostly located in the north-east of the Kingdom
  • Type of regime: Constitutional monarchy
  • King of Cambodia: S.M. Norodom Sihamoni (since 15 October 2004)
  • Prime Minister: Mr Hun Sen (since 30 November 1998)
  • Human Development Index: 144th out of 189 countries
  • Literacy rate: 80.5% (92.2% among 15-24-year-olds)
  • Life expectancy: 69.8 years
  • Time zone: CET +6 hours in winter, CET +5 hours in summer
  • Working hours (administration): 7:30-11:00 then 14:00-17:00; closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday

(Sources: demographic and socio-economic data: World Bank, UNDP, UNESCO)

General presentation

Cambodia in South-East Asia

Cambodia is set to occupy an important diplomatic position in the region as the Kingdom has taken over the rotating chairmanship of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2022 and plans to host the South-East Asian Games (SEA Games 2023) in Phnom Penh in 2023, after massively vaccinating its population during the COVID-19 pandemic and reopening the country to vaccinated tourists since 1 April 2022.


Cambodia has a tropical climate, with two seasons that punctuate the year. The dry season, with very little rain, runs from November to April. The wet season, with heavy rain or thunderstorms at the end of the day and at night, lasts from May to October.

Daily temperatures range from 25 to 35°C in the ‘cool’ season of December-January, and from 35 to 40°C in the hottest months of April and May.

A little history to understand the country
  • From the 9th to the 13th century: the Great Khmer Empire, of which Angkor is the capital, is at its peak.
  • 1863: undergoing revolts linked to strong pressure from the Siamese (Thailand) and the Vietnamese, Cambodia is placed under a French protectorate.
  • 1941: Norodom Sihanouk is crowned King of Cambodia.
  • 9 November 1953: France grants independence to Cambodia.
  • 1955: Norodom Sihanouk abdicates in favour of his father, Norodom Suramarit, in order to fulfil a political role and becomes Prime Minister.
  • 1960: on the death of King Suramarit, Norodom Sihanouk becomes Head of State of a monarchy without a king.
  • 1970: deposition of Norodom Sihanouk by a coup d’état and creation of the Khmer Republic, supported by the United States. Extension of the Vietnam War to Laos and Cambodia.
  • 17 April 1975: Arrival of the Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh and start of the genocide.

The state of ‘Democratic Kampuchea’ is founded. Norodom Sihanouk, who had supported the Khmer Rouge after being deposed, becomes Head of State. But a year later he resigns from his position. He is replaced by Khieu Samphan, but in reality, the actual leader was Pol Pot.

  • 7 January 1979: the Vietnamese army invades and occupies Cambodia, causing the collapse of the Khmer Rouge. Birth of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, a pro-Vietnamese government. Repopulation of the cities with the survivors, mostly people from the countryside. New exodus of the population in the face of this invasion, creation of refugee camps in Thailand.
  • 1982: In exile, supporters of Norodom Sihanouk, Republicans and the Khmer Rouge form a coalition to fight the pro-Vietnamese government.
  • 1989: the Vietnamese forces leave Cambodia.
  • 1991: international conferences leading to the Paris Agreements for the reconstruction of Cambodia
  • 1993: the UN organises the first democratic elections in Cambodia to elect the legislative assembly. Sihanouk’s party wins, the parliamentary monarchy is re-established, and he becomes king again. Formation of a government comprising two prime ministers, Norodom Ranariddh, son of Sihanouk, and Hun Sen of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), who came second.
  • 2004: Norodom Sihamoni succeeds his father, Norodom Sihanouk, who abdicates.
  • 2008: legislative elections won by Hun Sen’s CPP
  • 2012: death of King Norodom Sihanouk
  • 2013: the CPP wins the legislative elections again, a victory contested by the opposition CNRP, which scored a record 44%. Numerous demonstrations take place.
  • 2018: the CNRP, considered by the government as a ‘threat to national security’, is dissolved by the Supreme Court a few months before the new legislative elections, which are therefore won once again by the CPP. As a result of the international community’s reactions, tensions between the international community and Cambodia arise.


Rithyra LIV

National Representative Cambodia
[email protected]


International volunteering development manager for Asia and Madagascar
[email protected]

Laurie BRUNA

Support officer at the Espace Volontariats du Cambodge
[email protected]

Nysovannak PRUM

Volunteer development support officer
[email protected]

Contact the team

[email protected]

France Volontaires' partners in Cambodia