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Closed Ending orphanage tourism - transforming voluntourism!

A project from ConCERT Cambodia
in Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Verena L. 07 January 2013 at 05:00 PM

When and why have you been on-site?

I visited conCERT in August 2012 while travelling in Cambodia. I had heard about the project from and was interested to find out more, especially when I was myself confronted with the vast number of charities in South-East-Asia and the difficult living conditions of its people.

What is your connection to the project or the carrier?

I have no personal connection to the project. I had simply send a message asking Michael, the founder of conCERT if I could meet him and visit the office (which is public anyway). He took the time to explain to me in detail what conCERT does and why.

Your positive report from Siem Reap:

The work that conCERT does is very valuable for tourists, volunteers and locals alike. I was impressed with the critical approach they like and with how thoroughly they assess their member organisations. In a place like Cambodia that is basically flooded with charities, on the one hand, and international tourists struck by the poverty they see, on the other hand, conCERT acts like a compass. They are courageous enough to speak about everything that is problematic in charitable work and - instead of begging people to help - promote the ambiguous value of many development and social projects and tell the overwhelmed tourists what better not to do. The team, their principles and work convinced me, and I believe similar "charity navigators" would be much needed in many more places.
(unknown user) 25 June 2011 at 03:02 AM

This comment responds to this news.

Meera! Happy Early Birthday! We just donated two bikes! Miss you! Much LOVE! Janaki & Shyam
A. Winbeck 22 June 2011 at 05:41 PM
Warum findest Du dieses Projekt unterstützenswert?

I came to Siem Reap with the intention of doing some voluntary work (as well as doing sightseeing, of course!). I was thinking of helping with English, because I knew that this was something that I could do and that was often required in countries where English is a second language. But how do I go about finding a placement? One that was arranged before I left for my travels fell through, so I was advised to go and speak to ConCERT. This I did. It became clear that I could help projects in other ways as well, I did not have to teach English and frankly, there were more qualified people out there who would be able to do that much better. However, I could use my professional skills gained during my career and put them to some good use working with a local NGO. ConCERT staff matched my expertise to a small NGO that desperately needed help. I was able to put together funding bids and help with some more general process and procedural questions. This resulted in increased confidence of the staff team and some very satisfying work for me, because I could see how my skills were really benefiting not only the project but also the people involved. All this was possible because ConCERT has such an in-depth knowledge of the NGOs operating in the area, are very enthusiastic and professional about their work and are asking the right questions of the volunteers who come to their office! Without ConCERT my time in Siem Reap would not have been the same. They are undertaking a very valuable and required service and I can thoroughly recommend them to anybody who is interested in volunteering their time or other resources to an NGO in Siem Reap.
K. Winbeck 04 June 2011 at 10:46 AM
Warum findest Du dieses Projekt unterstützenswert?

Ich kenne ConCERT und seine Mitarbeiter nun seit etwa 10 Monaten, seitdem ich in Siem Reap bin. ConCERT ist einer der, wenn nicht gar der beste, Ansprechpartner in Sachen responsible Tourism in Kambodscha. Micheal und sein Team haben den besten Überblick über die örtlichen NGOs.
Durch sie habe ich auch mein Projekt, eine Grundschule in einem der umliegenden Dörfer von Siem Reap, gefunden. ConCERT ist zudem das einzige Projekt das Ordnung in das wirre Netz der Entwicklungsarbeit hier in der Umgebung bringt. Wer ein Volunteerplatz für ein paar Wochen oder Monate sucht oder Geld in die richtigen Projekte spenden will, der sollte unbedingt mal im Büro vorbeischauen!
J. Latt 30 May 2011 at 12:36 PM
Warum findest Du dieses Projekt unterstützenswert?

I have worked with ConCERT since September 2010 when I was encouraged, by them, to visit a local school where I might find a good 'match'. Boy! Were they on target! It turns out that Spitler School and Spitler School Foundation were a superior match for my skill set as an educator and school administrator. And, the need for my advise and support was well timed to several initiatives the school was pursuing. Since September, I have referred numerous individuals to ConCERT and have met frequently with staff to discuss NGO development initiatives and responsible volunteerism. ConCERT provides a vital link between responsible and motivated individuals looking for reputable NGO projects and opportunities to make a real difference in Cambodia.
N. Biddison 28 May 2011 at 10:25 AM
Before I started volunteering with ConCERT I was impressed with the quality of information available in addition to the wide breadth of knowledge of what's happening in the tourism sector in relation to the non-profit sector. There are brochures and contacts for local organizations that you can support or volunteer with. There are also details on other ways to support the community if someone doesn't have enough time to volunteer through shopping and visitor centers. The staff keeps up to date on the latest issues related to volunteering and tourism, in addition to regularly participating in various forums and events that impact these same sectors. Stop by the office or website today!
N. Biddison 28 May 2011 at 10:20 AM
Warum findest Du dieses Projekt unterstützenswert?

As an English language teacher in Siem Reap since 2003, I have seen a huge rise in the number of organizations in Siem Reap, but who can know which ones are legitimate? When I discovered ConCERT in 2009, I realized that it aligned with my vision of developing a network of organizations that are reliable, transparent and well-run. I have been working with ConCERT since 2009 on a variety of projects, and recently joined the team in 2011 as a regular volunteer to expand the business partnerships. ConCERT has positioned itself as the clear leader in providing accurate information about responsible volunteering and tourism in addition to providing opportunities for enriching volunteer and support opportunities for visitors to Cambodia. There is so much more that it can be doing with support to expand its influence in the Siem Reap communities and across the country.