The owners and creators of Nakupenda – Denis and Singyi, a belgian-khmer couple – went back to Belgium for several months to support the project financially. Therefore it is now Sinya (the sister) who is in charge of the place, with the help of her parents and two long-term volunteers Julie and Philippe. But the ones who truly make this place alive are YOU – the volunteers! Ever since we started to host people in March 2018 the dynamic of the project has changed a lot, and we love to see what we can achieve when people from all over the world come together and share their knowledge/skills.
In our farm, we produce organic vegetables, mushrooms and fruits but are not self-sufficient in food yet, so we want to develop our gardening skills to get there as soon as possible. We are also looking forward to create derived natural products and expand our mushrooms production in order to sell them in our shop and in town. During the past few months we have built three earth houses – the last one is almost finished – and a cob oven. We also have composting toilets and an ecobrick station to reduce our waste. As for leisure time, we have an ecological swimming pool, a fire pit, games (pétanque, table tennis, foosball…), bikes, books and hammocks to nap in. Finally, the parents recently opened a shop at the entrance of the farm in which you will find the bare necessities as well as snacks and drinks.
What to expect
By staying with us, volunteers may experience the farm work (mulching, watering, planting, harvesting, weeding, etc.), natural building techniques (for those who are not afraid of physical work), English-teaching (volunteers give lesson for about 30-45 min every afternoon to the children of the village – can include games, songs or any other interactive activity), animal care (we have 5 dogs, 4 cats and 8 chickens), and cooking activities. People also may enjoy artistic activities, mostly during their free time.
Please consider that in volunteering with us you will be joining a community, which means that the ‘work’ won’t end on the field. Taking care of the household, the tools and the animals, respecting the timetable and helping each other all day long are essential for all of us to enjoy our time here and live happily together. Furthermore, we expect every one to consume as mindfully as possible – whether it’s food, water, washing products or plastic containers. If you’re not willing to actively participate in this, it’s ok, there are plenty of other projects you can join. We want to make sure that we gather people who have the same mindset and ecological values.
We expect volunteers to help 4/5 hours per day, 6 days a week. In exchange, they will receive 3 meals a day (vegetarian/vegan) and free accommodation.
SHORT TERM – We ask for a minimum stay of 2 weeks, that can be extended longer after discussion depending on how you feel with us and how we feel with you (please tell us if you be interested and available to stay longer so we can keep you a spot in the calendar).
LONG TERM – We are also looking for people with solid experience in the following areas to help us on the mid/long term: English teaching, natural building, mushrooms growing or beekeeping. Minimum commitment of 2 months, extra advantages (visa extension fee offered, private room, team-leader position, …) – if you are interested and have any question, feel free to ask!
Accommodation / Daily life
Volunteers will sleep in a dormitory, inside our home (see the big house in the picture). All beds are protected by a mosquito net and we provide a pillow, bed sheets and a blanket.
Here’s an idea of the daily schedule:
– 6am to 6:30am: wake-up, prepare breakfast
– 6:30am: breakfast (coffee/tea, peanuts, fruits from our farm)
– 7am to 10am: work (various activities)
– 12am: lunch
– 3pm to 5pm: work (various activities / teaching English)
– 7pm: dinner
We also organize different kinds of activities on a weekly basis:
– Monday: deep cleaning
– Wednesday: Khmer cooking
– Friday: preparing tofu
– Saturday: feedback session + sharing circle
– Sunday: day off!
We don’t have Wi-Fi on the farm but we can occasionally share our hot-spot when you need it. Or you can buy a SIM card and some data for few dollars in town (we recommend SMART or SEATEL).
Please note that alcohol and drugs are not welcome on our farm, as we want it to be a space where people can distance themselves from any addiction and get a healthier lifestyle. Smoking tobacco is tolerated as long as it’s done outside of the house(s) where it doesn’t disturb anybody.
Volunteers will live and work with a Khmer woman (Sinya) and a group of volunteers from all around the world (can be up to ~10). They might also interact with her parents, daughter and nephew, even though they don’t speak English. We still do our best to share the Khmer culture and encourage volunteers to explore the area during their free time to get a feel of the local life.
We hosted a few Cambodian volunteers and want to have more in the future to develop the interaction between locals and foreigners.
We don’t ask any money from our volunteers because we want all kinds of travelers to be able to joins us. But since our project doesn’t have any source of income yet, we decided to put a donation box so that people who want to help us further have an opportunity to do so. The money will be used to buy tools or supplies that we need for the different activities.
We welcome new volunteers every Monday and ask our usual tuk-tuk driver to pick everybody at the durian roundabout in Kampot at 2pm – the price for the ride is 13 dollars, shared between the number of volunteers coming that day. If you travel by your own means, we will send you the exact location on Google Maps.
On the day off, we can arrange a tuk-tuk for the volunteers who want to go to Kampot, Kep, or the local sight seeings (secret lake, pepper farm, etc.). We also have an automatic motorbike (only for people with experience) and 2 bicycles available for rent.