This document contains important information that we want you to consider before joining our project. Please read it carefully and send us an email at email@example.com if you have any question.
Values and ethics
- OPEN-MINDEDNESS. Coming with an open-mind is the best way for you to enjoy your experience with us. Try not to have any expectation, judgment or fear – instead, be present and grateful for what is happening now.
- RESPONSIBILITY. During your stay, we expect you to act responsibly: be on time, take care of the supplies, respect the rules, etc. This makes the group management much easier for us and therefore allows us to also enjoy our time together.
- CURIOSITY. Our community is a great opportunity for you to grow and learn, so don’t miss out on it – show interest in the project, the Khmer culture and other people. We encourage you to actively participate and get involved like if it was your own project.
- NON JUDGMENT. We want everybody who stays with us to feel free and safe to be who they truly are, so respecting each other is fundamental. We believe that no one holds the truth and that we always have something to learn from each other.
- BEING THE CHANGE. We are on our way to a self-sufficient lifestyle and want to gather people who are already taking action in their personal life to make a change in this direction too. If you have no real interest in farming, in living healthier or in becoming the best version of yourself, this is not a place for you.
- LOVE. We consider sharing love around us as one of our primary missions. It is in every act we do, in the words we say and in the energy we put in the world. We love deeply, freely and joyfully! And we hope you do too.
- TEAM SPIRIT. We are living and working together, therefore we need everybody to collaborate and help each other. Each person matters and brings value to the group, and teamwork awakens motivation and a sense of purpose in each member. By volunteering with us, you will forever be a part of a big family.
- Please make sure that you have a valid visa during your stay with us, the local police comes once in a while to check the passports of everybody staying in our farm. If you need to get a visa extension, you can easily do it in a travel agency in Kampot – we can offer help and advice if needed.
- It is your responsibility to have valid medical insurance covering incidents abroad. We can help you to get medical assistance if needed but our project doesn’t accept any liability or responsibility for any accidents you might have during your stay with us.
- When joining our project, please commit to the length of stay that we agreed on. We can of course be flexible, but please be honest with yourself about how much time you can commit. If you can’t commit for three full weeks, please consider applying another time.
- We provide bed sheets, blankets, pillow cases and mosquito nets for all volunteers. Please clean them (except the latter) before you leave, for the people coming after you.
- Please turn off the fan and lights when you leave your room.
- We recommend charging your phones / electronic devices during the day as we turn off the electricity every night from 9pm to 6am (approximately).
- Please don’t keep any food in your bag upstairs, otherwise the rats will eat through your backpack to get to it – you can hang your snacks safely next to the kitchen. Note that the rats are also interested in the following: soap, toothpaste, coconut oil, dirty underwear.
- Please consider that the mattresses we provide are thin (Asian standard), so if you absolutely need a comfy and fluffy bed to sleep you might want to look elsewhere.
- We live in a wooden house, which means that we can hear pretty much everything from one floor / room to another, and feel the vibrations when someone is walking. So please be quiet when people are resting and walk softly.
- By staying with us you will be joining a community, which means that the work doesn’t end off the field. Taking care of the household and the tools / supplies is just as important, so please help us keep the place clean and organized.
- Please remove your shoes at the entrance of the house.
- We provide yoga mats that you can use at any time. Please take care of them and roll them up after use.
- We have bungalows available for rent (wooden or made from cob) if you want more privacy. The price is 2USD / night for one person, or 3USD / night for a couple. Please note that priority is given to external guests so they might not always be available.
Work / activities
- Please wear appropriate clothing and shoes during activities.
- We provide gloves and hats that you can use at any time. If they get dirty, please clean them and hang to dry.
- Please be cautious when using the tools, accidents can happen fast and we are about an hour drive from the closest hospital.
- If you have an idea for a new activity, please let us know and we will see if / how we can make it happen.
- When you’re done using the tools, please bring them back and clean them if necessary.
Food and drinks
- In exchange of the daily work, we provide 3 vegan meals a day – cooked by volunteers. For vegetarians, we sometimes cook eggs or egg noodles on the side.
- We do our best to provide a variety of foods, however please keep in mind that some items like beans, lentils or noodles are more expensive and should not be used daily.
- Please don’t waste food – the groceries are usually supposed to cover a full week.
- Please keep the kitchen area clean and tidy.
- Please avoid leaving uncovered food on the tables or kitchen counters as it attracts ants. When there are leftovers, make sure to cover them properly with a lid or feed them to the dogs (we don’t have a fridge so we cannot keep them for a long time).
- We have ground coffee available for breakfast and after lunch, and usually prepare healthy natural tea at each meal with fresh ingredients like ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, moringa or papaya leaf. Feel free to create your own!
- Drinking water is available at any time. We usually filter rain water through clay pots, biosand filters, or boil water in a big quantity when the filters aren’t fast enough.
- Please return your cup to the table or clean it after use.
- If you have any food restrictions, allergies or specific diet, please let us know so we can find an arrangement. However, because many different people are cooking, the easiest way might be for you to prepare your own meal.
- Please note that we feed fish to our pets, so if you don’t feel comfortable with the smell you might want to go away while they eat. You will also be asked to feed them at some point, however if you don’t feel comfortable doing that please let us know.
- We have a small shop at the entrance of the farm where you will be able to find some snacks, cold drinks, coconuts, Khmer breakfast, instant coffee, milk, … So if you need anything, feel free to go there to support the family – the shop is managed by Singyi and Sinya’s mother.
Alcohol, smoking and drugs
- We want our farm to be a place where people can distance themselves from any kind of addiction and get a healthier lifestyle – showing our kids a better example at the same time – therefore drinking alcohol and using drugs are not allowed here. Breaching of this rule will result in immediate ejection from our farm. Non-smokers are preferred.
- Please be aware that by staying with us you will experience an off-the-grid lifestyle. We are located about 25km north-east of Kampot (visit http://bit.ly/NakupendaGMaps for the exact location), which is about 1h drive by motorbike / tuk-tuk.
- In the Khmer culture, people like to celebrate by playing music or talk through loud speakers. Therefore, please be prepared to sometimes hear noise during the night or early in the morning when weddings or celebrations are happening in the area (bring earplugs if you don’t want to be disturbed).
- During your free time, you are free to stay at the farm or go out and explore the area. We have one automatic motorbike (only if you have driving experience) and two bicycles available for rent.
- There is a small village 3km away (about 45min by walk) where you can discover the local life and find the bare necessities: fruits, vegetables, pharmacy, snacks, drinks, …
- You can also visit the not-so-secret Secret Lake located 9km away (about 2h on foot or 25min by motorbike). There, you will find local restaurants with huts by the lake and cheap prices – one of them is called Khmer Root Café and offers cooking classes around 5USD. You can also jump into the lake for a swim.
- A bit further is a family-run pepper farm called Bo Tree, located 13km away (about 30min by motorbike), which offers a free guided tour including a pepper tasting experience. They also have a place to chill and a shop. In the same area you can also visit the pepper farm La Plantation but it’s much more touristy.
- Finally, you can explore the temple cave Phnom Chhngok located 12km away (about 30min by motorbike) – a nice adventure guided by children from the surroundings. There is a small shop near the entrance selling food and sugar cane juice.
- Please keep in mind that we are in the countryside, which means that insects and wild animals are all around – ants, geckos, spiders, mosquitoes, bees / wasps, grass hoppers, beetles, frogs, snakes, scorpions, … Be careful when walking barefoot as some of them are poisonous.
- We have several dogs and they take their job of protecting the house seriously. They’re not harmful, but be prepared to hear them bark when someone is coming (especially kids), when neighbors’ dogs are visiting or at night if they hear something approaching.
- Even if our project is influenced a lot by the western world, please remember that you are in Cambodia and that some things are not appropriate – like walking around in bikini (it’s ok to swim, but please put back some clothes on afterwards).
- When visiting the local area, please dress appropriately and respect the law and customs.
Photos and videos
- Please share with us the best pictures you took during your stay with us, we will publish some of them on our social accounts with credits. If you’re a good photographer / video maker, we would be happy to give you some dedicated work time around this.
- We often take pictures of the activities to publish on social media, however if you don’t want to appear on them please let us know.
What we suggest you to bring
- Natural mosquito repellent, soap, eco-friendly toiletries and laundry detergent (liquid detergent or bar soap is better for the soil than washing powder).
- Clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, stained or holed – previous volunteers left some but your size might not be available.
- For women, please consider using reusable hygiene products: washable pads, menstrual cup, sea sponge, …
- Warm jacket or sleeping bag – it gets chilly at night.
- Ca$h – the closest ATM is in Kampot.
- Food / herbs that you would like to cook with during your stay or share with everybody. Keep in mind however that we don’t have a fridge, and respect our vegetarian diet.
What you can donate us
- Airtight glass jars – to store jam, lacto-fermented food, honey, etc. Or any kind of reusable container.
- Old clothes – to use as work clothes for other volunteers or recycle into something else.
- Spices or herbs – to bring different flavors to our meals.
- Organic seeds from tropical countries – to have more variety in our garden. Seeds for other climates are mostly useless here.
- Organic EM (Effective Microorganism) mix – to improve the quality of our compost.
- Card or board games – to have fun all together.
- Musical instruments – to jam around the fire.
- Anything else you would like: books, kitchen towels, tools, animal food, kitchenware, …
- Note that we also have a ‘free stuff’ shelf next to the dorm where you will be able to leave anything you want for other volunteers to use.
Thank you for reading this document until the end.
We hope to see you soon at Nakupenda!