Esme Pitts was an eight month Volunteer in Cambodia in 2014/15. She told us about the impact she made in the orphanage she was volunteering in and her integration into life in Cambodia:

Project Trust Gap Year Cambodia

Esme and Charlotte in Cambodia

“My primary role as a Volunteer was to teach English to primary and secondary classes during the day then run extracurricular activities like art, dance or conversational English in the evenings. I also had a secondary role as a role model and ‘big sister’ figure to the children because we lived with them in the home. 

“Being the first volunteer at a project is always going to be challenging and we had to be pro-active and clear in our objectives. But it also gave us a blank canvas to work with and we had the opportunity to mould the working day we wished and build upwards to what we wanted to achieve in eight months for the children. You get to feel the pride that you have moulded the Volunteer role and been the pioneers for years to come.

Project Trust Gap Year Cambodia

Lois teaching in Bethany Children’s Home

“Myself and my volunteering partner, Charlotte, painted two different rooms in the orphanage. We painted and decorated the white classroom we taught in with the English alphabet so it was more interactive for the children and a more positive room to learn English in. We also decorated the playroom, with different weather conditions and the English words underneath and a huge globe and with the children’s handprints around it. It’s nice to think that we’ve left a physical mark and legacy at the project. 

“A big part of the community was the staff and we left with very strong relationships to particular nannies. That community means that I have a second family now. I hold extremely strong emotional connections to everyone there, with everything I managed to achieve and help the children achieve, it blurred the definition of ‘home’ to me. I thought at the end of the eight months that I’d be coming home; but that place became my home too.”