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Volunteer Teaching Opportunities in Kampot Province, Cambodia

Posted By: The Chelly Foundation <[email protected]>
Date: Thursday, 5 September 2019, at 9:07 p.m.

Who We Are
The Chelly Foundation was founded in 2015 by Jason R. Baron, a lawyer in private practice in Washington, D.C. In 2016, the Foundation became an IRS approved 501(c)(3) public charity, with EIN 81-0785392. The name of the Foundation comes from Jason’s late Mom, Selma “Chelly” Baron.

For the inspiring backstory on how the Foundation came to be originally created, please visit at the various entries under the tab, “About Us.” Nop Ess is our in-country program director; he lives in Phnom Penh and commutes frequently to Snay Anh Chet, his home village in the Chum Kiri District of Kampot Province.

Our Present Mission
A core mission of The Chelly Foundation is to provide educational opportunities to the children of Chum Kiri. For the past several years, we have supported the teaching of free English classes including at the local high school and the primary school in the village of Snay Anh Chet in Chum Kiri. However, the current classes have been taught by teachers drawn from the local population, who themselves have been taught English as a foreign language. Our goal is to introduce into the curriculum of these schools the teaching of English by native English speakers, from the U.S. or elsewhere. We wish to strengthen the teaching of English by having TEFL participants develop an educational program both for the students as well as for the teachers of English already part of the local school staff. There are 1,300 children at the main local high school, and 600 children at the local primary school, as the base population to draw from. This is an exciting opportunity to teach students who show great enthusiasm in learning English. In coming years we will wish to accommodate as many students as possible within reason by hiring one or more teachers.

Additionally, over the past three years we have provided 19 graduating seniors from local high schools with “Chelly Scholarships,” in the form of full or partial four-year scholarships to the Royal University of Phnom Penh and other colleges in the city. All of our scholars are doing excellently in school, and we are expecting up to six new Chelly Scholars joining us this year as freshmen. However, in our view future college-bound Chelly Scholars need to have a better grounding in English to truly succeed after their present studies end, either in the job market, or in competing for additional US-based and international scholarships including to graduate programs. Having one or more Western-educated teachers in Chum Kiri district will provide a better foundation for the Chelly Scholar program being able to choose truly outstanding students with the greatest potential, including those who have excelled at learned English in high school.

Job Description
The posting in Chum Kiri is for a 3-month minimum stay, with extensions of time desirable to fill out the school year depending on your start date. The duration of your time in Chum Kiri is fairly flexible and can be fashioned to accommodate your overall plans in country.

You will be expected to teach English classes during a portion of the day for students in grades 4 to 12, five days a week (holidays and holiday weeks excluded), for the duration of your stay. Classes will be held at the local high school and at the local primary school. You will be assisted in these classes by a local Khmei-speaking English teacher on the current payroll of The Chelly Foundation, who will provide translation as needed. You will have the full support of the school principals at the local high school and primary school. You will also be expected to work with our part-time librarians at The Chelly Library (located at the high school). Ideally, you will also be able to help design a curriculum and provide instruction on how to teach English to one or more local English teachers employed at the schools.

What We Offer For You
While this is essentially a volunteer position, we are prepared to also offer a very modest monthly stipend for the teaching of primary and secondary school students, to be negotiated. For comparison purposes, we pay ~$50 a month to a native Khmei speaker to teach the free English classes at local schools.
We will provide free room and board at Chelly House -- a modern guest house built in 2017 for international visitors, with three bedrooms, Western-style bathrooms, a kitchen with a small refrigerator, and fairly reliable air conditioning. (See for pictures of the outside and inside.) Meals will be provided by local families (chicken and rice are a mainstay). Chelly House also has Wi-Fi, although the Wi-Fi may not always be capable of allowing for video-streaming or resource-heavy applications such as are used in online teaching. Chelly House is located only a hundred yards or so from the local primary school and is about a mile from the main Chum Kiri high school.

At the beginning and end of your stay in Chum Kiri, The Chelly Foundation will arrange for your transportation from and back to Phnom Penh (about a two to three hour drive). During your time in Chum Kiri, there will be opportunities to travel to Kampot, a city on the coast with French provincial architecture, as well as to the further resort town of Kep as well as local lakes and scenic spots. There may also be opportunities for wider travel, including our paying for you to lead field trips of students as desired to Angkor Wat and to Phnom Penh. For getting around Chum Kiri, we have a motor-scooter for your use, can provide a free bicycle for your use; provision for a scooter or motorcycle can be negotiated.

We also are willing to provide reasonable health insurance and emergency evacuation insurance.

What We Expect of You
Enthusiasm for teaching English to kids of all ages. A tolerant attitude and disposition given that you are committing to spend time in a rural part of Cambodia that is fairly remote from any major shopping or commercial center, night life, or “world-heritage” attraction. You are basically committing to plunking yourself down amongst rice farms and bamboo huts, to teach some of the kindest, friendliest and enthusiastic children you have ever met.
Having teaching experience in Southeast Asia is a plus but we don’t require prior teaching on your resume; we do however expect a solid command of English, so that you can provide a world-class teaching experience for students in the village.

For a warm endorsement of our teaching program and a summary of three months spent volunteering, see the open letter from Kent on our website,

Application Requirements
A resume and a photo.
A copy of your latest school transcript, or a diploma if a college graduate.
A copy of your passport.
A TEFL Certificate is not necessary, but if you have one, please supply as well. Two references from people who know you well (email & telephone numbers will suffice).

Once application materials are received, a meeting in person or via Skype will be arranged with Jason. You may also wish to meet with Nop Ess, as he will serve as your principal point of contact during your time in Chum Kiri. No other process is expected, except signing a short contract once you have been approved to begin teaching.

Other Logistical Details
We are not in a position to provide work visas. We also expect applicants to self-fund their travel expenses in getting from the U.S. or elsewhere to and from Phnom Penh. We reserve the right to do a background check, and a criminal record of any kind is disqualifying. We need to be informed of any health issues you may have, as the climate in Chum Kiri varies between hot and very hot, with the rainy season occurring in the Fall.

Contact Details
For further information, please contact Jason R. Baron, Founder & President of The Chelly Foundation. He can be reached by email, [email protected], and on his cell, 301.204.2787.

Application materials can be sent via email or to:
The Chelly Foundation c/o Jason R. Baron 7807 Stratford Road Bethesda, MD 20814

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