If you are looking for a longer term learning experience, where you can gain great hands-on, on-the-job experience in international rural community development work, and/or nonprofit communications and fundraising, then we have a three possible options for you.
Typically, our interns are undergraduate or graduate students who work on a specific project for 1-3 months. We have three categories of work for which we seek intern support, because these projects require a longer term commitment (beyond the typical one-to-two weeks that people volunteer for field work in Cambodia - see "Short Term" opportunities).
The first two options take place in Cambodia, more specifically in Siem Reap. For these types of projects, you would be working directly with our in-country Program Manager as well as the staff of our local, indigenous partner organization, Trailblazer Angkor. Those categories are:
1) helping our Program Manager with the management of in-country fundraising, responsible tourism, and our volunteer program.
2) working with our Program Manager on projects related to strengthening and/or expanding our program work, including, but not limited to, new project design, and program monitoring and evaluation.
We also have an ongoing need for support with communications, including writing, social media, graphic design, video production, podcasts, blogging, and the like. This work can be done in Cambodia, or from your home (wherever it may be). Depending on where you work, there would be different projects for which we would seek your help. In either situation, you would be working on urgent and timely communications projects, or projects important to improving our capacities over the long term, or both.
Finally, it is worth noting that we are happy to support you in your efforts to acquire college credit and/or funding for your work experience, with you taking the led on identifying the college credit process and funding sources.
If you would like to learn more about any of these options, including receiving a copy of our up-to-date job description for each work area, please contact Trailblazer's co-founder and executive director, Chris Coats: email@example.com.
NICKY ULRICH -- 2016 SUMMER INTERN
I interned with Trailblazer over the summer of 2016. I got to see, first-hand, the incredible work they are doing, as they continue to bring new opportunities to families all over Siem Reap province. I worked with Trailblazer’s staff and local farmers, as they collaborative on a project to increase the farmer's income and local economy through a farmer co-op. I saw passion and drive coming from both the farmers and Trailblazer's staff. This was not only inspiring to me, it reminded me of the wonderful work being done at the grass-roots level of development. Thanks to Trailblazer, these farmers have opportunities they might not otherwise have.
A Volunteer Spotlight
Recently, Trailblazer’s Executive Director, Chris Coates, talked with Nick Munro, a volunteer who worked with our staff in Cambodia, about his experience. Here is that conversation:
What inspired you to volunteer with Trailblazer?
When I was in my early twenties and working at my first job, I got a bit restless and realized it might be a good time to see the world. Serendipity struck, and a college buddy asked if I would help him raise money to start a non-profit in South America. Three months later I quit my job, and was digging latrines in the remote mountains of Peru.
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After this initial volunteer experience, I was hooked. There is no better way to visit a country, meet the locals, and make a positive impact. Fast forward another few years and my girlfriend, Cortney, and I were in South East Asia looking for the same experience. Luckily, we found Trailblazer.
What did you like the most about the experience?
We loved meeting local people and understanding their culture. Getting to know the families, and being a part of their daily lives, really put everything we do into perspective. I know that is cliché, but it truly changes the way you experience your world.
Trailblazer in particular, proved the importance of the interaction between an organization and the people they are serving. The communities were so involved that it made the work that much easier and fulfilling. Seeing the direct impact to each family, in only a few days, was beyond our expectations.
Additionally, we experienced some amazing things that would not be accessible to most casual tourists. Catching fish in a rice canal and eating ant salsa with cucumber chips are not your average happy hour events.
Where do you live?
We’re originally from the Lone Star State (Texas), but we currently live in beautiful San Francisco, California.
Did your volunteer experience impact the work you do now? How?
We both work in advertising and design, which seems worlds away from installing water filters in Cambodia, but there are some very key parallels. Volunteering for organizations like Trailblazer, teaches you how to fully utilize your creativity and ingenuity. Things often don’t go as planned, and improvising on the fly is a valuable skill.
Also, I don’t take modern conveniences for granted; running water, the internet, and of course, delicious burritos.
The support that volunteers like Nick and Cortney provide Trailblazer Foundation is beyond our expectations too. While we count on volunteers, we cannot expect their help – simply because they are just that, volunteers. So, we thank you, Nick and Cortney, for your time and commitment to Trailblazer. It means the world to us.