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KYA is always looking for volunteers in our head office as well as in the provinces. We require enthusiastic volunteers who are committed to social justice and the values of Khmer Youth Association. We are excited to learn from you, and for you to learn more about empowering youth in Cambodia. Volunteers must be eager about this cross-cultural experience!  

If you are interested, please contact us for more information:

Current and Past Volunteers


Tamara Peña is an Australian Volunteer for International Development (AVID), part of the Australian Government International Aid program, and has worked as KYA’s Communications and Fundraising Officer since July 2013.Part of her activities involves coordinating KYA’s website, newsletter, and Facebook page. Currently, she is also working on developing a communications strategy, which includes using other types of media. In the fundraising area, she works in writing and submitting fund proposals—specially on starting a social business as way to diversify KYA income sources.  Her main interests are in youth and women empowerment as well as in development. As Tamara states, “I think investing in these two populations has a multiplying and rapid positive effect in society. Youth will soon become decision makers and it’s in their hands to maintain current status-quo or change society for better if they are given the right tools to do it. Likewise, investment in women not only contributes to their own development but the benefits extend to their children, communities and nations.” Tamara loves KYA (she has been here for nearly a year!) and has become the mentor for multiple volunteers and staff at KYA. Her mantra is that “an individual can’t do much, but many individuals all working consciously together can do and undo a lot of things.” Her hobbies include outdoor activities, especially hiking and cycling, and she is also interested in literature and arts.

Moeurn Chantrea was a fundraising and communications volunteer. He is originally from Angkor Chey Village in Tboung Khmun Province, and now lives in Phnom Penh at KYA to attend university. Chantrea started volunteering in February 2014, and dedicated much of his time to helping with KYA News, KYA’s fortnightly newsletter. He is interested in working with youth and communicating KYA’s message to them. Chantrea is excited that KYA gives a chance to youth to build their capacity and help develop Cambodia socially. In between studying and volunteering, Chantrea’s hobbies include watching football (soccer) and reading history books. Photo coming shortly

Chelsea Greene, from Queens, New York, started volunteering at KYA in late March 2014 and stayed until May 2014. She worked on a project that will provide an analysis and suggestions to improve KYA\'s current internal management system and operational structure in order to help KYA reach its full potential. Her main interest at KYA is “seeing increased youth participation in decision-making processes through youth network expansion.” For Chelsea, KYA helps young Cambodians reach their full potential as active agents for promoting human rights. Chelsea is also fluent in Mandarin Chinese and enjoys multiple outdoor activities such as hiking. To contact Chelsea, her email address is


Carolyn V. Balk was with KYA in Phnom Penh since February until May 2014, and also volunteered for KYA in Siem Reap Province in June 2013. She worked in the communications department on KYA’s website development and the KYA News newsletter as well as in the new Natural Resource Management unit. In the United States where she is from, Carolyn worked as a teacher’s assistant and is excited to be part of an organization that focuses so much on education for empowerment to fight for human rights in multiple fields. Carolyn enjoys photography and held a solo photo show in November 2013 titled“Cambodia Today” in New York City with images that emphasized Cambodia’s rapid social and economic change. 

Rebecca Esslemont, a student from Perth, Australia, volunteered at KYA for two months starting in December 2013. Rebecca worked for KYA’s communications department, and was involved in fixing the website, developing a new brochure, establishing the fortnightly KYA News newsletter, and contacting donors to thank them for support. She also helped draft a proposal to secure funding from an international donor agency for a project aiming to stop mother-to-child transmission HIV. At KYA, Rebecca was particularly interested in youth empowerment to take part in active democracy—especially given that she was in Phnom Penh for the early January 2014 protests.  For Rebecca, “The way in which KYA empowers youth to make their own choices and improve the circumstnces in their country is really inspiring. It is important that they are not getting hand-outs or charity, but are being equipped with skills and knowledge to help them in the future.” Rebecca’s favorite experience at KYA was going to KYA’s annual staff planning retreat in Kampot, where staff discussed KYA’s strengths and weaknesses as well as partook in staff bonding at Oudong Mountain and Rabbit Island. And her favorite Khmer food?  The Amok curry!  


Jill Shabelman is from the United States and volunteered at KYA from February to April 2013. Her work focused on fundraising for KYA, both helping to write new grant proposals as well as developing a three-year fundraising strategy. Although interested in all of KYA’s programs, Jill is specifically interested in women\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s issues and human rights. She says, “When I think of KYA, I think of the staff that is so motivated to see real change in Cambodia. Their efforts are tireless and their passion is really contagious. The youth they are working with are also incredible people who have the ability to impact the direction of their country.” Jill enjoys travelling as well as being out in nature—she spends much of her free time biking and hiking. Finally, although she took a Khmer cooking class in Phnom Penh, but still hasn’t mastered the art of cooking Fish Amok! To contact Jil email

Stephanie Thevamanorathan volunteered for five weeks from November to December 2013. She spent her childhood in France, and then moved with her family to Toronto, Canada when she was eight years old. While at KYA, Stephanie evaluated various social business opportunities and created business plans for projects that could generate a small profit (and help KYA become more self-sustainable) rather than relying solely on donors. On a similar note, Stephanie is most interested in KYA\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s efforts to increase job opportunities and career training for youth. While in Cambodia, Stephanie also went to various workshops KYA facilitated at the provincial level met many KYA youth volunteers.  To Stephanie, “KYA means youth empowerment—I love that the organization mobilizes youth and encourages them to be active in their community.” Her favorite experience at KYA was being part of the staff retreat in December in Kampot province where KYA staff participating in multiple team building activities. Stephanie loves travelling and discovering new cultures, as well as cooking and baking be it Khmer food or cupcakes.  


Rebecca Glass, from Cheltenham, England, volunteered at KYA from February to May 2013. Rebecca mainly worked on KYA’s finance manual, a key document for donors that demonstrates KYA’s financial control and systems. She also helped the finance team with various reports and budgets for donors. Of KYA, she says “I admire KYA\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s work on empowerment and challenging young adults to consider that there are alternatives and that they can bring about change. To make sustainable change, you need to educate.” Her favorite part about Cambodia (besides the fish amok!) was the ceremonies: two weddings and the Khmer New Year celebrations in April. Rebecca’s hobbies include running and exercise—in the United Kingdom she has run in two marathons and in Cambodia she took up yoga which she still practices. 

Xiaoman Yan, originally from China and currently studying in Australia, volunteered at KYA for three months from September to December in 2013. She focused on compiling KYA’s 2013 Annual Report and is interested in human rights in Cambodia overall--especially among youth and with that youth participation in social affairs. Her favorite experience at KYA was partaking in the annual reflection meeting because, as she states, “it is exciting to see the young people eagerly express themselves and actively contribute ideas.” Xiaoman loves travelling and exploring new cultures—be it in and around Cambodia or other, namely Asian, nations.  


Claudia Albrecht from Frimley, England volunteered for KYA for a month and a half in January and February 2014. Claudia worked on the Angkor Youth Camp proposal, and was most interested in KYA’s emphasis on human rights. For Claudia, “KYA has such brilliant values and visions for the future of Cambodia. It ensures the participation of young people to be active citizens and have an impact of the future for Cambodia.” In her free time, Claudia enjoys wakeboarding, especially in hot countries like Cambodia.  


Alexandre Galvão is a graphic designer from Belem, Brazil. Alexandre volunteered with KYA in March 2014 and worked mainly in the field of intra web design. He also designed the print newsletter and also put forth the idea of an online newsletter which today is sent out to all registered KYA members. Putting his design talents to good use, Alexandre also created the header of the newsletter. His favourite experiences at KYA involved communication within the team and the discovery of new and exciting ideas, particularily those focused around human rights. Alexandre hopes that in the future an application for mobile devices would be very relevant and helpful to the marketing of the association. An interesting fact about Alexandre... the talented artist also plays the cello! To contact Alexandre about any of his work, please email


Louise K. Daprini was KYA volunteer for six weeks from March to April 2014 from Christchurch, New Zealand. Her main interest at KYA focused on human rights as well as safe labor migration and human trafficking prevention. Louise did proposal research for KYA; if KYA was writing a proposal for a grant, she would research the topic and find specific data to support the proposal. Of KYA she says, “KYA is a platform in which people with good intentions are able to reach an at risk population. Cambodia has such a young populace that the KYA focus on youth is a no-brainer. To me, KYA is an organization that strives to improve the life and opportunities of young Cambodians—and that is pretty amazing.” Should you have any questions for Louise, please contact

Other volunteers: Chhean Virtith, Sao Bunkaknika, and Meaghan Sawka.

We thank our UN Online Volunteers Aisha Saeed, David Scott, Heather Yundt, Joseph Shiels, Natalia Voronova, and Stef Bolte for making our work possible.   
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