TINY TOONES CAMBODIA
Enganging with the youth of Cambodia through hip-hop
The vision of Tiny Toones is for all youth in Cambodia and beyond to live healthy lives free of HIV and drugs, to realize their full potential through educational and creative opportunities, to pursue their dreams and to become positive leaders of tomorrow.
The mission is to provide a safe and positive environment for at‐risk youth to channel their energy and creativity into the arts and education, empowering them to build self‐confidence in their daily lives, aim for better employment possibilities, and feel supported pursuing their dreams.
In 2005 the founder, Tuy Sobil (aka “KK”) opened up his modest home to a handful of kids he had seen working or living on the streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. KK had only just arrived in Cambodia himself. Born in the Thai refugee camps, he grew up in the projects of Los Angeles, fell into gang membership and was eventually deported to a country he had never previously visited. What happened next is what makes his story special.
Word spread that KK had been a break-dancer. All of a sudden the very kids he saw living on the streets were knocking at his door asking him to teach them. KK saw these kids getting involved in anti-social behaviour and drugs, he saw that without guidance they were in danger of repeating the mistakes of his youth. He decided to take on the challenge and reluctantly agreed to start teaching them break-dancing.
Cramped sessions in his living room attracted ever greater numbers and KK combined dance lessons with encouragement, support and guidance. More than anything, he believed in them and showed them the care and concern that was otherwise absent in their lives.
Over ten years later, some of those kids have performed internationally – from Australia to Italy – and are now teachers at KK’s ‘Tiny Toones’ centre. Over 100 children from the slums come every day to dance, to make music, to learn English, Khmer (the Cambodian language) and computing, and to enjoy the freedom to be children. It is because of KK’s vision and commitment that this safe environment exists, where children can enjoy learning, explore their creativity and develop a positive sense of identity and community.
Comfort is put at medium level as the NGO does not offer accomodation. On-site the NGO does have office space and chill out / living room space for you to hang with the other volunteers and staff. Moreover, Tiny Toones has a café called the Cool-Lounge. This is a very comfortable small café with a dance studio upstairs.
The volunteer work at Tiny Toones is somewhat flexible depending on what you do as a volunteer. It is also relatively short hours a day and approximately 3 times a week. Notice though that the work is around children and your energy and patience needs to be excellent.
Tiny Toones are very informative as they first of all are very passionate about their work and close with the children. Secondly, they know the case of children running around in the streets with no where to go after school as well as the case of children being thrown out of school, which is possible at an early age. They are experts on break-dancing but with tasks such as Social Media you will need to be able to be independent. The management are around full-time and so are the staff of course.
Again depending on what type of volunteer job you will do, the physical strength needed varies. If you are a dance teacher you will know that this is quite physically demanding but on the other hand if you are a english teacher, it is much less.
Tiny Toones is located in Phon Penh the capital of Cambodia. The NGO is located about half an hour from the center where you will find the royal palace and the Russian market. Its very easy to go by motor/scooter or grab a tuk-tuk.
Tiny Toones is full of life and handles a lot of people. You will always be around a bunch of happy people whether it is the staff, management, volunteers, children or youngsters. Moreover, Tiny Toones creates social activities and every 4-8 weeks they have a dance battle where the community and parents are invited.
Interview with volunteer and manager.
We interview the people behind the organisation to bring out their passion for their work. They will tell you why they exist, why you should volunteer with them and most importantly, what it means to be a part of Tiny Toones.
No judgement, only respect - Tiny Toones
Teaching – Volunteer teachers of dance, sport, English or other academic subjects are welcome.
Fundraising – This role would include researching new funding opportunities, writing applications, managing existing partnerships including reporting, as well as representing Tiny Toones at fundraising events and performances.
Communication – We would welcome candidates who can help us to further our social media and communication strategy. This position may be combined with a fundraising role.
All volunteers are based at our centre in Chbar Ampov. This gives you the opportunity to experience an area of Phnom Penh not normally visited by tourists which will give you a unique experience of life in Cambodia. Working from our centre means you will have daily contact with our Tiny Toones kids so you can see the impact your work is having in supporting them.
At Tiny Toones you will be an important member of their family for a minimum of 3 months. You will get their seriously cool Tiny Toones t-shirts, be close to the staff and enjoy hanging out with them after hours. You will have an incredible influence on the lives of the children and see how important Tiny Toones is in their life.
Tiny Toones are flexible in the sense that you as well as the rest of the staff will live elsewhere, have time to work digitally or just spend time socializing and exploring the capital of Cambodia.
We want to make sure that you’re always on top of your game. Get in touch with us to let us know what type of work you’re looking for (permanent, temporary or by the hour), what your qualifications are, and we’ll be sure to find the positions that interest you most. At Volunteer Abroad, we want you to succeed and won’t quit until you do.
To do volunteer work legally in Cambodia you must have an appropriate travel visa. This visa is an ordinary/business visa valid for 30 days but unlike a tourist visa you can extend your ordinary visa indefintley. You will need to do this at the immigration office.
You need two blank pages in your passport as well as two passport photos. Moreover, you will need a letter from the organisation underlining that you will volunteer with them for the agreed period of time. Always check with your embassy.
3 months minimum stay
Accustomed to being around children
Experience in area of chosen volunteer job
Clean criminal record (you will be asked to send us a copy)
Minimum 18 yrs. old
Self-driven / Independent
For english teacher volunteer job an extra requirement is an education in teaching.
A meeting with a volunteer consultant will determine if this program is the right match for you.
An additional document of volunteer guidelines will be send to applicants.
Minimum 3 months - 14.120 DKK
The fee covers the donation. The donation covers: Teachers' salaries, school equiptment for the children and maintenance costs. Moreover, the fee covers administration costs for Volunteer Abroad.