IBSA Fund Annual Report- CAMBODIA


Poverty Reduction among Youth: Development of Youth

Volunteers’ Skill Sets for Increased Employability

Approved Budget:



July 2017 – March 2020

Mostly contributing to:



Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS); Cambodia Volunteering Network; United Nations Volunteers


This project contributes to the creation of decent work opportunities for Cambodian youth through skills development and volunteerism. It implements volunteer programmes focused on developing transferable skills of youths, who are matched with volunteer placements and will be able to pursue paid opportunities after the programme. In addition, it facilitates skills training and accreditation of youth and provides tools to engage in social entrepreneurship. In addition, the project contributes to building the capacity of the Government of Cambodia in implementing mechanisms to manage volunteers and enhance cooperation with the private sector, civil society and academia.

Results (Intended Outcomes/Outputs)

  • Strengthened national capacity to establish an enabling environment for volunteerism;
  • Enhanced inclusion by promoting the engagement of vulnerable youth in volunteerism as a means of developing employable skills; and
  • Strengthened national capacity to implement mechanisms for the management of volunteers.

Key Achievements

  • 4,235 youths (2,473 female) across the country who participated in Cambodia Entrepreneurship Day 2019 gained knowledge relating to entrepreneurship that could prepare them to become socially responsible future entrepreneurs.
  • 933 youth volunteers (558 female) have participated in various volunteering programmes which, as a result, equipped them with necessary skills such as communication, problem-solving, teamwork, presentation, leadership, time-management and resource mobilization skills that are transferable to the job market.
  • 32 outstanding volunteers (17 female) benefited from skill and knowledge development through their participation in the youth incubation programme. With the necessary skills, in-depth knowledge about entrepreneurship and increased networking, these youth volunteers have increased access to decent employment opportunities either as an employer or employee.
  • Youths of all genders and backgrounds have increased access to information on volunteering and opportunities to volunteer through the recent launch of the online platform “Youth Volunteer for Cambodia”.

Link of the Project to National Priorities

Through its promotion of volunteerism for increased youth employability, this project aligns with and further supports the priority of the Royal Government of Cambodia to promote youth employment and volunteerism. Furthermore, it aligns with the National Employment Policy 2015–2025, which aims to increase decent and productive employment opportunities by coordinating the implementation of activities with relevant actors that have been involved in the National Consultation on Youth Employment and Volunteerism in Cambodia.

Strengthening South-South Cooperation

The project team and the representative from the Government counterpart visited India and learned about the volunteerism initiatives in India, particularly the formal recognition of youth volunteerism. The project team also shared the successes and lessons learned from the IBSA Fund project in Cambodia with the Indian counterpart. Through learning from peers in the Global South, the volunteering accreditation framework in Cambodia supported by the IBSA project has been further informed and strengthened.

Challenges and Lessons Learned

Through deep involvement in leading the implementation of the project activities at the national and subnational levels, MoEYS officials have demonstrated increased understanding and capacity in supporting and managing various youth volunteering programmes. Nevertheless, given the ongoing need for more capacity-strengthening opportunities, the project will aim to continue leveraging more efforts to strengthen the capacity of its counterpart.

The implementation of the project has also reaffirmed the continuing need for youth volunteering programmes that result in sustainable impacts on youth across Cambodia.

Way Forward

In close collaboration with the Government, the project looks forward to scaling up its pilot initiatives. The project helped to build the capacity of MoEYS, particularly the provincial youth centres through their close engagement in the programme design and implementation. The pilot 3 initiative has already been scaled up to a Government initiative, the Volunteer for My Community (VMC), in 12 provinces across Cambodia, benefiting more than 200 youth volunteers and 2,396 youths (those in school and out of school) and people in the community to date. The Government has already committed to scaling up the VMC initiative to 17 provinces in 2020 with a budget of $85,450.

Youth volunteers participating in employable skills training
Youths participating in a career fair