we are inspiration in action


The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in development, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism strengthens social cohesion and trust by promoting individual and collective action, leading to sustainable development for people by people. Meet our team.

What we do

Cambodia is the most youthful country in South East Asia with almost 60% of the population under 25 years and over 31% between the ages of 15-24 and 300,000 youth entering the labour market every year. Creating an environment for decent and productive employment is one of the country’s main challenges, so from 2016 on UNV Cambodia focuses on increasing youth employability through volunteerism under a special project.

Our partners

UNV Cambodia engages with partners such as the VolCam Network, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and other UN agencies, to strengthen the national and regional systems needed to build capacity for volunteerism through supportive infrastructure and environment where volunteerism can flourish. UNV Cambodia works with partners to integrate qualified and highly motivated UN volunteers into development programming and promotes the value and recognition of volunteerism.


In our research on volunteerism and youth employment in Cambodia, we aim to understand what drives youth volunteerism and what are the opportunities and constraints for young people’s participation in social and economic life in their communities.

Learn more about our project.

Our Vision:

A world, where volunteerism is recognised and valued within societies as a way to achieve peace and development

What we do

The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme contributes to peace and development through volunteerism worldwide. Volunteerism is a powerful means of engaging people in development, and it can transform the pace and nature of development. Volunteerism strengthens social cohesion and trust by promoting individual and collective action, leading to sustainable development for people by people.

“Volunteering is the ultimate expression of what the United Nations is all about: service and solidarity and the belief that together we can make our world better.”

Kofi Annan, Former United Nations Secretary General

Our history

  • The first UN Volunteers arrived in Cambodia in 1991 and UNV opened its field office soon after the establishment of the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) in 1992.
  • In the course of the following two years, over 700 international UN Volunteers were deployed in support of the electoral process, the massive humanitarian and relief efforts and later in technical assistance.
  • Since 1991 over 1,460 UN Volunteers have served in Cambodia in different sectors with almost all UN agencies, NGOs as well as with some Government bodies. During this period over 90 Cambodians have served as International UN Volunteers with different UN missions and programmes overseas.
  • Since 2006, UNV has also been supporting national volunteer organizations to deploy local volunteers for grassroots initiatives in some of the poorest rural provinces of the country.
we are inspiration in action

Our team

Meet the UNV Cambodia Field Unit


Seija Antonnen

Seija Antonnen

Prior to joining UNV Cambodia in October 2016 as UNV Programme Officer, Seija served as UN volunteer with UNFPA Vietnam, where she provided technical assistance on youth-related issues to the National Assembly, the Government, as well as UNFPA and other UN Agencies.

Before, Seija served as Programme Support Specialist for the Ministry of Youth and Sports in Mozambique with VSO, and her previous career in Finland includes managing student exchange programs at the University of Helsinki International Office, as well as the European Voluntary Service Programme at the Finnish country office for international mobility and co-operation under the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Seija holds Master’s degree in Cultural Anthropology with minor in Political Science from the University of Oulu, Finland, and second Master’s degree in Communication for Development with the Malmo University, Sweden.


Tomáš Drška

Tomáš Drška

Tomáš is a volunteer from Czech Republic, fully funded by the Czech government. At UNV Cambodia he serves as Communications, Youth and Outreach Officer since February 2017.

Experienced in PR from a Czech regional development agency, he now works on promoting UNV activities in Cambodia. Prior to finding himself in the non-profit sector, he worked on a managerial position in a business sector. Back home, he is an active sport club member. He likes to learn new things and skills by participating in educational projects and workshops.

Tomáš told us why he decided to volunteer: “I don’t have a vision of saving a world, but I believe that every one of us can do small things every day to make the world a better place. And this is exactly what volunteering is about.”

Markara Nuon

Markara Nuon

Markara is the Programme Assistant for UNV Cambodia and she actively contributes to all UNV programme activities to promote volunteerism in Cambodia.

Prior joining UNV, Markara served as Executive Assistant at the United States Peace Corps. She supported the country director and senior staff to create a smooth and supportive environment for American Volunteers serving in Cambodia.

Her first journey with the Peace Corps was as Security Coordinator for four and a half years. At that time, she supported the program staff to assess the security of the sites for placing volunteers and provided security training.

Markara is a great team player. She is flexible and culture sensitive. Markara is also a Master’s candidate in Community Development at the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Samadee Saray

Samadee Saray

Before joining UNV Cambodia in March 2016 as Project Assistant, Samadee provided research assistance to a senior scientist at WorldFish for almost five years focusing on communications and livelihoods research in the Mekong region. Earlier, she has worked at WaterSHED (consultant in field translation), the International Finance Corporation (team assistant), and La Compagnie Bosba Panh (PR assistant).

Samadee graduated from the Royal University of Phnom Penh with two degrees of Bachelor of Education in English and Bachelor in Media Management. Currently, she is finalizing her dual Master’s degree in Project Management at the at the Royal University of Law and Economics.

Samadee has developed her interest in research work since her very first study on the uses of Facebook among Cambodian users conducted to fulfill her bachelor at media and communications department in 2010. She enjoys field work as a way to learn and get exposed to new things.

Dae-Eun Lee

Dae-Eun Lee

Mr Lee is the International UN Youth University Volunteer from Republic of Korea (ROK). During the assignment, his roles are mainly in assisting the UNV Field Unit to collect and promote volunteerism in Cambodia. Focused on aspects that are in close line with journalism, his job is ensuring high visibility of projects by providing stories and achievements of advocacy objectives while collecting informations for projects as well as ensuring communication between stakeholders and partnerships.

Before joining the UNV, Mr Lee has served under the US Army as a ROK soldier for two years as an Administrative Specialist. However, his duties have spanned over a wide scale of logistics, supply procurement, army property and inventory interpretation/translation, and CBRN. Mr. Lee hopes that his prior experiences would assist in his new duties and responsibilities. Currently senior at Hanyang University, he has pursued a major in international studies.

Hrachia Kazhoyan

Hrachia Kazhoyan

Hrachia Kazhoyan joined UNV Cambodia in February 2016 as UNV Project Manager/Researcher. He has more than 15 years of experience in advanced research, capacity building, project cycle management and external evaluation. Holding a Master’s degree in Sociology of Culture from University of Ljubljana and PhD in Sociology from Yerevan State University, he has published books and articles in four languages, including textbooks in community development and communication.

Before joining UNV, Dr Kazhoyan worked as Research Director of the Caucasus Research Resource Centre, coordinated the OSCE field teams in Kosovo for 7 years, was in charge of IOM Mission in Armenia and led the Program Department of the Eurasia Foundation's office in Armenia.

How to volunteer

There are many ways to volunteer: in your community, university, local organizations or even every day by helping others around. Volunteering is not only for young people, but for everyone, who has the desire and ability to contribute with their skills. The UN Volunteers Programme offers opportunities to contribute your time, skills and energy for the development of communities and for improving the lives of people.



Benefits of volunteering

Volunteering not only contributes to society, but also allows volunteers to develop new skills, network with people, learn about development issues faced by communities and through their involvement creates new generation of active and aware global citizens.

According to the Condition of Service, National and International UN Volunteers receive support and benefits during their assignment such as: Settling-in grand for assignment over 3 months, monthly Volunteer Living Allowance to cover basic expenses, travel cost to the duty station and return at the end of assignment, annual leave of 2,5 days per month of service, life, health and permanent disability insurance and Resettlement allowance based on the length of assignment.

You can get more information and register your profile in the UNV talent pool here.

How to volunteer

International volunteers

International UN Volunteers serve in a country other than their own and are recruited for specialized inputs to development and/or humanitarian and peacekeeping programmes.

Applicants should have professional qualifications:

  • A university degree or higher technical diploma
  • Several years of relevant working experience
  • At least age 25 when taking up an assignment (there is no upper age limit)
  • Good working knowledge in at least one of the three UNV working languages: English, French and Spanish

National volunteers

National UN Volunteers add value with their knowledge of local languages, cultural, social and economic conditions, and their capacity to work at the local level. National UN Volunteers must be Cambodian citizens, who are at least 22 years old. They can serve under three modalities of service:

  • Specialist volunteers: at least bachelor’s degree or equivalent professional experience and proven skills.
  • Community volunteers: strong community presence, local knowledge and networks and a high-school diploma.
  • Youth volunteers: this modality is under development by UNV headquarters.

Online volunteers

By becoming an Online volunteer, you can help people on the other side of world as well as in your community by sharing your skills, knowledge and ideas from your computer. There are hundreds of opportunities available on UNV Online Volunteering Services at www.onlinevolunteering.org.


Volunteerism and Youth Employment in Cambodia

In this research, we aim to With this study, we aim to provide relevant information on volunteerism and youth employment, develop evidence-based recommendations for overcoming the constraints, and building capacities for youth employment, as well as strengthen the Cambodia Volunteering Network (VolCam) and enhance research skills of Cambodian students for collecting, processing, and analysing data.

  Our approach

The researchers noted that many young people are leaving their communities looking for jobs in towns. These young migrants lack skills; many of them are compelled to take indecent jobs, and despite the ongoing efforts of the Government, young people in Cambodia continue to engage in the worst forms of child labour as victims of human trafficking trafficking. The traditional approach considers youth as a valuable resource for economy development and explore the ways of protecting, training and placing the youth in the existing labour market. In this study, in addition to that approach, we consider youth as an active driving force of the development of Cambodia and we explore the ways of supporting young people in social and economic engagement in their communities, in enhancing the existing economic opportunities and creating new jobs by empowering them and strengthening their capacities for initiating and implementing community building actions.

To that end, we have built our methodology on the two fundamental frameworks of positive youth development and the human rights-based approach to development.



In 2016 we have collected qualitative and quantitative data through:
- an online survey (over 300 responses)
- face-to-face in-depth interviews with volunteers, officials, and organisation managers
- focus group discussions with local, international, and indigenous volunteers
- telephone and email interviews, online surveys, and case studies with volunteer involving organisations.

We then compared the collected evidence with findings of our previous study conducted in 2008 together with Youth Star Cambodia.

The final report as well as our databases are available under open science data and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike IGO (Free Culture) licence.




VIO mapping

Download our booklet on VIO mapping.


Final report

Download our final report in a compressed .zip file.


VIO mapping database

Download our VIO mapping database.


NVivo project

Download our zipped NVivo project.

In-depth interviews with volunteers, local officials and company managers
Volunteer involving organisations interviewed by phone and email
Responses to online survey from Cambodian and foreign volunteers
Students trained
in community development and research basics
in 10 provinces

News and Events

Follow us on Facebook for more information on our activities and upcoming events.

Workshop at the AIESEC Forum

Workshop at Youth Speak Forum

MAR, 2017

UNV participates in AIESEC Youth Speak Forum 2017. Our research team presented, how volunteering helps young people develop skills for better employability.

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Stakeholder workshop

Stakeholder workshop

FEB, 2017

UNV research team brings together 60 representatives of government, private sector, civi society and volunteers from different provinces to discuss youth employability.

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UNV research findings

UNV research findings

DEC, 2016

UNV research team presents and discusses the findings of its survey on Mapping Volunteer Involving Organisations at the National Forum on Volunteerism.

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Happy Volunteer Day!

Happy Volunteer Day!

DEC, 2016

UNV, in collaboration with Cambodian Government and Volcam, organised the International Volunteer Day and the 6th National Forum on Volunteerism

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Community Action Challenge

Community Action Challenge

OCT, 2016

VolCam announces the winners of the Community Action Challenge 2016. These projects were showcased at the National Forum on Volunteerism.

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Celebrating UN Day

Celebrating UN Day

OCT, 2016

UN Volunteers in Cambodia joins the United Nations Day event. We asked some of our volunteers, what volunteerism means to them.

Watch the video

Contact us

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Contact us if you need any further information or support.