UBELONGers on a field trip to the villages around Phnom Penh.

“Discovering a new culture, personally develop and challenge myself while doing something purposeful.”


UBELONG Snapshot
Name: Gerrit Wiltfang
Age: 26
Hometown: Cologne, Germany
Nationality: Germany
Languages spoken: German, English (fluent), French (intermediate), Spanish (beginner)
Occupation: Software Developer at Made in Office GmbH
Volunteer Abroad: Strengthening NGO Capacity in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Duration: 6 weeks
Start month: June 2018

Why did you decide to become a UBELONG volunteer?
After finishing my master studies I wanted to take some time discovering a new culture and personally develop and challenge myself while doing something purposeful. I learned that a UBELONG volunteering experience could provide all of the above which is why I chose to become a UBELONG Volunteer.

What was your impact on your volunteer project?
During my time in Cambodia I volunteered in a microfinance institution in Phnom Penh as part of a two-person team. We worked on a strategic project aimed at improving the financial sustainability of the enterprise.

The project included setting up the project plan, analyzing the company’s current business situation as well as identifying challenges and opportunities for improvement. I could contribute to the project by analyzing the microfinance market in Cambodia, preparing and conducting field research with various stakeholders as well as preparing and leading a workshop with the company’s board of directors and employees. Also, a very important part towards the end of my placement was to prepare the next steps for the next volunteers who carry on the project.

What is your favorite memory?
My favorite memory was the field research trip we made during the project together with the company’s staff. For three days, we toured through the countryside and had the chance to interview clients in their villages as well as staff working in branch offices. This was very insightful for me since I could get a quite genuine picture of how Cambodian people live and work and learn more about their culture.

In a sentence or less, best packing advice?
My most useful items included bug spray against mosquitos and a baseball cap, as well as sunscreen for sunny days.

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Related post:
Meet Lucy Wilson, from Sheffield Hallam University, who volunteered with UBELONG at the caregiving project in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.