Population facets: 


Partner Organization:  Maryknoll Mekong Missions of Maryknoll Priests & Brothers, Sisters, and Lay Missioners in Cambodia

Location:  Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Number of Students:  2 students

Dates:  Dates are flexible

Participation Requirements:

  • Language & Proficiency Requirement:  None but openness to learning some Khmer and some deaf sign language is important.
  • Gender Requirement:  None
  • Required Experience:  None
  • Major Requirement:  None
  • Student Minimum Age:  Students in their sophomore or preferably junior year.
  • Special Requirements:  Students with experience teaching or tutoring English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and working with children/child care is beneficial.  Experience with deaf sign language beneficial. 
  • Other:  Students are expected to participate in the prayer and community life of the Maryknoll community by attending weekly community gatherings for mass and dinner.

Special Training Required Prior to Summer Deployment:  (The following sessions and workshops will be organized and provided by the ISSLP during the Spring semester. Additional training sessions may be added as needed.)

  • Teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Training
  • Teaching and Working with Children Workshop
  • Maryknoll Orientation
  • Self-Defense Session

Site Description:  

See the Maryknoll website
Maryknoll is a name that is shared by three independent Roman Catholic entities (Maryknoll Lay Missioners, Maryknoll Sisters, Maryknoll Priests and Brothers) who share a common history and whose joint focus is on the overseas mission outreach activity of the Catholic Church in the U.S.  Throughout its nearly one-hundred year history, Maryknoll has served throughout the world providing a Catholic presence of social justice to the poorest of the poor.  Maryknoll's headquarters are located in Ossining, Westchester County, New York and also houses Maryknoll Magazine, which describes the work of Maryknoll around the world.

Maryknoll Lay Missioners provide ministries in health care, education, civil and human rights advocacy, pastoral ministry, and sustainable development to the poor in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.  Maryknoll Lay Missioners often work alongside the Maryknoll Sisters and the Maryknoll Priests and Brothers.​ 

Students will be involved with the work of the Maryknoll community of Priests & Brothers, Sisters, and Lay Missioners in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  Maryknoll works with many organizations across the city and in outlying areas.  Students have the opportunity to experience and learn from this variety.  Cambodia is a beautiful and fascinating country.  Cambodia today still faces the legacy of the Khmer Rouge 1970 genocide.  

Scope of Work & Responsibilities:

Notice: Scope of work may have some changes based on the needs of the partner organizations at the time of student arrival.   

Students will be involved in the work of Maryknoll Lay Missioners in Phnom Penh and will have the opportunity to serve at the Beoung Tum Pun Community Health & Education Project (BTP) and at the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme (DDP).  Students serve at BTP in the mornings and at DDP in the afternoons and on weekends. 

Boeung Tum Pun Community Health & Education Project

The Boeung Tum Pun Community Health and Education Project focuses on services to extremely low-income families, many of whom have been displaced due to major construction projects or who are ethnic Vietnamese and face discrimination within Cambodia. The project runs preschools and other education support programs for these students.  At BTP students will work with a group of college student interns who serve as Education Assistants.  ISSLP students also provide a conversational English class to the Khmer college student interns utilizing an English guide book provided by Maryknoll.  The placement at BTP is a good fit for any student and especially those with an interest in education. 

Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme

The Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme is dedicated to:  (1) working alongside deaf people and their families to integrate deaf people into society, and (2) achieving independence and equality for deaf Cambodians.   DDP operates six projects:  basic education, job training, deaf community development, sign language interpreting services, sign language research and social services.  Students serving at DDP would assist primarily with the deaf community development project.  The deaf community development project conducts weekly activities for the deaf community, including handicrafts, cooking, games, cultural workshops and sports.  The activities are planned during the week and held on the weekend.  One afternoon a week students would also assist with making videos of sign language instruction, and one afternoon a week students would assist with a computer lab for deaf youth.  It is not necessary for students to know sign language, but they should be committed to learning as much sign language as they can in order to build relationships with the Cambodian deaf community.   

Other Activities  

In addition to a full-time service placement, students are encouraged to visit other projects where Maryknoll Lay Missioners, Sisters, and Fathers serve. They will be welcomed by a diverse community of Maryknollers serving as a part of the Maryknoll Cambodia Mission Team and will be encouraged to join the community for weekly mass and dinner on Wednesday night.  They can also join several Maryknollers in attending the international community mass on Saturday evenings.    

Students will also have the opportunity to visit historical locations such as the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the Killing Fields, Siem Reap's Angkor Wat, and the Royal Palace.  Over one weekend, their site supervisor will accompany them on an immersion in rural Cambodia to gain greater understanding of an average Khmer person’s lived reality.

Housing & Lodging Information:

Maryknoll Lay Missioners will arrange for an apartment near the Maryknoll Office or near Maryknoll community members in an area of the city with access to food, transportation, etc.  Students will be responsible for their own meals (either purchased outside or prepared at home).  The apartment will have electricity and running water, and possibly internet and a washing machine.  Internet is also available at local cafes and the Maryknoll House.  There are also local laundry facilities.  This site can accommodate a vegetarian or lactose free diet. Gluten-free or vegan are more challenging due to the regular use of soy sauce and fish sauce in most Cambodian dishes.

For More Information

Maryknoll Website

Former ISSLP Participants:

Olivia Donnelly’19, (ISSLP 2017)
Claire Eckles’20, (ISSLP 2018), 
Donna Hoang’20, (ISSLP 2018), 

Notice: Certain sites may be canceled and other sites added at any point during the selection and orientation process.

upd 9.13.18



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