Meet Adriana Nguyen…

Adriana with Manava


Adriana was volunteering for Manava, a startup that works with female artisans from the Kroh Bei Riel village near Siem Reap to create artisanal rattan products. With a background in business development and international procurement management, Adriana was primarily responsible for procurement in customer care and sales at Manava, where she helped generate sales revenue with new and existing clients, as well as build, develop, and manage client and prospect relationships. Here Adriana tells us about her experience volunteering in Cambodia.


Hi, Adriana! Can you tell us why you applied for this volunteer position, and what did you hope to achieve through it?

I have a personal desire to give back, and I wanted to fulfil this desire through this volunteer experience. Prior to this volunteer experience, I had only been working for corporations. I wanted to have a meaningful work experience in a non-profit organisation. I believe that by making small steps every day, we can contribute to making the world a better place. It was my goal to help, inspire, and be inspired by simple yet sustainable ways of living. Furthermore, I have always aimed to have new experiences and discover new places.



What did you achieve during your volunteer project that you’re the most proud of?

I’m most proud of the meaningful content that I created, from the pictures I’d taken and edited to materials about the Fashion Revolution movement.


What was the thing you enjoyed doing the most during your free time in Cambodia?

I enjoyed travelling and participating in different activities, such as feeding cats and dogs at a pagoda, learning to cook Cambodian dishes, and taking yoga and Khmer kickboxing classes.

Adriana at pagoda


Did you experience any kind of problems during your stay in Cambodia?

I did encounter a problem with my visa. I gave my passport to a travel agent in order to extend a visa, and I was supposed to get my passport back within a two-week period. However, I didn’t get it back in time for my flight back home, so I had to go to Phnom Penh to report my passport as being lost and obtain a pass to replace it.


What would be your advice for future volunteers wanting to follow your example?

I would advise them to not have too many expectations beforehand, be flexible while working with the host organisation, and be prepared to spend more than expected, especially if they want to travel and do activities!


If you’d like to have a unique experience while making a difference like Adriana did, contact Professionals doing good for more information at [email protected].

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