Cambodian Program Update – Here’s what’s been happening!
We’ve made real progress in all three educational programs during this past year!
Our Primary English Program continues to teach basic and intermediary English to almost 100 rural Cambodian Cham children. We have had the same well-liked, trilingual, local teacher there since 2005. An Australian and a German college student visited for several weeks, volunteering as teacher’s aides then a dozen university students and teachers from the College of Idaho visited providing fresh exposure to Western accents. The village demonstrated it’s commitment to this program by contributing labor and materials to build a schoolhouse specifically for these classes, replacing the old portico class space.
The University Program graduated its first student and 4 more students are now entering their final semester. Students’ fields of study include Public Administration, English for Teaching, International Relations, Computer Sciences, Business Administration, Finance & Banking and Commerce. Our 11 university students continue to live and study as a cohesive unit. Culturally far from their home village, the group of university students provides each other with peer support. Everyone’s grades continue to be at least average or well above. Each year, every student signs a promissory note for ⅓ of his or her scholarship (which includes all of their tuition, housing, books, and fees) at 0% interest and with a 3 year repayment delay after graduation.
The Cham Literacy Program was reinvigorated this year after a total collapse of the old system. We now provide a teacher for about 85 interested students learning how to read & write classic Cham. Beyond simply helping the Cham read their original texts, these young scholars ensure that the Cham realize and carry forward the full richness of their culture. We believe that this may well be the only classic literacy teaching being done anywhere in the world at this time.
The cost for providing all of this education in 2014 was under $14,000. Only 5% of total expenses went to administration and overhead, and that amount was entirely covered by directed donations from Board Members. So 100% of every dollar given by every public donor went DIRECTLY to student education programs.
The Board of Directors recently began the Summer phase of their annual fund raising drive, and invited Mr. Victor Barocas to join the Board, bringing with him his extensive experience in corporate Human Relations management, Strategic Planning, and corporate Charitable Fund Raising.