Sunday, November 3, 2013


Confidence and self-reliance---these are the gifts Cambodia Scholars Program seeks to give disadvantaged youth. Here are some peeks at how this is working out for our students.

Work Study for Piset

Piset (pictured above) is a second year university student now at National University of Management (NUM) in Phnom Penh. He is studying tourism, and aspires to own his own guest house some day. Now, in addition to his schooling, he is working as a part-time manager at the very popular You Khin Guest House in Phnom Penh owned by Mrs. Muoy You. So Piset learns the theory at NUM and puts it into practice at You Khin Guest House.

To get some idea of the high quality of this work experience, you might be interested to view a video about You Khin Guest House HERE.

Work Study for Sreyneang

Sreyneang has two enormous accomplishments to her credit recently: She graduated from high school and entered Pannasastra University (PUC). She thought long and hard about what to study, and decided to be an English teacher, so she enrolled at PUC, where all classes are taught in English. As luck would have it, she has also secured a part time teaching job at Seametrey School. Above you see her caring for her young students. 

Four Year University Scholarship for Srey Pov
 Srey Pov is a second year student at Pannasastra University (PUC),  but her ambition has extended to learning Japanese as well as her regular PUC studies. The Cambodia Scholars Program pays for  PUC, but she recently competed for and won a four year scholarship to the pretigious Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) in Phnom Penh, so she will be attending two courses of study at once.
We are, needless to say, very proud of Srey Pov. She has shown that our philosophy of having the Cambodia Scholars Program be a springboard to independent achievements is indeed working.

Views of the Institute of Foreign Languages Campus in Phnom Penh

Pre-Schoolers at Work at the Seametrey School Tonle Bati Campus

Sophorn Wins Music Scholarship to France

Yes, incredibly, this is our youngest Cambodia Scholar standing in front of the Moulin Rouge in Paris. How did she get there? Again, initiative, self-confidence, and hard work. In 2011, when Sophorn came to our program in Phnom Penh, she had an opportunity to study classical (European style) guitar with French music instructors who came to teach at Seametrey School. Louise and Patrick Marty, who run 3 Tambours music atelier in Paris are remarkable teachers, and in coming to Phnom Penh, they found a remarkable student in Sophorn, whose ability on the guitar is extraordinary. This is another "springboard" opportunity. Cambodia Scholars Program provides basic support. A trip to France is not in our budget! But Sophorn earned a trip by her own initiative. Applying to Smile Cambodia of Germany, she received a travel grant, while Louise and Patrick of 3 Tambours provided the music camp for talented French and foreign students. Photos below are of Sophorn's six weeks in France.

The Musicians

Sophorn with Friends at a French Music Museum

Sophorn (Left) at the Guitar

Good Mentoring
Meanwhile, all the other scholars continue to progress well. A lot of this is due to the ongoing evening classes led by Mr. San To (pictured below with his wife and son). Our students meet to learn English, but also to keep honing skills to maintain good personal relations with flatmates, think about current Cambodian social issues, and explore innovative ideas such as teaching rural villagers to use GPS to fine tune vector control for disease carrying insects such as mosquitos.

A Special Thanks To All Project Supporters
Friends of Cambodia could not carry on its positive work on behalf of disadvantaged youth without the loyal support of its contributors. For all of you who have helped the lives of these deserving youth, we extend out heartfelt thanks.

Elia & Halimah Van Tuyl

 Halimah and Elia in Phnom Penh