Monday, November 9, 2015


The goal of the Cambodia Scholars Program has always been to help disadvantaged Cambodian youth to achieve independence in Cambodian society, free from poverty.

            By June, 2016:

·       Three will have graduated from university and into full fledged adulthood

·       Two who have finished high school will have become fully integrated into the job market

·       Two will have finished Year 2 of university, and one will have finished Year 1.

·       One will have finished high school and moved on to university

·       One will be still in high school.

·       Three have developed and will continue a deep leadership role in Cambodian literacy projects through LitWorld, an international NGO.

·       All will continue to create an ever-expanding network of friends and associates as they integrate more and more successfully into adult life.

·       As for Friends of Cambodia itself, we maintain our commitment to see our 10 youth into adulthood, and as they graduate from our program, we will turn our attention more and more to literacy and education programs.

Our Three University Graduates 
Spring of 2016 will witness a big milestone for the Cambodia Scholars Program: The graduation of our first three students from universities in Phnom Penh. Srey Pov will graduate in International Relations from Pannasastra University, and Piset and Serey will both graduate with degrees in Tourism from National University of Management. All have performed near the top of their classes academically, and look forward to promising careers. June of 2016 all three will not only graduate from university, but also from the Cambodia Scholars Program. They will be independent adults, just as we had always hoped.

Srey Pov



Our Two High School Graduates
In addition, Spring of 2015 saw two more of our scholars complete high school. Saonoy and Srey Mom continue to live in an apartment provided by Friends of Cambodia until June of 2016, but they both now have jobs, and are paying for their own food, clothing, and other necessities---everything except housing. Saonoy works in retail and Srey Mom in the restaurant business.

Srey Mom and Saonoy

Our Three University Students
Sreyneang and Chenda are second year university students. Sreyneang goes to Pannasastra University, and has a passion for literacy and education (see below). Chenda is more oriented toward business, and attends Royal University of Law and Economics. Sophea has just entered Pannasastra University and is now sorting out what direction she wants to go in life.





A Passion For Literacy
Friends of Cambodia, through its Cambodia Scholars Program, is helping 10 disadvantaged Cambodian youth to achieve their highest educational potential. During this long effort, another direction for Friends of Cambodia has naturally developed: Support of meaningful literacy programs in Cambodia. We say "naturally" for two reasons: 1) Sreyneang and Vicheka, who have been in the Scholars Program from the beginning, now have an abiding passion for literacy, and are co-leading a program in Phnom Penh sponsored by a New York NGO known as "LitWorld." 2) Halimah Van Tuyl, one of the co-directors of Friends of Cambodia is herself a retired school teacher with decades of experience in developing literacy in children---both in the United States and Cambodia. For information about the worldwide reach of the LitWorld programs, read here:
Sreyneang even made it onto the LitWorld Facebook page here:

The Purpose of LitWorld In A Nutshell

For a look at what is happening in Cambodia with some assistance from Friends of Cambodia, keep reading!

Youth in Phnom Penh LitClub

Vicheka and Sreyneang Modelling Literature Reading to Children

Sreyneang Conferring with Local Phnom Penh Published Children's Author

Vicheka and Sreyneang Also Organized a "Stand Up For Girls"Event For Girls at the Local Cambodia Arts & Scholarship Foundation (CASF)

 Spreading Literacy Out To a Poor Village
The group of LitClub youth in Phnom Penh, led by our own Vicheka and Sreyneang, is really preparing to introduce literacy to much younger children. Recently, these LitClub youth did a service day at a poor village just outside of Phnom Penh called Andong, at a library run by an old Friends of Cambodia associate, Mr. Ly An. Below are a few photos of Ly An, with his library youth, meeting with Halimah Van Tuyl from Friends of Cambodia.


Andong Library Building


Halimah and Ly An at Literacy Gathering at Andong Library

Keeping the Past Alive, But Pointing To the Future
None of the Cambodia Scholars forgets the poverty they came from, nor the positive aspects of their Cambodian culture. For a final, symbolic photo, here is one of our university graduates, Piset, pointing to the relics of Cambodia's past, as well as to his own future, armed with the knowledge, life skills and human connections he has achieved while part of the Cambodia Scholars Program.

Piset Guiding Tour Through 11th Century Ankgorian Ruins