My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Cambodian Children's Fund, Santa Monica, CA, USA
I have been fortunate to be a sponsor and volunteer with CCF since the early days. Scott Neeson's managerial talents, foresight and caring, have created a platform that is helping the people of Phnom Phen build a sustainable life that is breaking the shackles of poor health, malnutrition, poverty, domestic violence and hopelessness. What makes CCF unique is that the creation of a positive feedback loop in the communities it serves. Rather than just provide free food or medical care, CCF manages to identify the root source of the problems in the community, and build a method for the people in that community to learn how to take care of themselves. I remember when CCF first started, and the leadership team - then as now, nearly 100% Khmer - started taking a census of the community. This analytical approach to identify the core issues - beyond the obvious life-threatening challenges - that were causing the breakdown in the social structure, had not been done before in Cambodia. From there, CCF started mapping out the architecture for social programs. legal strategy, fund-raising strategy and execution plan that would transform a truly awful situation, into a community that could survive, and even thrive. While it's wonderful to sponsor children at CCF - and I have been sponsoring two - the beautiful and amazing Srey Lin and Khum Ratha for nearly 7 years now - it is the infrastructure of social programs and excellent management that makes CCF the success it is. For many people who get introduced to CCF, sometimes they get a little confused - there seem to be so many programs going on at once. It's the inter-connect "projects" that seems to be the reason why CCF works. How else can building a bakery, a child day care, and the first "Country Club" in the dumps of Phnom Phen - seemingly unrelated activities - transform a community from hopelessness to hopeful, create job growth, deliver and enforce properly use mosquito netting, medical services, transportation, food and education while providing sustainable nutrition, drastically reducing domestic abuse, and infant mortality. CCF, and Scott Neeson, is a model of how people in absolutely hopelessness and elevate themselves into a sustainable, positive life, when people with pure intention, and strong managerial and analytical skills, and caring donors, work together. Being involved with CCF is the one thing that I am most proud of in my life. Seeing my two girls go from living in the trash dump, to preparing for university and supporting their families, has been amazing. Involvement with CCF has transformed me as a person and it has been wonderful to see what Scott's vision, and the people of Phnom Phen, have accomplished in such a relatively short time. CCF is a case study in how to build and operate a highly effective charity, the by-product of which has been the complete transformation of a shattered society into a caring and sustainable community.
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