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2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

ABOUTAsia Schools

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: ABOUTAsia Schools is a sustainably funded non-profit organization supporting the education of over 53,000 children in Siem Reap Province. Operating across a network of 110 schools, our mission is to recognize education as the premise of progress, and to allow the children of Siem Reap access to it, regardless of wealth, background or geographic location. We seek to achieve this through the implementation of the following five programs: Provision of school supplies to 110 schools 50 fully funded, free English classes A Teacher Training Academy for Cambodian English Teachers Scholarships for University and Vocational Training courses Training and placing volunteer language teachers ABOUTAsia Schools’ activities are funded by the tour company ABOUTAsia Travel, which was established in 2006 to generate money that could be used to support education in a sustainable way. ABOUTAsia Travel donates 100% of its profits to the running and development of these programs.

Results: ABOUTAsia Schools supports 110 schools and over 53,000 students across rural Siem Reap. We have a strong reputation for endeavoring to make a sustainable impact through taking an approach with prioritizes training and development opportunities for local teachers. We also run a highly regarded volunteer training program, which seeks to equip volunteers with the country and role specific skills to enable them to maximize their positive impact here.

Target demographics: Enable access to quality education

Direct beneficiaries per year: 110 schools and 53,000 students!

Geographic areas served: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Programs: School supplies and facility support, the training and employment of local Khmer teachers to deliver free community English classes, training for volunteer teachers to enable them to assist with responsible volunteering projects, the provision of scholarships and the construction of community learning and resource centers.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3 John249

Donor

Rating: 5

We were introduced to AboutAsia Schools when we toured with About Asia Travel. We have since donated and can only say that the sincerity in the acknowledgement of our gift was fantastic. more to come!!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about this organisation. I volunteered with them in July-August 2013 and I can honestly say it has made Cambodia an absolute highlight.
The training at the beginning of the course was fantastic which really helped to prepare you with useful skills for the placement. Not only was it fun and helped all the volunteers bond but taught me a lot (even having had a lot of experience in teaching in a non-academic setting). This meant I felt prepared for the month teaching and when the end finally came I didn't want to leave. I definitely will be heading back again.
Though of course the volunteers only scratches the surface of what AboutAsia do.
This is an organisation that really is working for the local community and was absolutely amazing to be a part of.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with AboutAsia last year and was impressed with the organisation's high professional standards. Unlike other non-profit organisations, AboutAsia primary focus is to train Cambodians to teach Cambodians. In my opinion giving Cambodians the tools to improve their own educational system is the only way to make lasting change. When I decided to volunteer, I looked at various organisations and did a lot of research into the problems that voluntourism causes. With AboutAsia I felt my fears were laid to rest. I would not hesitate to recommend AboutAsia to anyone who wants to make a positive contribution towards educational improvements in Cambodia.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a primary school teacher in the UK who completed an internship with AAS last summer looking at how to improve the expertise of the Cambodian teachers who AAS support. AAS are a very professional organisation who gave me a clear brief with a wide scope in order for me to decide how to utilise my teaching experience to benefit others. AAS are determined their impact is positive for the local community.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with AAS in March and April 2014. A very professional team that provides a short but efficient training course for their volunteers and ensures a continuity in their volunteer placements. They concentrate their energy on sustainable development in schools around Siem Reap, training the Cambodian teachers and providing resources for the schools in need. I would definitely recommend them.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with About Asia last year and it was a very positive experience. I had been concerned about "voluntourism", but it's an issue that About Asia are very aware of and actively try to avoid. We were given four days induction and teacher training which was very comprehensive and helpful. We were also fully supported throughout the placement, our programme co-ordinator Sarah was so friendly and helpful.

I'm not sure if this is still the case, but when I volunteered About Asia asked for a small donation when signing up, to go towards their programme for training and upskilling Cambodian teachers. We were able to go see some Cambodian teachers putting their new training into practice in the classroom. I think it's a really great programme, that actually makes a huge difference in a country where education is very under -resourced.

4 Chandara R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

ABOUTAsia schools provides what exactly needed to the Cambodian students who have always found the rare opportunity to come. I am quite impressed with the knowledge of the organization which is so spot on, that's what the government schools have not been able to offer. Well done !!!

5 Bob And Ann P.

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I visited ABOUTAsia during a visit to Cambodia. They are doing amazing work that is desperately needed. We were surprised, even in that part of the world, how far our donation would go.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

About Asia is one of the good guys, a volunteer organization that actually makes a difference to the people it works with while providing a great experience for volunteers. I volunteered as a teacher through About Asia Schools for 2 months in early 2013 and was very impressed by the work they do. As a volunteer I was given the support I needed to do the best job I could in my school, and the training program they have since introduced can only have improved the quality of work done. The positive impact they have on the schools and teachers they work with is clear straight away, and they are extremely open and transparent about how donations and funds are used. I have worked with a number of volunteer organizations in many countries, and About Asia is at the top of my list in terms of the genuine positive impact they have.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for AboutAsia in July 2013, and it was an amazing experience! The mandatory training is very helpful and informative. It was my first time volunteering and I am not a professional teacher, so it was fundamental for me to go through the training and learn what and (above all) what not to do in a classroom. AboutAsia staff does not just throw you in a classroom and tell you "there, now you teach". The organization understands the importance of well-trained volunteers, and the staff is always very professional and ready to help you if you have any sort of problem (in or outside the classroom). Thanks to AboutAsia the whole experience was unforgettable, because they trained me so well and therefore I was ready to go and teach effectively in the classroom. An experience I will treasure forever, and I will definitely try to go back and work for them again!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I decided that I wanted to volunteer abroad I was very cautious not to go with an unethical company. Luckily I found AboutAsia Schools and I couldn't of been happier with my experience. I volunteered for two months at a school in Siem Reap and had an incredible experience. The team at AboutAsia Schools are so supportive, you are provided with excellent training before you start teaching and support while you are at a school.
AboutAsia's approach to volunteering was so inspiring as they involve the local community and are so invested in improving the education standards in Cambodia. I was very impressed with their teacher training program that educates locals on how to become effective teachers, this just shows how dedicated they are to the cause.
If you are seeking an ethical, effective and supportive organisation to volunteer through, then look no further than AboutAsia Schools.

6 Carly A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A genuine organisation that is great for anyone looking to volunteer, donate or help abroad in any way, and doing this with out falling into the "voluntourism" trap. About Asia School is ran by people who really care about supporting both the teachers and children of Siem Reap Cambodia. I recomend this organisation to everyone!

6 Minh Tâm N.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with AboutAsia and volunteered at Bookbridge - a learning center in Siem Reap which AboutAsia Schools partners, in July 2013. It was a life-changing opportunity for me. AboutAsia staffs are professional and more than helpful. It was my first time volunteering abroad, so I truly value the training sessions, which taught me a lot about interacting with younger learners, as well as giving me a good sense of Khmer cultures and background. Very informative. They had helped me accommodate more quickly and function effectively in the new position.

The project was exciting from the very first day too, inducing creativity, interactions, and growths. Truly miss the time spent there, with all the memories and experiences I had with the staffs and students and would definitely love to volunteer with AboutAsia again.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I volunteered in July/Aug 2013 and it was great. Even though I am an experienced teacher, I found the mandatory training excellent and fun as well. A sort of short course on everything you need to know to be a teacher! Lots of interesting tips for being a tourist in Siem Reap also....We really enjoyed bonding with the other vols during the course as well. Because we were a couple, we got to teach in the village and I can only say that it is a huge adventure and a once in a lifetime experience. I had truly fallen in love with Cambodia and the Cambodian people by the end of it all.

5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked with ABOUTAsia Schools in 2013 in partnership with my organisation www.lrtt.org

They are a fantastically innovative, professional and transparent organisation with a good level of local ownership and a real commitment to their schools and teachers. Volunteers who spend time with ABOUTAsia Schools get superb initial training and are equipped to make a real difference.

I regularly recommend them to anyone visiting Siem Reap. A superb organisation.

7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As part of research for a book about Cambodia I spent an enjoyable and informative day with the directors and staff of this charity. I also interviewed several volunteers on their own for an independent take. It is meticulously thought through, adaptable and in genuine constant consultation with communities. The volunteers were fairly treated, well prepared and given realistic expectations from the start. They were thriving on the experience.
I did visit other projects in Cambodia and was dismayed by the disorganisation, the top down assumption of need, lack of adaptable research or the laissez faire attitude to volunteers. This doesn't apply to all others but ABOUTAsia schools was so far ahead of others I visited it was spectacular.
Apply any cynical measure to this non-profit. and you'll be pleasantly surprised.

8 Josh20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Brilliant organization! I volunteered with them in June 2013 teaching English in Siem Reap and was impressed at how much they value responsible volunteering over damaging, counter-productive "voluntourism". They have a compulsory brief training session before volunteering which taught me so much and helped me volunteer effectively. They don't charge a fortune to volunteer like many other organizations because they value your time and physical input over your money. I have already volunteered with them a second time and couldn't recommend them more!