Volunteering with CCF in early 2015 gave me the chance to see first-hand the amazing work being done by CCF in the Steung Meanchey community. As well as educating and caring for more than 2,200 children, CCF operates a broad spectrum of community services that support the families to keep the kids in school. The staff really do ‘work from the heart’, with an underlying belief that CCF children can be the next generation of Cambodian leaders. It is clear that CCF's work with these kids is truly life changing - breaking the cycle of poverty and providing them with the opportunities they deserve.
I’ve just finished volunteering for CCF as a teaching development advisor and learning/ teaching coach. I cannot completely express in words how amazing and life-changing this experience has been for me. It’s something you have to see for yourself and it’s not hard to see why CCF has been voted one of the top not-for-profit organisations in the world.
CCF has many arms and legs in Phnom Penh’s Steung Meanchey community which aims to reach out to the most impoverished members through its 60+ projects. Its primary focus is to educate children to become leaders and transform their communities. It is heartwarming to walk or tuk tuk around the community and see happy children in their CCF school uniforms waving back or running up for a hug while making their way to or from the satellite schools in which I worked in.
I have been most fortunate to work with an amazing bunch of local teachers and teaching development officers during my time here. They were so supportive from the first day and made me feel so welcome. Nothing was too difficult, even when resources were sometimes limited.
My weekly schedule gave me lots of scope to provide hands on support to demonstrate, co-teach, observe and train with teachers and students. It was exciting to see how some of the iniatives were being used and how willing the teachers and students were to try new things, despite some lost in translation moments. Sometimes these also became very funny teachable moments.
It is no secret that these kids are doing it tough but I admire their grit, their humour, their resilience, their determination and their positive spirit in the face of adversity. I believe they taught me as much as I could have ever taught them.
I also had the pleasure of working with an incredible team of volunteers and corporate staff. All of them go above and beyond their call of duty. They are experts in their own field and it is inspiring to work with such a like-minded group. Scott has inspired an organisation that demands high expectations and a higher purpose for the transformation of its participants to occur. It’s hard to walk away unaffected in a positive way by CCF. It’s a common story for volunteers to return. When you come to CCF for your own volunteer experience, you’ll understand why.
I moved back to Cambodia in 2013 and began working in the local government. My wife and I started to hear about Scott's work and became really interested in seeing how we could help in any way.
One day after the gym I went into Brown to have breakfast and spotted Scott, I couldn't let this opportunity pass me so I introduced myself and started to learn about CCF. After meeting Janet and visiting one of the locations I really wanted to help in any way possible. My wife's father who is the head of the Anti-corruption Unit became very interested in Scott's work and now we are putting together a proposal to see how we can help in a big way.
I personally know that some people may feel hesitant in donating money etc. But I can assure you this is one of the legitimate places to do so.
We cannot thank the whole team enough at CCF for doing what they do on a daily basis. The only way is to give back in one way or another.
Wow. What an incredible day. I loved how CCF run an integrated model where they are not only supporting the children but the entire community and looking after all the needs to ensure families are stable and children can attend school. Amazing work and they are creating a huge impact. Felt so privileged to see it first hand.
In the past, when I saw dire situations such as that of the community around the former Steung Meanchey garbage dump in Phnom Penh, I simply fell into a depressing sense of helplessness. In working with CCF, I now see hope realized. Beyond food, shelter and education, CCF gives hope, and with hope, we are changing the World one child at a time.
I volunteered at CCF as a teacher trainer in February 2017. I was amazed by the number of programs that CCF offered the people of Steung Meanchey such as the granny program, Toms shoes distribution to neighbouring communities, food programs, youth camps and many more. I thought they were run very well by the staff, student leaders, EO's, management team and volunteers.
I really liked the way the students at CCF were encouraged to become leaders and lead the programs themselves contributing to their education but also their community. This gives the students responsibilities, empowers them and gives them the support and foundations to help build their communities from a local level. Furthermore the staff were very dedicated to their students and most appeared to love working with CCF to empower the children towards a brighter future.
My experience within the classrooms helping the teachers, demonstrated to me the passion and care the staff had for their students. I believe this supportive and caring environment encouraged the students to come to school and build a love of learning. The students were playful and friendly and loved seeing their friends. At my time at CCF I saw lots of happy, smiling children.
CCF has had a huge influence on the people of Steung Meanchey, not just the students but the community as well. CCF as well as Scott Neeson have created programs that pull the people out of poverty through education, which in my opinion, is the most important thing that you can offer someone. Although there are pitfalls and issues that arise in the community, Scott is committed to the people and finds ways to help support them and I believe this makes a great leader.
CCF is committed to distributing donations and funds effectively and this was shown through sponsorship donations by Tom's shoes to cloth local children, resources like books and iPads to build up the library centres as well as leftover foods from bakeries and cafes to feed the children during school times.
I just wanted to say how welcomed I felt at CCF from the first day I arrived. The organisation and everyone that works within it are very friendly and this sets a lovely tone and makes someone new feel very welcome. It is also very nice to feel like you are giving back to the community and are valued for your time and presence within it. Thank you CCF!
I've been visiting and watching this foundation grow for the past decade now and what they have accomplished is remarkable. The level at which they operate and the scale of their their reach is like no other non profit I've seen. They are making a lasting difference in the lives of children and their families in Cambodia.
CCF has made a tremendous impact on the children and families they support and we were privileged to spend some time with their staff and children in the facilities they have built over the years. we were particularly happy to finally personally meet our sponsor child and her friend for a day out with CCF. a truly professional dedicated organization
I've been volunteering for children's NGOs for over a decade, and have never seen an organisation with the sheer positive impact of CCF. Their work truly has transformed one of the most poverty stricken areas in SE Asia, and their students are incredible - they're going to be the next generation of leaders in Cambodia.
I can't speak highly enough of CCF.
We were fortunate enough to first get introduced to CCF at an event they had in Hong Kong where we met a couple of the current students who are benefitting from CCF's programs. We were impressed with the way these students carried themselves and were moved by the personal stories they shared. More recently, we visited Phnom Penh, toured a few of their campuses and met with our sponsor child, Sophea who is a 7-year old boy with a bright future ahead of him now. I'm impressed with the incentivization programs CCF has in place for the children to "want" to do well in school and for the families to feel comfortable sending their child to CCF. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of the children and can see from the smiles on their faces how much they appreciate Scott Neeson's and his teams efforts.
Thank you CCF!
Jessica & Marty Duff
Through our business, Larsen Jewellery, we decided to support three charities just over a year ago. After much research, CCF became one of them. In addition, my wife and I became a sponsor for one of the children in their program.
I have just had the opportunity to visit CCF in Cambodia to see their programs in action and to visit our sponsored child. In short, I could not have been more impressed. Apart from Scott who is an inspiration, CCF has a very dedicated and professional team on the ground. The model that CCF operates is incredibly effective, partly because the programs are carried out in close cooperation with the local community.
Not only are kids being lifted out of extreme poverty, but CCF is also creating a generation of future leaders who want to give back to their community and change Cambodia for the better. The long term impact of what CCF is doing will be profound.
I first volunteered with CCF in 2015, straight out of university and right before starting my career in consulting. Having the opportunity to work with their Sydney office and go to their head office in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and see the work that they do on the ground was eye opening. The beneficiaries in CCF's programs gain tailored solutions to meet their needs which all link back to pillars of education and leadership. An element of their programs that impressed me is that their support is not a hand-out - for the children to be in school, there is an agreement with CCF and the family to be off drugs, alcohol etc. and to support the children with attendance. Despite everything that the community and children have been through, the beneficiaries have endless smiles and compassion. I have volunteered a lot over the years for many NGO's, and CCF is by far the most transparent, honest, and humble of all - the need for education and leadership in Cambodia is evident, and the sustainability and effectiveness of CCF's programs on the community of Steung Meanchey is visible. Thank you for showing me your beautiful world CCF and keep up the great work!
We have just spent a few days in Phnom Penh visiting the CCF organisation and our two sponsor children, Eang and Bora.
We had a great time getting to know the kids and spending some fun time at Kids World. It was great opportunity to see first hand the huge impact CCF is having on these children.
We were also lucky enough to spend some time with Scott Neeson, the founder of CCF, and tour the new academy and do a village walk. Scott seems to know all the children personally and takes a huge interest in the welfare of the family and the overall community.
The visit really re-inforced our commitment to as donors and help out in whatever ways we can.
Thanks to Scott, Joseph, Cath and all the CCF Team for the great work.
Jacq and Gary McLaren
When I heard about CCF, their community ethos and focus on empowering children through education, love & care I was instantly hooked!
I'd spent months looking for a voluntary project I felt had a holistic & community focus and found that within CCF.
Actually seeing children's desperate situations within Cambodia, really moved me. Then hearing about Scotts brilliant aim to take children & their families out of such awful poverty assured me that their are really kind people in this world to help overcome misfortunes bestowed on people due to inequality!!
As a volunteer with a lot of experience in child development & an holistic approach I wanted to share insights to compliment within the team, and so I feel it was definitely a worthwhile experience.
volunteering alongside teacher Srey Sor was my highlight as she showed absolute compassion & attentiveness to each child she taught.
Whilst the focus was on teaching them English and maths to enhance their skills, I felt the real lessons were in teachers like Srey Sor promoting a 'you can do it' attitude!!
I liked that local Khmer staff are employed & CCF are looking into even more ways to promote equality & inclusion within Cambodia.
For instance by supporting schools in village areas, so children can remain within family structure whilst getting n education & health needs met.
That's definitely got my five star vote!
I'd just done some volunteering teaching in Thailand with Primary School children and as part of my trip back to the UK, I was visiting Phonm Phenn in Cambodia and had the opportunity to visit CCF and see the amazing work that was being done there.
It was truly inspirational work.
Whilst visiting it was heartbreaking to hear (and see) the desperate conditions that these poor children were growing up in. Their village was based on and around a city dump, a dump that not only contained household rubbish, but toxic and hazardous waste too!, families for a wide variety of often unfortunate and heartbreaking reasons found themselves salvaging a living on this waste site. Children were needed to work in order to earn money to survive - education and going to school for these children was previously not an option.
How amazing that CCF can help these children and families out to not only provide education, health, a future and hope but to give them the opportunity of a happier and more prosperous life.
We heard several hearbreaking stories of children and how they were malnourished, living off the dump with no future and no hope. I heard about a very young boy, who would find dead babies abandoned amongst the rubbish tip and he would take them away from this atrocisity and give them a decent burial.
CCF however has managed to turn many young children's lives around with a good solid education, an excellent and very fluent command in the English language (which will enable them to get a decent job in Cambodia) but I particularly admired the fact that these children are expected to be involved in CCF, become team leaders themselves, help, mentor and be inspirations for the younger children.
When going around the facilities (classrooms, playgrounds, a community area, a place where children were fed and showered and in desperate situations a residential place for children who could not live at home). There was a vibrancy in these areas, a happiness, a willingness to learn, children allowed to be children, and a great sense of optimism.
I didn't visit the really bad areas, but what I saw of where some of these people live and the facilities that CCF provide it made me realise how important CCF are in this community and what a real, positive difference CCF are making.
Please keep up the amazing (literally) life saving work.
In July this year, our family and 12 volunteers from our own not-for-profit charity, Bikes 4 Life, travelled to Phnom Penh to visit CCF for our third year in a row. Bikes 4 Life distribute much needed, refurbished bikes to deserving CCF students, their families and the broader CCF community. Given we have returned three times (and plan to continue to do so each year), speaks volumes as to the calibre of CCF, their programs and the positive impact they are making in the Steung Meanchey community. CCF fully involve their students in all facets of their incredible programs, teaching their young Junior Leaders responsibility and ensuring they are giving back to their own community. The students of CCF genuinely embrace their education opportunities and seem to be very committed to continuing the cycle of eduction. We are also fortunate enough to have the pleasure of sponsoring a child which is the most rewarding experience of our visit.
I had finished working as a volunteer teacher in rural Thailand and wanted to see how other NGOs were helping children in SE Asia. I arranged for a tour of CCF to see the work they were doing and, quite frankly, was amazed. The way CCF find children living in the most dire conditions,meet them into one of its education facilities and give them something approaching a normal childhood is truly astounding.
During my tour of Stueng Mueang, where kids used to live on a toxic rubbish dump, I heard a number of stories from the children CCF had saved.mone young lady described told us her story. She started by saying "she'd been working on the dump since she was a toddler" - working means walking barefoot over broken glass, raw sewage, chemical waste to find something over value who's only dream was to work in a factory one day. CCF took her from this horrible existence, put her into one of its schools and gave her a chance at life. Now she is a confident happy young woman, who speaks fluent English and is a project leader for CCF helping others like her get out of the slums and avoid a likely early death and now is aiming to be a teacher so she can help others.
The thing that impressed me most about CCF is the way it,helps the children develop themselves through education, learn the skills to become independent and become valuable members of the community.
I volunteered at CCF for 3 months earlier this year and have returned for another 2 months now. I am a UK children's social workers and social work manager and have been working with CCF on their child care programme. I have been very impressed by the extent to which CCF are open to external review of and input into their programmes - which is a sign of a well run confident organisation.
CCF provide a wide range of community support services within this very deprived community, including community outreach, housing, medical care, nutritional support (feeding programmes) as well as education. This ensures families are supported to care for their children.
I have met some self confident, outgoing young people who have benefited from CCF's programmes many of whom are now at University or in employment. This would not have happened without CCF.
I volunteered for two months as a buddy teacher this year at CCF. The work that the administration and staff do there is stellar: there is no other word to describe it. The school, medical facility, granny program, child protection program, partnership with Workd Housing, food program... are all headed by a man who should win a Nobel prize for seeing a problem and donating 100% of his life to solving it. Five stars are not enough
CCF do an amazing job to give seriously disadvantaged youngsters the opportunity to offset the disadvantages of their birth and to achieve their full potential. It is not only about opportunity for the individual but the community as a whole and in the long run gives the community the tools to look after itself.
I particularly like the holistic approach of CCF, recognising that it is not only the issue of school opportunity that the kids are missing, but also factors such as the economic role of kids in the family and the quality of housing that need to be addressed in order to achieve CCF's aims.