I've been privileged to be a part of CFC since 2008 when I first heard Jamie Amelio speak about her promise made to Cambodia, a promise for better education and hope for the future. I was captivated instantly and after one service trip to CFC schools, I knew that I had to do something more. I've now worked for CFC on three continents and I feel lucky that my role is to help spread awareness of its progress and programs, and to highlight all those around the world who help in ways big and small. I believe in CFC's mission -- education is the key to change and progress and equal opportunity. I also believe in CFC's integrity as an organization. Our founder, the staff on the ground in Siem Reap, the executive team and the countless volunteers around the globe -- all connected with a common purpose for Cambodian's future. This is a class act.
CFC is an amazing organization run by the nicest and most caring and generous people. I have spent time with many of them and know that they are very dedicated and will never stop working to improve the lives of Cambodian children. I cannot say enough good things about this nonprofit. It is wonderful and doing incredible work!
I have been associated with Caring for Cambodia since their inception in 2003, when I was introduced to this wonderful NGO while living in Singapore. I was moved by the passion and generosity of it's founder, Jamie Amelio and her desire to provide education to a country so in need of mentors and educators!! CFC started with just one primary school and with the help of its financial supporters and volunteers, CFC is now providing world class education in 21 safe, clean and well-equipped schools for over 6,400 children. But we need the help of more financial supports and volunteers!! Please consider joining this incredible organization!!
Caring for Cambodia is an incredible NGO that I am so very proud to have worked with for over 2 years. An almost unprecedented 91 cents on the dollar goes straight to our programs. Our administrative costs are kept to such a minimum because of the team of dedicated and talented individuals who volunteer their time and expertise for us all around the world. Every program we introduce has the goal of sustainability and the ability ultimately to be integrated throughout Cambodia's entire educational system.
Caring for Cambodia is an incredible mission run by tireless individuals. I have been involved with CFC for 5 years and have been continuously surprised, impressed and humbled by their organization in Siem Reap. Their efforts have directly contributed to the well-being of hundreds, in not thousands, of children– and by extension: their families, their city and the entire country. A truly admirable nonprofit run by truly admirable souls.
Caring for Cambodia is an excellent, transparent, life changing charitable organization that I am so proud to be a very small part of, as a volunteer. Together, we can all make a difference and help educate the children and also help them give themselves a bright future ahead, as well as making friends and widening our horizons. The team have been amazing and really welcomed me on board with open arms and I can't thank them enough.
I first found out about CFC when I was on a flight to Siem Reap and saw a school trip from Tanglin all in their orange CFC t-shirts going out to do a project in a CFC school. I was so impressed that when I saw an advertisement on 'Expat Giving' for Volunteers for this organisation, I jumped at the chance! I am now their Fairs Coordinator and use the wonderful opportunity to participate in various trade fairs in Singapore to raise awareness about who we are and what we do.
Caring for Cambodia is unique among NGOs in education in Cambodia. First, CFC partners with the government, so that all schools are free to the students and the curriculum is Cambodia's own. CFC does not establish a private, tuition-charging system but works with the system already in place. Second, CFC invests in people! The teacher training program draws on international best practices, that are shared with Cambodian teachers by practicing teachers and researchers from Singapore, the US, Canada and beyond. I have heard Cambodian teachers describing their new hands-on skills in the classroom with delight - and they are definitely delighted by the results: students who are totally engaged with learning, and are scoring well on exams. Third - CFC is almost entirely volunteer-run! People from all around the globe contribute time and their professional expertise, usually because they have travelled to Cambodia, seen the need, and are moved to action. Finally, CFC works to remove barriers to education. If a child cannot go to school because the family can't afford a uniform, CFC will provide it. Two nutritious meals a day at school means that families want children to go, to eat and to learn. There are many other ways in which CFC supports Cambodian teachers and students in their quest to learn 21st century skills and achieve. I hope others will be motivated to learn more about this nonprofit, and become involved.
I have been volunteering with CFC for 6 years. This NGO is making a significant difference in the lives of thousands of Cambodian children and their families. CFC helps both the individual child by providing eye glasses, when needed, potable water, access to healthcare, highly trained teachers and social workers, but them also has an impact on all the children in Cambodia in their capacity as the Model School for Cambodia, training administrators and teachers across the entire country.
CFC works hard to be transparent, to focus on capacity building of local staff, and to think of the sustainable end game of replication and handover, and they achieve at a high level on all of these points. They make a huge, lasting impact on all the students who go through their schools, but their greatest legacy will be all the students country-wide who will benefit from CFC techniques and programs eventually being integrated into the broader system.
I have had the wonderful opportunity to visit Caring for Cambodia in Siem Reap twice. I am so impressed with this organization and the amazing work they do. Not only do they provide an outstanding educational opportunity for these children, they also take a holistic approach to helping the students and their families. Most impressive to me was their Food for Thought program, which offers two warm meals a day to the children, which ensures a healthy start each day. The opportunity to serve CFC with their Make A Difference trips is heartwarming and life changing. I encourage others to reach out to help, it will change you forever.
When I visited Cambodia years ago, my excitement about the grandeur of the ruins in Angkor was tempered by the vast amount of impoverished children begging for money to fund a day of school. It was two years after this trip that Caring for Cambodia (CFC) was brought to my attention. I had an opportunity to discuss the organization's goals and objectives with leadership and knew instantly that this organization was different. This group had a clear focus: sustainable change. They were not simply putting a band-aid on a larger issue, they were proactively educating educators and preparing the local people to implement life-changing education for years to come. Their story is powerful, their work impressive and their results undeniable. Driven by a desire to enhance the lives of Cambodian children through learning, CFC leaves no stone unturned. They have faced numerous challenges and implemented unique services to support this commitment to education. For example, children were not eating a sustainable amount of food outside of school. CFC decided to provide multiple meals for the children throughout the day. Their innovative approach to sustainable change continues to lead Cambodia toward a brighter future.
Review from Guidestar
The Don Bosco vocational center in Kep is a place, where you have to be. In Oktober/November 2012 I was there and taught students radio journalism. It was a great event and a great experience for me. During teaching I learnt a lot about the aims of the Salesians and I was very impressed. Kep is a place of education, of responsibility, of solidarity with the poorest, and also a place of humour and friendship. By the way , Cambodia came nearer, the culture of the country, his history. I think, this has to do with the philosophy of the Salesians. They don`t want do dominate people, they want, to understand people and to help them with education and more knowledge. So I am very thankful, personally Father Albeiro, and i wish him, now far away from Kep in the rainy and cold Berlin, success for his plan, to found a cultural radio station. A great idea and very helpful for the development of Cambodia and also for the people, who lives around the Don Bosco Vocational Center in Kep.
In friendship Wolfgang Bauernfeind and Uti Hennecke
I am continually amazed by the work done by CFC. What particularly inspires me in my work with CFC, is that so much is done by Cambodians themselves. The mission of CFC is go give a hand up, not a hand out, and this mission is demonstrated every day in Siem Reap. You see teachers working hard for their students, parents making sacrifices so that their children can attend the schools, and most importantly students who are so grateful for the opportunity to attend school. This was clearly demonstrated during flood season when parents, teachers, students and volunteers ALL worked together to get things cleaned up so that kids could back to school quickly.
As the volunteer coordinator for CFC in Singapore, I have the opportunity to meet almost all of our volunteers. They are all hard working people who are dedicated to changing the template for education in Cambodia. There are so many different ways to volunteer and to make a difference. The reason CFC works is that CFC works directly with the government to emphasize the importance of effective teacher training as a means of improving education. When you visit their schools, you see that they have not simply built a school and walked away, like many NGOs, but they have provided long term support and training for the Cambodian teachers, who are then able to train other teachers. Our volunteers see this, and they are motivated to keep helping.
Review from Guidestar
I have high praise for the work that CFC does, not only in Cambodia but around the world. I visited a CFC school five years ago and from the time my feet touched the soil on that school site, the children of Cambodia touched my heart. I was so smitten with the people and impressed by this NGO I ended up working with CFC in Cambodia as the Director of Teacher Training. We do not have smart offices, we do not sit at computers we work at grass root level with the teachers in their classrooms. We work alongside the Ministry of Education in Cambodia to help delvier a curriculum that is already in place. We train teachers to deliver this curriculum in a Child Friendly Classroom / School. When approaching training in this way we empower the Cambodian teachers to learn and reach out to their own people. Hand in hand with this teacher training comes training for the mothers in the vilages and their preschool children, focusing on Health and Hygiene but also on "The Whle Child". Caring For Cambodia is made up of a huge number of people around the whole who were touched by the plight of the people in Cambodia and who simply want to give them a Hand Up. The success of this NGO is glaringly apparent when you visit the schools and observe in classrooms. The future of the next generation is in the hands of these dedicated teachers of Cambodia.
Review from Guidestar
What they all said! These reviewers have all shared so eloquently their experiences with and impressions of CFC. They do a beautiful job of describing the mission, the work and the successes.
We visited several schools in January, 2011, however, as tourists, not really knowing what to expect. One of my questions to a staff member was why has CFC managed to survive and thrive when so many non-profits do not. Her response was that, in her opinion, it was through the personal and financial committment, of course, but also by learning from their early mistakes -- working until they got it right. They have definitely done that! We were so impressed by what they are doing and how they are doing it, including by working in existing government schools. I was also surprised by the insight of needing to remain true to and focused on the mission of the organization when one could easily be distracted by seeing all of the unmet needs surrounding them on a daily basis. I also believe that by being slow and steady in their growth have probably aided in their success as well. And of course, it was heartwarming to see the joy and excitement in the faces of the children and the teachers and staff that we met.
I believe CFC is changing far more lives than they will ever be able to imagine, and I will definitely be supporting their work financially. I wish I was not half a world away so that I could do more than that!
Review from Guidestar
My role as CEO of a global corporation means I work 70 hours a week and travel 70% of the time. Despite that, I never fail to find time for Caring for Cambodia-- it is that important. Imagine a whole nation that wiped out its teachers. That nation would have no future at all. Cambodia, with the help of Caring for Cambodia, is rebuilding that future through building schools and training teachers today.
I first encountered CFC several years ago in Cambodia when I and 450 colleagues descended on Siem Reap on a global corporate summit and service mission. We painted some of the CFC schools, met the kids and built playgrounds. We visited the classes and donated hundreds of shiny new bicycles which the kids promptly painted.
I was honored when I was asked to join the board. I knew that my time is so limited that I would have to choose wisely. This choice has an enormous, outsized impact though. Just imagine the generations o kids who will now have access to top-flight teachers trained by the world's best. They have computer labs and nutritious meals. They will become tomorrow's teachers, entrepreneurs and leaders.
The aspects that most impressed me were the thoroughness coupled with selflessness. Everything is handled with precision and tremendous heart. The schools are solely for the Cambodian children with no other motives--not religious, not political. The schools' superintendent, Savvy, is a Cambodian man of inspiring commitment. The teacher training is effective and sustainable complete with incentives for self-improvement and development. The Western world could learn a lot from the Caring for Cambodia teacher incentive model.
An ingenious aspect of CFC is their understanding of the need to engage the whole community, making sure the parents and extended families are brought into the schools for learning opportunities.
Review from Guidestar
Caring For Cambodia (CFC) (FIN #20-3645945) is a responsible and worthy organization. I've supported CFC on several levels. In Cambodia, I've been on work site projects, toured the school facilities, personally have met the teaching staff and in-country director and have helped serve school children with CFC's Food For Thought program. I currently am responsible for all financial recording, reporting and treasury functions of the organization. I am a donor. CFC is doing great things for the people and children of Cambodia. Through their work, they are correcting many wrongs of Cambodia's past. Through this work, they are literally helping to change the face of a nation. This work is setting Cambodia on a course for real economic development. Knowing all of this, along with the intimate understanding of the finances, strategic plans, personal knowledge of the board members and their direction and support, CFC is a 501 (c)(3) most worthy of your support. The organization can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. The CFC Mission Statement: Caring for Cambodia (CFC) believes that when knowledge cannot be handed down, it must be handed out. We work to educate one child at a time today, to make a difference for Cambodia's tomorrow. We create and sustain safe, modern, technologically equipped schools; mentor and professionally train teachers; and fund supplies and other tools needed to teach those who want to learn. CFC provides educational opportunities for Cambodian children so they may reach their highest potential and make valuable contributions to their communities.
I have worked as a volunteer for CFC since 2003, and I proudly sit on the current Board of Directors. I have enough passion and first hand experience with all aspects of the schools to write for pages, but I note that several dedicated CFC supporters have written eloquently about their personal experiences at the schools. For every account you read here, there are hundreds more. Instead, I would like to come from a slightly different angle and shed additional light on a few of the unique and innovative programs that set CFC apart in Cambodia. There are numerous, worthy organizations at work in Cambodia that address the fundamental obstacles that keep children from staying in school. CFC is a leader among them. Our students receive a daily, nutritious meal, compulsory school uniforms, well maintained classrooms, clean drinking water, lavatories, and bicycles for transport to and from school. These ongoing programs (and others which address pressing basic needs) were among our first steps and they have worked. Our attendance rates far exceed national averages. However, the quality of what takes place in our classrooms day to day is what has truly set us apart. CFC schools are government schools that use the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) curriculum. These curriculum documents are impressive by any standard; however the gap between the worthy goals of the curriculum and the experience level of our government teachers is wide, making the curriculum unattainable. CFC pinpointed teacher training as the fundamental solution to this gap, and it is has been effective. CFC’s teacher training efforts started in 2004, with a pilot teacher training workshop for five CFC kindergarten teachers, delivered by three international teachers based in Singapore. Six years later that pilot project has blossomed into a well-established international exchange program involving nearly 100 Cambodian educators of all grade levels, MoEYS officials, and a corps of more than 100 talented teachers based in Singapore, where CFC was founded. Singapore is not only Cambodia’s geographic neighbor, but it is a hub of quality educators from around the world who teach at state of the art local and international schools. CFC has found a creative way to leverage this concentration of educational talent. CFC’s Teacher Training Program supports two Teacher Training Centers in Siem Reap and a full time Director of Teacher Training. The Director oversees the individualized, daily professional development of all teachers at CFC schools. She is also the liaison with CFC’s Singapore-based teacher trainers who make regular trips to the schools to conduct hands-on workshops with the Cambodian teachers and MoEYS officials. Likewise, the same Cambodian teachers travel to their colleagues’ schools in Singapore for observations and ongoing professional support. The Singapore based teacher trainers come from the US, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada to list a few. One friend described it as a “UN for teachers.” This innovative approach has brought about a sustainable transformation in the quality of the teaching at the CFC schools. More recently, CFC established an innovative partnership with Lehigh University’s Comparative and International Education program (CIE) in their College of Education. One goal of the CFC-CIE partnership is to narrow the gap between quality educational research and effective implementation of research findings. Currently two graduate level courses are focused on needs specific to CFC students. I am currently enrolled in one of these classes as a CFC member (an outstanding opportunity available to all members). We are researching the labor market in Siem Reap, so that CFC can better serve its students as they graduate and transition into well paying jobs. The research is being conducted now, and the findings will be implemented this spring. Behind each of these innovative programs are more personal stories—of students, teachers, and parents whose lives have been transformed by the energy, professionalism and tangible hope the CFC schools have brought to their communities. CFC is committed to “going deep” with our efforts. It is a saying that is at the heart of our unflagging commitment to quality in everything we do.
Review from Guidestar
I have worked with Caring For Cambodia since the very beginning. A few of us started out by simply collecting,and distributing backpacks and uniforms to the children in Cambodia. Once I took my first trip there to distribute all we had collected I was hooked. It gets in your blood. The children simply wanted to go to school and to learn (something we all take for granted). I felt this was a cause that I could help and really make a difference. I remember the day we handed out uniforms. The children all stood in line according to their age. My son was 8 at the time and was instructed to distribute the backpacks to the boys who were his same age. There was a remarkable difference in the size of these children and my son. It was so obvious as they stood there. Clearly it was malnutrition. One of CFC's first goals was to be sure every child had at least one balanced meal a day before they started school. This goal has been met and today CFC feeds over 5000 students a day before school starts with their "Food For Thought" program. The organization today has grown so much since those initial days. It now has a professional board that sets the strategy and oversees all the operations. CFC started with 1 school and now is supporting 8. Their teacher training program is what has made a difference. Cambodian teachers now hold their heads high as they feel they are professionals. They are learning how to put together a child friendly classroom, make teaching materials, and to use different teaching strategies. These mentor teachers are teaching their peers. CFC's philosophy is to give a hand up...not a hand out. It is working. I have had the chance to visit Cambodia many times and have been able to see the results first hand. My children have also visited many times working on projects and interacting with the kids. They now have life long friends! CFC is truly making a difference and I feel blessed that my family and I have the opportunity to be a part of it all.