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.
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
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.
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
Yesterday at around 5 pm I had the opportunity to join Scott for his evening “walk about”. This took me to his different schools, housing villages he has bequeathed from sponsors, and deep into one of the many surreal slum communities that still make up the Steang Meanchey commune.
Scott is a close personal friend and the first thing that struck me is that both in his personal life and “professional” life, he is one and the same person. He is true to himself. The walkabout gave me more insight into who he is and what he does.
Most importantly it allowed me to put the whole picture of CCF together, and see that everything that happens at CCF emanates from the soul of these slum communities and the people within.
CCF suddenly was no longer just those happy smiling children’s faces. Scott introduced the heart and essence of his mission by allowing me a window into the soul, the struggles and suffering in a real up close, albeit brief, experience.
The difference was that I would go home after a few hours, while these children and parents would have to live within this squalor, overwhelming poverty and filth day after day, many without an no end in sight.
I felt that you can’t really totally understand CCF and Scott’s motivation until you walk within this environment, as pictures just don’t do it justice.
I want to share with you some of my observations about my friend..
There is a constant intensity with Scott, hat simply doesn’t turn off both in his private time and public. He has an intuitive gift to remarkably remembers every child’s name and can share their story in an instant, many of them being remarkably tragic beyond our western sensibilities. At the same time, he can compartmentalize every project within CCF and is in a constant state of anticipating the future as it relates to the organization’s sustainability.
Scott never stops moving, both physically nor mentally. He is always in a state of fluid motion, finding time to acknowledge every kid that we walk by and within every neighborhood we visit. And when he sees children alone in a slum dwelling, he stops to talk and find out why their parent(s) is not around. He is in a mode of finding solutions, instant outcomes. He has no time for delay and bureaucracy, constantly instructing the two CCF support individuals who join us to follow up on every request however small it might seem such as a young child pleading to him for a coconut as its their birthday or larger and life changing requests involving medical support, enrollment of their child in CCF’s program.
To that effect he is constantly stopped in the street by families and individuals with problems, whether they be sober or strung out on drugs.
Scott is completely hands-on. We walked into areas that are surreal, beyond anything I’ve ever seen, smelled or experienced. Small children walking barefoot on layers upon layers of wet and acrid smelling wet garbage, shacks infested with rats and disease. Scott walks, rather strides, in and has an urgency to face the problem head-on, needing to constantly check up on children, on parents, on his “constituents” ….there was no place that he wouldn’t go despite the potential danger of drug dealers who would rather he not exist.
My friend’s attention deficit disorder serves him well. He has the intuitive genius to be able to make one-on-one contact with hundreds of individuals that we met over this two hour walkabout and has a pick up truck full of coloring books and crayons that he hands out based upon the situational need.
From the exceedingly bright children, to those that have mental disorders, Scott makes sure that no child is left behind and walks and works exhaustively both at CCF and on these walkabouts, his camera on his shoulder, children coming up for hugs, shouts of “papa” and “Scoot” being shouted out from small shacks constantly, and taking his taking photos on request, allowing everyone to gather around and laugh at the results.
The true sense of community and humanity is the one element that shines out through all this within what we would consider a living hell. This sense of one family, and joy that Scott can bring out wherever he walks, a feeling up uplifting, is a reminder to all of us as to what can be accomplished in the name of love. Scott has, quite honestly, harnessed the power of love and spreads that energy, intuitively, in the most effective way he knows how.
Here’s what I conclude. This isn’t about Cambodia, this isn’t about one particular place on the map. It’s about having the confidence and commitment to demonstrate leadership using the power of love. Scott serves as a conduit to those less fortunate individuals who have lived in a cycle of squalor for generations and they respond remarkably to this empowerment and will live better lives for generations to come do to his efforts.
Scott proved to me that we are all from the same family of human beings. That given the opportunity and tools, whatever the color of your skin or country and situation you are born into, anyone can improve their lives.
The newest negative posts all belong to an individual who is running a hate campaign against Cambodian Children's Fund. Great Nonprofits are aware of this and regularly remove the reviews. Unfortunately, this only leads to him posting them again and so they remain at the top of the page.
Cambodian Children's Fund is one among many to be targeted by his blogging and troublemaking. Other organizations have successfully sued for defamation. Others have restraining orders and he has been arrested for harassment.
I have been a donor the the Cambodian Children's Fund for two years now, I have very regular email contact with my sponsor child. He and his siblings have now been repatriated to live with their family, now that their family are in a position to afford to support them - with the help of my donations. CCF keep me regularly updated on his progress and send him messages from me and messages from him to me. I receive cards in the mail and have had little video messages from him and have skyped him in the past. I am also organising to visit him in September and they have been very helpful. I have nothing but good things to say about this charity
I have been sponosring a child through CCF for about 4 months now and it is really wonderful. Being able to skype, exchange emails and photos weekly is really wonderful. CCF really is a great organisation and you feel a direct contact with the child you are sponsoring as you are contacting them directly - it is very powerful and I highly recommend it.
I hope the negative comments below get removed - they are obviously from people who have never visited CCF and seen it for themselves. Seems like someone is trying to slander this great organisation. There are 150 glowing reviews from people who have visited the organisation - and then 3 angry reviews? CCF doesn't take children from their families - I sponsor two children, one lives with their aunty and uncle, and the other lives at CCF but goes home every weekend. I have been a donor for many years, and I have never seen an organisation that works with the kind of compassion and delivers programs that changes lives like CCF does. I will continue to support their work for a long time.
CCF does a great job in providing security, health and education to the poorest kids of Steung Meanchey who would otherwise have few hopes for the future. It is great to be able to donate with confidence, and to visit and see exactly how our money is used to help turn so many lives around.
My family and I, who sponsor five CCF children, have just returned from our second visit to CCF and we are overwhelmed by the care, compassion and responsible governance demonstrated throughout this organisation.
As well as spending precious time with our sponsor children, we had the opportunity to have in-depth discussions with senior staff and to visit some of the newer facilities that we did not see on our previous visit. We witnessed the enormous progress that is being made by CCF in providing an amazing educational and community resource, and we were once again impressed by the diligence with which the CCF philosophy of ethics, duty of care and community engagement is applied throughout the organisation.
Reviews of CCF submitted on August 17 (presumably all by the same person) are factually wrong and seriously misleading. Regarding the comment about James McCabe made by this reviewer, and reference to a newspaper article from 2008, a more recent article from December 2013 provides a fairer perspective - see http://www.theage.com.au/national/james-mccabe-is-on-a-mission-to-protect-abused-cambodian-kids-20131130-2yiyq.html.
Regarding comments about institutionalisation of children, it is salient to note that by far the majority of CCF kids live with their parents, albeit in impoverished conditions. I have visited the homes of some of these families, and seen conditions which are almost impossible to convey in words. It is humbling to see the strength and love within many of these families, despite their dire circumstances . However, as in any community there are also families and children affected by drug addiction, alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, violence and neglect. It is children in such extreme circumstances, whose lives and well-being are at risk, who are accepted for full time care at CCF. There are also children (including one of our sponsor children) whose parents struggle to care for them at home full time and these children live at CCF during the week and return to their families at the weekend and for holidays. There is no doubt at all in my mind that CCF regards family as the core of the community. The organisation works ceaselessly to provide family support in many ways - free maternal care, care for the elderly, free health and medical care, provision of food and clean drinking water, financial assistance with paying off debts, and low-rent secure housing for at-risk families, to mention only some of its outreach activities. Even after our two visits I know that we have only seen a very small part of the work done by CCF to support families and the local community.
CCF far exceeds what I could have imagined possible for an NGO and is built on solid foundations that I am sure will assist Cambodian children and their families for generations to come. Happy to give it five stars.
Last month I had the pleasure of visiting CCF. I was very happy to meet the girl I sponsor. What impressed me about CCF overall was the dedication of the staff who are clearly doing a great job. I got to see the medical surgery that is available free of charge to any member of the local Steung Meanchey community. I also got to see the library and computer facilities available to the kids and learnt about the many outreach programs supporting children and families in the community including the Granny’s program to provide support and dignity to older members of the community who contribute so much to caring for young children. In my opinion CCF is an outstanding organisation.
My family began sponsoring children through CCF about 3 years ago. We started with 3 boys who were all around the same age as my own boys (10 / 8 and 5) then we expanded our Cambodian family about a year ago with the addition of our 14 year old sponsor girl.
In March 2015 we made the trip from Perth to Phnom Penh so we could meet these little wonders who we had been corresponding with for so long. It only took perhaps 10 minutes before my children and our sponsor children became mates. They weren't able to communicate effectively through language but they created their own language. The language of fun! They played for hours at an indoor play centre in Phnom Penh and we all had a lovely meal afterwards with a cake that CCF had organised to celebrate my son's 8th birthday.
The following day we visited one of the CCF community centres. My husband and I were both very emotional and incredibly proud to be associated with this organisation. The facilities that we witnessed in only 1 of the many community centres were exceptional and the much needed health care provided to the people who need it most was comprehensive. Even down to a tap providing fresh water for anyone in the community to access and a playground that children in the area could visit in the evenings to ensure they had a safe place to play. Amazing, amazing, amazing!
Our final visit with our sponsor children was the day we regretfully left Phnom Penh. The children and their chaperone arrived at our hotel for a swim and some lunch. It was Easter Sunday for us so we hid some lollies in the garden and gave each child a basket to collect them. The wonder on their faces I will never forget!
Without a doubt our connection with CCF has been the most rewarding experience of our lives so far. We wish we could sponsor more children and most definitely will visit again in the future.
Scott Neeson and his team have created a magnificent charity.
I have just returned from another trip to visit one of the kids I sponsor at CCF, as with my previous visits this one was really memorable but the thing that stands out this time is the way the whole community gets help and not just the kids.
I visited the World housing project which was fantastic and is helping entire families as well as visiting one of the outreach schools and learnt about the granny program and the subsidised rice scheme. I can't wait for my next trip as I already have an idea of some of the other projects in the pipeline and always look forward to seeing how the entire dump community is being lifted out of poverty by the dedication shown by Scott and his team.
The more I learn about CCF the happier I am to see what my sponsorship money is achieving and would highly recommend that any child sponsors who read this post spend the time to visit their sponsored child and get to learn more about the workings of CCF
Last february I and my family got the opportunity to travel to Cambodia, and it was the great opportunity to meet our sponsored children and the CCF's team member. Coming from France (sorry for my poor english) we were very enthusiastic to see with our own eyes own CCF works and care of the children. It was really a wonderful experience. We could visit the community center and different places, we were warmly welcome and our guide from CCF was very kind and competent.
in the afternoon, we could go to Phnom Penh with our sponsored children, made some shopping together and shared a very nice moment around a refreshing icecream!
Besides that, I just want to give my testimony about my experience : the CCF's action for poor children is very serious, all people work with passion and heart, and we could see how many children and families are helped. Thanks to CCF to handle such difficult work on the long term, their organisation is really great and efficient.
Warm regards to everybody, hope to see you again next year!
On my recent visit (Feb 2015), I was continually impressed by CCF and can say that CCF definitely 'far exceeded my expections!' I was impressed by what I knew about CCF and by their top ratings as a charity before going to Phnom Penh. Now I am more impressed than I thought possible having seen CCF in action. Anyone donating or sponsoring through CCF should be confident their funds are being put to the best use possible and should be proud to be a part of such an incredible program making a huge difference! I feel like sponsorship with CCF not only helps the child but also will have a positive impact for the country of Cambodia. CCF provides the best chance for the child to grow into an educated, socially aware adult who can become a positive contributor to society with great potential to help improve life for other Cambodians. CCF has created a burgeoning ecosystem of stewardship that seems constantly expanding due to the ceaseless perseverance of Scott Neeson and luckily the amazing team of CCF employees, which includes some of the first CCF graduates, which I also think is wonderful! I love the interaction via email and Skype with my sponsored child. He is a part of our family and it is great to watch him growing and learning right along with my daughter. CCF helps tons of children that do not have sponsors so I love that my donation goes to help them all. I could not be happier with my choice to be a sponsor/donor to CCF!
My husband and I have been CCF sponsors of a child for seven years. We have been able to make two visits to see our beautiful, sponsored daughter. On our most recent visit, we were fortunate to tour several classrooms with children learning English, the day care, and the bakery training facility for CCF teens interested in learning a trade. We also spent wonderful time with our child and her friends. CCF is a model-run non-profit which gives hope and a future to the children it serves.
I am absolutely in awe of everything Cambodian Children's Fund manages to accomplish with such limited resources. It's biggest success, however, is the confidence, security and hope its programs give an incredibly marginalized group of children. Congratulations and keep up the good work!
I have been a child sponsor with Cambodian Children's Fund for 2 years. I am sponsoring beautiful 9 year old girl Srey Vy. Since I am currently living in Singapore I was able to manage visit my sponsored child 3 times. On the first visit I have been shown CCF facilities, introduced to program structure and I witnessed with my own eyes how things work and everything they describe on their website, Facebook posts, Twitter etc is true. I met the children in CFF facilities and I was in awe with positive aura all around. Later I met my sponsored child for the first time. If you are interested about my experiences I wrote an article here http://richardsimko.com/archive/visiting-cambodian-childrens-fund
Few months later I visited second time and again we had great time with my sponsored child again. Third visit happened in December 2014. I surprised Srey Vy with a birthday cake. She turned 9. CFF staff was very helpful in organizing this little surprise.
Generally being a sponsor with CFF is very rewarding experience. I have regular email communication with Srey Vy so I always know what is going on. A new email always brightens my day. I know I am making a difference here. Small one but difference it is. If you add lot of small contributions together then you really have power to make a change. And change there is. I am looking forward for more visits and continuing my support of Cambodian Children's Fund. I think it is one of the best charities out there.
I am involved with CCF little over a year, but I have been following them for much longer. Story of Scott Neeson is amazing and what he has done in Cambodia is nothing short of a miracle. I know because I visited CCF last year. I am sponsoring lovely 8 year old girl whom I visited 2 times already. I think it is the best spent money ever. Seeing those kids with happy smiles gives me great satisfaction and helping them helps me a lot too. I will continue my support for CCF because I could see with my own eyes that it realy does help and it gets where it is needed the most. If you feel you want to get involved in charity, consider CCF. It is money and time well spent.
I visited CCF this morning as part of my Cambodia holiday. As a donor I was keen to see how my donations are being managed on the ground. I left feeling that CCF provides excellent value for money, that my donations are being well spent. The CCF HQ is modest, with the tuktuk driver having to point it out to me on arrival (this compares favourably with a similar charity back home housed in its own large, ostentatious building). I was guided by a friendly and professional member of staff to three CCF sites, being a playground, school, and community centre. All three had good security, were well maintained, and were full of happy and friendly staff and children. The facilities are basic but functional, with good computer access for students. As part of the tour we briefly stopped at CCF’s housing project. These houses, built on stilts, are located behind a fence. I observed that while outside the fence is filth, inside is neat and tidy – these tenants take pride in their homes. Overall, I was very impressed with CCF; the visit confirmed what I have read previously on websites such as this. I will continue supporting this excellent charity. Thank you for a great day.