Cambodian Children's Fund
Rating: 4.99 stars 217 reviews
Nonprofit Issues (NTEE):
Education, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Human Services, International, International Relief, Literacy, Philanthropy, Public Foundations
2461 Santa Monica Blvd. PMB 833 Santa Monica CA 90404 USA
Cambodian Children's Fund transforms the country's most impoverished kids into tomorrow's leaders, by delivering education, family support and community development programs into the heart of Cambodia's most impoverished communities. We believe that with the right education and support, one child has the potential to lift an entire family out of poverty and that a generation of educated children has the power to change a whole society. Through intensive, long-term investments in children, CCF is helping students build the skills, confidence and integrity they need to become the progressive spokespeople and leaders of change in their community.
Since 2004, we have successfully supported more than 2,900 Steung Meanchey children and over 8,000 family and community members with our poverty reduction model. In the last 12 months 3 CCF students (all female) have been successful in obtaining international university scholarships to study their undergraduate degree in Australia. Of the first 200 students to join CCF, 68% are at university (32% going onto vocational training or being reintegrated with families prior to completing Grade 12 with CCF). Of the 206 CCF students who have graduated from high school and moved onto university 133 already have secure, well-paying jobs in hospitality, IT, financial, nonprofit and other private sectors - 100 of which are female students. In 2017, the first cohort of CCF university students graduated with their 4-year bachelor degrees and 100% of them were employed upon graduation.
impoverished families, kids living and working on the Steung Meanchey garbage dump
Direct beneficiaries per year:
Nearly 2,000 students and over 10,000 community people
Geographic areas served:
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Education, Leadership, Career and Life Skills, Community Outreach, Healthcare and Childcare
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Reviews for Cambodian Children's Fund
6 people found this review helpful
CCF were a joy to volunteer with over the course of my colleague and I's 3-month stay in Phnom Penh, where we delivered training to CCF staff members in SLT (speech and language therapy) principles and working with children with Special Educational Needs. cCF were proactive in engaging with us before we arrived in the city, scheduling a Skype meeting and being easily contactable by email. Once we arrived, Claudia (who works with volunteers) met us for coffee and talked to us not only about the experience of working for CCF but also gave us loads of pieces of advice and recommendations for our time living in the city.
CCF care first and foremost about the wellbeing of the Cambodian people they serve. They ensure volunteers are equipped with the knowledge they need to treat these people appropriately by delivering an initial training (1 hour) and Child Protection Training, as well as ensuring volunteers read and sign the Child Protection Statement. CCF also care about their volunteers, offering emotional support (should it be needed) and checking in regularly to ensure we received all the help we needed. Hem Len, another member of CCF staff, gave us a food tour of the city when we first arrived, which was not only fun but also gave us a head start in knowing how to eat well in Phnom Penh. The staff team at head office are friendly and the staff we were training in the nursery and Neeson-Cripps Academy were welcoming and willing to learn. CCF provided excellent translators who were crucial in helping us to get our message across.
CCF have been the most organised team we have worked with during our time in Cambodia, which has allowed my colleague and I to feel we were able to make an impact. I would thoroughly recommend volunteering with them and it makes for an incredibly rewarding experience.
1 person found this review helpful
I first visited Cambodian Children’s Fund from Perth, Australia in 2008. I was visiting my brother, who was a shareholder in an independent newspaper published in Phnom Penh. I had never been to Cambodia before, or heard of CCF. The poverty of the city, with its embedded tortured history, the children begging on the streets, struck me immediately.
I was only there for 3 days, but wanted to help in some way. Visiting CCF, provided my answer. Scott Neeson was overseeing a haven for impoverished children, and the surrounding communities. The children were thriving, happy, very securely cared for,
I left that day, having sponsored 2 children. I had sponsored children before, but this was different. Scott Neeson made it very clear to me, that this was a real responsibility. If I did not write regularly, and truly engage and care for my child, I would be be warned, as unacceptable. The children were vulnerable and needed to gain trust. I must say this impressed me enormously. The system works. I have sponsored many children, and have always regarded them as part of my family. My respect for Scott Neeson, and the completely authentic, ethical non profit he has fought so hard to establish, has only grown In bucketloads over the years. Phnom Penh has become my 2nd home. CCF is not a normal charity. It becomes part of your life, and your involvement enriches, not only the CCF community, but yourself.
2 people found this review helpful
We first became involved with CCF in 2017 and have been to Phnom Penh twice to visit the two boys whom we sponsor. On both occasions we witnessed how thoroughly the charity supports the whole community by focussing predominantly on the children while offering additional assistance to extended family as required.
It is a brilliant charity which achieves an enormous amount with limited resources, huge demands and very very little waste. Scott Neeson, the founder of CCF is truly loved and admired by all who know him and the whole body of CCF staff whom we have been lucky enough to meet share his passion and vision to transform the lives of those who are unable to help themselves.
We have seen that the lives of the two boys whom we sponsor plus the other CCF children we have met have been totally transformed by the charity. We are delighted to rate CCF as 5* - it deserves nothing less.
2 people found this review helpful
My husband and I made our first visit to Cambodia in 2015. We fell in love with the country and the people and were deeply moved by all that had happened and was still happening there. We came home determined to find a way to help out. At that time, I was the CEO of a not for profit and so I went about the business of consulting people involved in Cambodia in a very structured and deliberate way. It was through this process that I was introduced to the Cambodian Children's Fund (CCF) and its amazing work.
The following year, my husband, a friend and I traveled back to Cambodia, staying in Phnom Penh. We had the wonderful opportunity to witness and engage in the work of the CCF first hand.
CCF takes such a comprehensive and holistic approach to supporting the people of Steung Meanchey, providing education (for young and old), childcare services, medical services, a food program, housing, support for the grannies, training for the next generation of leaders and helping to protect the vulnerable from harm. That first visit was when I met my sponsor child, adding a true loving connection to my deep admiration for the work CCF undertakes.
On that visit and subsequently, we were also able to spend time with the senior CCF team, including founder Scott Neeson. We quickly came to understand that their passion to make a difference was matched by their passion to run an efficient, cost effective and wholly transparent organisation.
My husband now also sponsors a child and we travel annually to CCF, having added three friends to our CCF entourage and sponsorship. Our last visit was in February/March this year. I am a proud donor to the CCF and even prouder to have been asked to join the Australian Board. I have never felt more engaged and I know that the support we give makes a real difference. Every time we return, we see progress and growth at an individual and organisational level. I hope this COVID situation doesn't prevent our return in 2021.
2 people found this review helpful
As a sponsor, supporter and ambassador, I have been involved in charitable causes for the last twenty five years. I witnessed the destruction of the tsunami in South East Asia first hand on a field trip with Unicef in 2004 and when I became a mother, I’ve made it my priority to share this engagement with my children.
Our travel agent, Indagare, introduced us to CCF in 2019.
We had planned a two week tour of Cambodia, culminating in a three day visit to CCF in Phnom Penh.
During our first two weeks we toured Siem Reap, the National Parks, the Genocide Museum and Killing Fields. By the time we visited CCF, we were fully immersed in the culture, traditions and history of Khmer society and people.
During our three day visit, we got to meet and spend time with staff, families, children and CCF’s leader and founder Scott Neeson. We toured schools, the community, offices and homes supported by CCF and learned about their core programs. The way CCF is structured and the thought and logic behind their programs are pragmatic and rooted in a unique Cambodian experience. For an organization with such broad reach and depth, it is able to provide a remarkably custom approach to individual needs.
We were especially impressed with the leadership program and the staff’s absolute devotion to the children and grannies. Scott’s very hands on approach permeates the entire operation.
CCF offers many ways in which one can support their mission and benefactors are rewarded with personalized updates and communications.
In my opinion, the organization has the impact and can match the success of any IGO/NPO, yet has the ‘soul’ and feel of a family venture.
We left inspired, energized, hopeful and proud sponsors of five incredibly deserving children.
CCF is not just transforming life and lives in Cambodia. It is giving us all an opportunity to help rebuild the future for this beautiful country.
3 people found this review helpful
I have had the privilege and complete JOY of supporting CCF through volunteer teams in the last two years. I have been impressed with their single vision: providing education for children from the most impoverished of Cambodia. Alongside this, I have been inspired by their holistic approach - to go to any and all lengths to keep a child in school. It is clear they understand and honor the local community, seek to make a sustainable change by empowering their beneficiaries, and in the meantime, have not let one child slip through their care. It is evident that young lives are forever changed and a community has been uplifted - all thanks to CCF!
3 people found this review helpful
12 months ago I had not even heard of CCF and I am Cambodian by background (though born and raised in Sydney).
In February 2020, I gave up a corporate career and moved from Hong Kong (where I had been living for 6 years) to Phnom Penh to volunteer with CCF full time. In March 2020 I was appointed to the Board of CCF Hong Kong (and am the first Cambodian).
I first visited CCF in August 2019. I saw the amazing work it does by educating children and the community who live in the former rubbish dump area of Steung Meanchey in PP. There are over 1800 students currently supported by CCF, from 45 students, 16 years ago. CCF helps the entire community, by adopting a model that addresses education, career and life skills, childcare, healthcare, community outreach and leadership.
My second visit to CCF was in November 2019. That was it for me. I packed 1 suitcase and moved here in February 2020 to volunteer with CCF full time. My vision is to see CCF's vision come to life, by transforming these children in the most impoverished community, to becoming tomorrow's leaders. A generation of literate children, no longer scavenging to make ends meet. And ending that cyle for their children, and their children's children - in my motherland.
Moving to Cambodia, volunteering with CCF and seeing first hand what is happening with this NGO has been the best decision of my life. I am proud to be a Board Member of CCF HK.
4 people found this review helpful
Like many people, my first experience of Cambodia was a trip to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat as part of a longer trip around SE Asia. I immediately fell in love with the country, its culture, and the wonderful people. But I was struck by the level of poverty, and in particular the number of young children begging or sent to work selling magnets to tourists all day instead of going to school. Although I was only in the country for 3 days, the image stayed with me.
When I got back home to the UK I decided to research charities in Cambodia to see what I could do to help. I was shocked to see that the poverty I'd seen around Siem Reap was really the tip of the iceberg, and the conditions of some communities in the capital Phnom Penh were hard to believe.
I found various charities working in Cambodia, from huge multi-national organisations to small community operations. For me, Cambodian Children's Fund stood out by a mile. What impressed me most about CCF was the holistic approach that they take to lift people out of poverty. The charity covers the basic needs of the children, in terms of food, medical care, and shelter, but also goes so much further. They provide world-class education with school facilities which are easily as good as those I attended in the UK. They run leadership programmes and specialist training for older children who show the ambition and drive to go further. And they even go all the way through to university, transforming kids who have started life with nothing into Cambodia's future leaders.
What also impressed me about CCF was the way they focus not only on the children they look after, but also their families and communities. Whenever I've told a friend about CCF for the first time, it's very common for them to assume the children are all orphans. In fact, CCF do everything they can to keep the kids with their families, and also extend their support to them in terms of food, medical care etc. The emphasis is on maintaining the family ties, local communities, and traditional Cambodian culture.
The final thing that made me decide to support CCF was the 1:1 relationship between sponsor and child. While the required monthly contribution for CCF may seem relatively high compared to other charities, this is entirely funding the care of your sponsor child and his or her family. A connection is built between the sponsor and child, and in the 3 years I've been a sponsor I have already found the experience to be incredibly rewarding.
Around one year after becoming a sponsor, I visited Phnom Penh for my sponsor child's fourth birthday and spent an hour in his school class meeting and playing with the kids. Walking into the classroom full of happy, healthy children, laughing and playing, was an amazing experience. The kids love to play with new visitors, and understand (in some way) about sponsors, and after a little initial shyness my sponsor child would not leave my side. If I had any doubts about what a wonderful charity CCF is, they would have been removed in an instant by walking into any of their facilities in Phnom Penh.
Another year later, I visited Phnom Penh for the 2nd time. By then I had been lucky enough to briefly meet the founder, Scott Neeson, at a charity event in London. CCF were amazing and arranged a 3 day itinerary for me to get involved in all aspects of their work and see first hand the amazing things they do. Scott was very generous with his time, and I spent around 3 or 4 hours touring some of the charities schools and the local communities with him. Scott knows every one of the roughly 2,000 children by name, and clearly lives and breathes the charity. His passion and commitment are easy to see and explain how the charity have done such amazing things in a short period of time.
During my tour with Scott, we happened to go to one of the charity sites where my sponsor child was playing with his friends. This wasn't planned, and I wasn't expecting to see him until the next day. One of the most beautiful experiences of my life was when he saw me across the playground, immediately recognised me, and came running across the playground to jump into my arms. I hadn't been sure if he would even remember me, but this experience really drove home to me how important sponsors are to the kids. The fact that someone external cares about them individually means so much, and the child-sponsor relationship is an amazing thing. As long as I'm able to, I'll be visiting CCF every year to see my sponsor child and I'm excited to see how he progresses.
I cannot recommend CCF highly enough. Everyone I met at the charity was wonderful, friendly and welcoming. They are highly professional and organised and I have every confidence that the money I donate is used in the best possible ways. The 1:1 child-sponsor model is incredibly rewarding and makes CCF not just a line on my bank statement every month, but an important part of my life. Please check out their website and consider sponsoring one of their amazing kids, or just making a one-off donation. I can't think of many better ways to use your money.
CCF is an outstanding Charity. I have sponsored children through CCF for 10 years now and there is little comparison with other programmes. Regular contact with the child is essential to being a CCF child sponsor and the whole family and community are supported so that the child can free up time to go to school while still helping the family to thrive. The fundraising and admin costs of the charity are tiny compared to others in the sector and CCF receive top-audits from a variety of external sources
4 people found this review helpful
After watching a video about the organization and meeting Claudia and Len as a tourist last summer, I knew this volunteer placement was for me. As a literacy coach back in the States, I was asked to investigate what a literacy coach would look like at CCF. My volunteer journey began with meeting the Teacher Development Team who welcomed and supported me. As I visited teachers in their classrooms and observed their teaching style, I realized my calling was not to change the entire primary school but to empower one teacher at a time. We worked together as a team and focused on student learning. We agreed that the students are eager to learn to read and are ready to go beyond the English Language textbook. Therefore, my workshops for the teams focused on phonics to enhance reading. Jo Mahoney, a return volunteer, and I planned a phonics workshop with activities that the teachers could use in their classrooms to support reading. The activities ranged from hopping over footprints to throwing balls. The teachers were lively and engaged ; they were appreciative of our time in organizing the workshop. The staff, volunteers, teachers, and drivers all have a heart of gold. They are truly part of this organization to serve and share their amazing gifts! As a volunteer, you will feel part of a very special family. love to all