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How volunteering as a teacher in Cambodia changed my life

In late February 2018, volunteer teacher Rachel Morgan took a leap and left her home in the bustling city of Brisbane, Australia. She landed in the small rural village of Svay Chey, Cambodia. At the time she describe it as ‘the scariest and most exciting experience of my life to date’ but twelve weeks later, Rachel can’t imagine life without her time there.

Rachel has generously shared a reflection on her time volunteering as a teacher at Svay Chey village school.

Read on to learn about this life-changing experience in her own words.
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(Volunteer teacher Rachel Morgan with students)

 

I arrived in Siem Reap on a Saturday afternoon and was greeted at the airport by Ty Soviet, Step2Foundation’ s man on the ground and my new host brother. He began to tell me about the school, the village, and his family (some of whom were to be my new host family). I could feel his passion and enthusiasm for this project right from the very first second, and I was feeling extremely proud to be involved and determined to make a difference.

After spending the first night in Siem Reap, I was collected on Sunday morning to join Soviet on a tour of some of the local sights, before being taken out to Svay Chey. To reach the village we had to first drive along the highway and then make a turn onto a small red dirt road. If you’d have blinked you’d have missed the turn. This was the road into Svay Chey.

Svay Chey village consists of one main red dirt road running all the way through, with homes spotted along on each side of the road. As we slowly made our way down the road, Soviet showed me the school, and pointed out the two water filtration systems Step2Foundation built in the village.

I had so many emotions running through me as we finally pulled up at my new place of residence. Excitement, fear, doubt, love. This was the first time I had seen what country life in Cambodia was like, and this foreign place was to be my home for the next three months. I needn’t have had any doubt though; my new host family showed me great warmth and love throughout my entire stay.

I had only been in the village an hour and was almost constantly in a pinch me state as I unpacked my things. It was now Sunday afternoon and school started the next day, so I was showed where I can shower before having an early dinner.

Using the bathroom (the outdoor wash house) was a place I almost always found myself smiling. I used a large cup to scoop cold water from a giant tub and pour it over myself to get clean. It was so unusual to me and took a little getting used to, but it was an experience that I was truly grateful for. Every evening when I came home from school and clumsily washed before dinner, I was reminded of where I am and why I am here.

 

Students in Cambodia school charity

(Students collecting rubbish during a community clean up of the highway)

 

The next morning I walked the short way up the road to school in preparation for a 7:00am start, still unsure exactly what to expect. It wasn’t long after I arrived that I saw the Head Teacher Sok coming in the driveway on his motorbike (I had no idea at that time how much of an incredible support this person was going to be for me during my time here), and just before 7:00am the students started filing into the classrooms. I will never forget that first class.

The class has only just begun, when suddenly there was loud music blaring right outside the classroom! At that moment I was sitting beside Teacher Sok who was addressing the students, and the music was so loud that I was unable to hear what he was saying. I thought to myself, if I am unable to hear him then how can the students? And where is this music coming from? And why is it playing at 7:30am in the morning? And why is it SO loud? I looked outside the classroom and saw nothing to answer my questions. I could only see a big old tree standing in the middle of this charming little playground surrounded by red dirt.

That moment was so unusual and beautiful I simply couldn’t wipe the grin from my face. What was going on?

It turns out that Wedding Season in Cambodia had begun. This wouldn’t be the last time we would need to work around this loud music, which proceeded to play on a loud speaker throughout the rest of the day and the night. How absolutely magical it was! Although it seemed the students and Teacher Sok weren’t actually phased by the loud music and chanting, for them it was just another day!

Some of the students were a little apprehensive towards me at first, but it was only a few minutes after the first class break before they had me in a circle outside the classroom sitting down playing hand clapping games while they practised some of their English and asked me questions about where I am from. This was the first day of 12 weeks.

I found myself almost every day walking or cycling to school with a grin from ear to ear as students and locals called out from their homes to greet me as I went past. Each new day brought new experiences, challenges and enjoyment. Every class and age group was an absolute delight to work with, and it was really special to experience first-hand the progression these students were making with their vocabulary and confidence in speaking in English.

During my time in Cambodia I visited two other schools. The enormous impact that Step2Foundation is having at Svay Chey was immediately obvious.  One school had no English program, and the students spoke no English at all. Given that most of the Cambodian economy is built on tourism, I feel that employment outside of farm work will be severely limited for those who aren´t able to speak English.

As well as that, Step2Foundation is supporting five local Khmer people (Head Teacher Sok and 4 young ladies) by sending them to Teacher training every week. This gives the students a structure and consistency they can rely on. It also means their learning isn’t conditional on a volunteer being there.

In the Grade 7-12 classes, it is special to see how many students there are working towards becoming Teachers and Doctors, among other admirable professions. I firmly believe that the influence of Step2Foundation and the amazing work of the Svay Chey Teachers will help see their students’ dreams come true!

Volunteer teacher with Cambodian English teachers

(The dedicated teaching staff at Svay Chey village school)

All in all my time in Svay Chey was extremely positive and one which I will never forget. Through experiencing a new and completely different culture, I experienced a lot of personal growth and countless special moments.

A few of these moments that I wanted to share:

  • A student bringing to me in class a hand-picked coconut from a tree nearby, which had been cut open and given to me with a straw while I was teaching in class
  • Enjoying a cooked lunch at school with all of the teachers, including the Khmer Government School teachers and the English Teachers from Step2Foundation
  • Joining the school as the entire student body, teachers and other locals worked together to collect rubbish off the Highway
  • Working together with Sok and Step2Foundation to implement some new teaching resources for the school
  • Pushing the little ones on the swing in the playground and playing tag with them
  • Enjoying fresh mango and chilli with the older students when the mangos started ripening on their trees at home
  • Attending the wedding of my host sister and experiencing first-hand the traditions and customs that take place at a Khmer Wedding
  • The support and love I received from my new family and the teachers; especially the Head Teacher Sok, who brought so much laughter every day to myself, the students and the other teachers
  • And finally, celebrating Khmer New Year with the entire school! Walking through the entire village with teachers and students, inviting everyone to the school for our Khmer New Year party. We celebrated the New Year in classic Khmer style; there was loud music and dancing, water fights, talcum powder, games, delicious food, and so much happiness.

Words cannot express my gratitude towards Step2Foundation, Zeynep & Soviet, my host family, to the teachers at school (especially Sok, Sophea, Vannsi and Phalla). Thank you so much for opening your doors to me and contributing to this incredibly special experience.  Every one of you and the beautiful students will be forever in my heart and the work that is being done here really is changing so many lives.

I can’t recommend Step2Foundation and their projects highly enough. And there are so many ways you can get involved!

All the best,

Rachel

Khmer New Year celebration

(Celebrating the Khmer New Year in the grounds of Svay Chey Village School)

Volunteer teacher Rachel Morgan celebrating Khmer New Year

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Did you hear about Lovear?

Attending school in the rural villages of Siem Reap is a privilege. While many children attend in their early years, the number drastically declines by high school. Less than a third have access to a high school education and very few of those are girls.

Instead, children are required to trek long distances in harsh weather to search for water.

Or work in the fields for an income so meagre it barely feeds them.

And for girls the options are even bleaker. Early marriage looms large for daughters in poverty stricken families.

These children will never know the liberation of education.

But there is a way to change this.

 

water charity cambodia
(Accessing water from Lovear’s new water system, June 2018)

A fresh water source for Lovear Village

A reliable source of fresh drinking water is life changing for Cambodian children and their wider community. It opens up opportunities and pathways out of poverty that were previously not available.

That’s why Step2Foundation have stepped up our commitment to building fresh water systems in village schools over the past year. In June Zeynep travel to Cambodia where she helped to build a cutting edge, low-maintenance water system for Lovear village.

The village school now has a source of fresh drinking water that can be accessed by students and the wider community. With the water and school intrinsically linked, attending school takes on a level of prestige which encourages attendance. It quickly becomes clear that a reliable source of fresh water ensures better health and better educational outcomes. These in turn create pathways out of poverty for children in Cambodia.

With your support we’ve built four water filtration systems in only twelve months!

That’s 3,200 litres of water per hour flowing into communities where previously there was none; three villages where families no longer worry about where they will source clean water for cooking and drinking.

But there is still more to do.

Community response to these water systems has been overwhelming. The ecstatic thanks of the villagers who now have water is tempered by despair at the lack of water in neighbouring villages. We continue to receive petitions asking for fresh water and school infrastructure.

It is the generosity and kindness of people like you who will make these possible.

There are several school sites for new water systems being explored and many more crying out for help. Without your help children in Cambodia will continue to face the hardships of searching every day for one of life’s basic necessities.

To fully install one water system costs $10,000. This is a cutting edge system requiring minimal maintenance. The system will continue to provide pure drinking water for the community indefinitely.

You can give the gift of fresh water and open up educational opportunities for children in Cambodia

  • Make a donation toward a system
  • Form a donor circle with friends to raise the target
  • Fully fund a system

There are children facing a lifetime of poverty who need your support. Your kindness and generosity will open up pathways out of poverty that impact a whole community. Support an educational charity who really make a difference.

 

YES, I will give the gift of fresh water to Cambodian children

 

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Changing Lives with the Power of Commitment

Work has started on a second water filtration tower in Svaychey Village thanks to the generosity of an individual donor. That’s three water towers in twelve months!

The difference between growing up with access to fresh water and an education is stark. We’re thrilled to see the rate of change accelerating for the children of Svaychey and their families.

We rely on donors to make these education and infrastructure projects possible. As a grassroots charity we’re proud to say that your donations go directly to the areas where they are most needed.

Why not make a tax deductible donation today? Your gift will change lives.

 

S2F blog image full size

Let’s take a look back over the past five years and the positive contribution your donations have made possible in Cambodia.

2017

  • Four local students and the school’s Head Teacher commenced at ACE.
  • Project Clean Water completed two new water filtration systems in 2017 and began planning for a third.
  • The inaugural Fundraising Dinner took place on 3 November and raised $10,000.
  • A major fundraising raffle was drawn at the dinner with the winner receiving a return trip to Siem Reap with a tour of Svaychey Village School.

2016

  • Two wonderful volunteer teachers offered their skills and expertise.
  • Project Clean Water commenced with fundraising and research into options for providing clean water for the school and community.
  • A raffle was held to fundraise for Project Clean Water.
  • Established assistance program for Lolei Village, 14km east of Siem Reap, to provide food and school supplies to the community.
  • Four local students were identified to attend further education at ACE (Australian Centre for Education, Siem Reap) as Student Teachers. They will return to teach in the Svaychey Village School.

2015

  • March 2015, the Room to Read project commenced. In September 2015 the project was completed and included the school’s only toilet block.
  • Classrooms were fitted out with furniture, computers, software, English books, and other resources. Qualified local teachers were appointed.
  • A relationship with Volunteer Abroad was developed to facilitate a sustainable way of sourcing high-quality, volunteer teachers.
  • Four directors officially formed the Step2Foundation with one also fulfilling the role of secretary.

2014

  • March 2014, the community approved the development of an independent English school.
  • May-July 2014 foundations were laid for three new classrooms and one was completed. Zeynep and generous friends funded these.
  • Step2Foundation was initiated in August 2014.
  • Soviet Ty, now the Local Operations Manager, instigated a partnership with Room to Read to complete the remaining two classrooms and build a library.

2013

  • Early 2013, Zeynep helped renovate the government school using personal funds. Three classrooms were built with one set aside for English classes.

Here’s a look at what we’ve achieved in 2018.

Are you keen to support a grass roots charity with a proven track record for improving lives?

Donate before 30 June to change the lives of disadvantaged children in Cambodia. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

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Making Education a Reality for Children in Cambodia

Education is at the heart of Step2Foundation’s philosophy. And while school buildings are important, they are only the beginning.

By supporting projects that meet the community’s basic physiological and safety needs, Step2Foundation donors have enabled children in an impoverished region of Siem Reap to obtain an education. Their health and happiness will form the pathway out of poverty for students and the people they care about.

The number of children attending Svaychey Village School has doubled since the charity began in 2012. Step2Foundation’s supporters are making a tangible impact for the community of Svaychey.

Let’s take a look at what has already been achieved in 2018.

 

Making education a reality

2400L of Fresh Drinking Water per Hour

Access to a reliable source of clean, fresh water is a life changing for communities in rural Cambodian areas. Previously, families relied on their children to source water. Now these children can able to attend school instead.

Svaychey village’s second water tower is now operational and producing clean drinking water for the wider community. The new water filtration system is in addition to the two water systems completed in 2017 – one at Svaychey Village School and one in Lolei – bringing the total amount of clean water being produced per hour to 2,400 litres.

‘Feedback from both communities has been overwhelmingly positive,’ said Zeynep. ‘Seeing the kids enjoy drinking fresh water was the highlight of my trip!’.

Safe drinking water is a human right. Each of these water filtration systems costs US$10,000 has been funded by generous donors like you. Thank you to all our existing donors for giving these children the gift of an education.

Give a child the gift of an education today

Access to Learning via Technology

Students at the Svaychey Village School in Cambodia received two new computers in February. That brings the school total to seven.

The digital divide is shockingly evident in the developing world. With the UN stating that only 5% of households having internet access in developing countries, access to technology is precious. So are the opportunities to learn and connect that it brings.

Teacher Sok has internet access which allows him to connect with learning resources and other teachers. Each computer has English/Khmer programs, the Microsoft suite, and interactive learning games. Using the computers to learn English is a favourite with the kids. Computer literacy puts them well ahead of their peers when it comes to future job opportunities.

Your donation of $400 can purchase a refurbished PC with the necessary software.

Buy a PC for the children of Svaychey Village School

Qualified Volunteer Teachers

Volunteer teachers bring fresh ideas and expertise to the English language lessons. We see it as crucial that the volunteers visiting through Step2Foundation are qualified educators. Our next Australian teacher arrived in Siem Reap on 24 February to a warm welcome.

A rigorous screening process by a qualified volunteer provider facilitates the connection between high-quality teaching volunteers and Svaychey Village School. These talented teachers support our permanent teaching staff to develop their skills and improve English literacy for the children.

To find out more about teaching in Svaychey, contact Volunteer Abroad.

Education for children in Cambodia

Local Operations Manager Soviet Ty is integral to furthering the needs of the community

Food and Living Supplies

Zeynep’s luggage was a little heavier than usual when she visited in January… due to the generosity of donors Oriana Price and Jessica Burke who sent children’s clothing, shoes, school supplies, and books. The supplies were distributed to families in need who also received milk and food items.

The simple act of providing food and necessities removes enormous stress for children in impoverished families. Often they are faced with pressure to pursue a meagre income working in the fields rather than an education.

The thing is that $10 per month is enough to provide books and supplies for ten children. The gold change in your car console could change the life of a child in Cambodia.

Can you make a difference to children who desperately want an education?

Make a difference today

New Partnership to Improve Health Outcomes

The new year has also seen the beginning of a relationship with a Cambodian doctor based in Sydney. Her medical unit makes regular visits to Cambodia where they focus on improving knowledge around health and hygiene.

We’re pleased to share that their team will be visiting Svaychey Village School as part of their program later this year.

The Foundation built two toilets on the school campus in 2014 but rapidly increasing student numbers mean more are needed.

Long-term planning

Collaborating with the community and looking ahead to address key areas of need is crucial to creating pathways out of poverty. Along with ongoing development in the areas above, Step2Foundation will fundraise for specific projects in 2018.

Planned projects include support for the secondary education of a new round of students at ACE, school infrastructure needs such as building more toilets on the school campus, and a breakfast program. To succeed these projects require the generosity and commitment of people who care.

People like you.

Regular Donations make all the difference

One of our regular donors, eleven-year-old Layla, donates $10 a month. ‘It makes me feel really sad that kids just like me don’t have the books or pencils that they need for school,’ said Layla. ‘My sisters and I donate some of our pocket money because we’re so much luckier and all kids should be able to go to school’.

Like Layla and her sisters, you can give the gift of an education to disadvantaged children in Cambodia. Regular donations allow us to plan for the future and ensure we can work with the village to strategically improve lives.

Make a difference today

Education for Cambodian children

Installing the innovative water filtration system in Lolei

Help us continue to make a difference in 2018. Every dollar donated makes a huge difference to a community who desperately need support to break an entrenched cycle of poverty. All donations over $2 are tax deductible.

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Fundraiser success – $10k and fresh water for Svaychey Village

Every child deserves the chance to live and learn

Our inaugural fundraiser was a huge success. We raised enough on the night to fully fund a second water filtration system for Svaychey Village – a game changer for the whole community.

Construction has already begun on the water tower, and Zeynep is heading to Svaychey in late January to help with the build.

The support that Step2Foundation received during 2017 was both inspiring and humbling. Over the past five years the foundation has come so far, and it is your support that makes continued growth possible. Thank you so much.

It was a pleasure to meet some of our supporters at the inaugural fundraiser in Sydney on Friday 3 November. Almost 100 people gathered at the Pullman Hotel Hyde Park to celebrate Step2Foundation’s work in Svaychey and pledge their continued support.

From the gorgeous singing of acapella group Bel Canto to the wit of MC Gavin Glozier, the evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

 

What did we achieve on the night?

    • Raised $10,000 to fully fund an additional source of fresh, clean water for the community of Svaychey
    • Welcomed two new directors to the Step2Foundation board
    • Screened a video showcasing Step2Foundation’s impact in Svaychey Village (watch it below)
    • Drew the winners of our 2017 major fundraising raffle
    • Strengthened the foundation by building personal connections with the donors and supporters who make our projects possible

How can you help?

Regular giving empowers us to create long-term change for the kind and generous people of Cambodia. By setting up a regular donation you enable us to plan ongoing projects and maintain infrastructure such as classrooms and water filtrations systems.

Now is the perfect time to set up your regular donation. Your generosity will underpin the planning process as we move into the new year and ensure that Step2Foundation continues to change lives.

Help us make a difference in 2018. Every dollar donated makes a huge difference to a community who desperately need support to break an entrenched cycle of poverty. All donations over $2 are tax deductable.

Step2Foundation is proud to say that all donations go directly to projects that are targeted at breaking the poverty cycle for communities in Cambodia. As a sign of our commitment, our directors contribute financially to the foundation and self-finance their trips to Cambodia.

DONATE NOW

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Clean Water Project Brings Fresh Hope

Fresh water Cambodia

Can you imagine living without clean water on tap? Being caught in a reality where you have to prioritise collecting fresh drinking water over going to school?

For the children of Svaychey village in Cambodia these are no longer issues. Thanks to the Step2Foundation and a revolutionary water filtration system the school now has access to 800 litres of fresh drinking water per hour.

What does a lack of fresh water mean for children?

A quarter of the population and forty percent of primary schools in Cambodia lack safe drinking water. As a result, 380 children in Cambodia die from diarrhoea caused by water-borne diseases each year. It is the second largest cause of mortality for children under five and access to clean drinking water significantly reduces the threat (UNICEF).

When children are no longer required to trek long distances each day in search of water – from sources which are often contaminated by poor sanitation – there is time for school. This simple change opens up future opportunities that help the village as a whole to escape poverty.

Put simply; clean drinking water changes people’s lives by improving their health and wellbeing.

Safe drinking water is a basic human right.

DONATE NOW TO SUPPORT OUR CLEAN WATER PROJECTS IN CAMBODIA

Svaychey Village’s Innovative Water System

In many villages, water is collected in rainwater tanks or from a bore and sits for long periods of time.  Water in these systems is susceptible to parasitic growth and creates the perfect environment for mosquito larvae to thrive. Bores are only successful with sufficient filtration to clean the water before use.

Obviously, producing fresh water every day of the year takes more than a pump and a rainwater tank. Planning for the Clean Water Project took these problems into consideration and worked with the local community to come up with the most effective, sustainable solution possible.

The resulting system transforms ground water into pure drinking water. Ground water is pumped into a 2000 litre tank and gravity fed through a filtration system comprised of four separate processes. A UV filter ensures that the resulting water is free from bacteria.

The filtrations system is protected by a purpose-built brick structure which the water tank sits above. External taps make it easy to access the clean water. Being involved in the development and installation of the system has given the local community ownership over the project in the long term.

clean water for cambodia

How the Water Tank and Filtration System Changes Lives

The revolutionary yet simple water filtrations system at Svaychey village school provides water for over 1500 people.

Local Operations Manager Soviet Ty was excited to report that ‘the whole community is enjoying fresh drinking water’. He expanded to say that, ‘The kids are very pleased because they can drink as much as they like while at school. They are also taking water home in the afternoon’.

The long-term benefits of the water filtration system go beyond health. When students can attend school, rather than spending large amounts of time sourcing water, they cultivate opportunities through education. Ensuring the wellbeing and sustainability of the village, combined with access to quality education, can lift a community out of poverty.

The economic and social ramifications of the system for the village of Svaychey are huge.

Plans to Expand the Project to Lolei Village

The project has been so successful that we are already planning a second project for the neighbouring village of Lolei. The community there currently has no clean drinking water and a lack of general supplies make life difficult. Many of the children in the village have lost one or both of their parents leaving them responsible for themselves.

Step2Foundation has partnered with Lolei’s local NGO for some time to supply rice, food staples, and educational supplies. The people of Lolei would benefit enormously from an accessible supply of pure drinking water.

Help us to fund the Clean Water Project in Lolei by sharing this newsletter widely, purchasing a Step2Foundation raffle ticket, and encouraging your network to contribute to Step2Foundation’s life changing projects.

DONATE NOW TO SUPPORT THE LOLEI CLEAN WATER PROJECT

Funds for the Clean Water Project in Svaychey were raised by generous donors and through Step2Foundation’s fundraising raffle in 2016. Board members underwrite all projects undertaken by the Foundation to ensure that they are completed as planned.

Clean water Cambodia

(The whole community benefits from a supply of clean drinking water)

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Sponsoring Further Education for Young Women

International Women's Day
This International Women’s Day we’re celebrating four young women – Sophea, Porka, Phaiia, and Varnsi  – who are facing a brighter future after completing their education at the Svaychey village school. These four girls no longer face the poverty cycle that results from lack of education; they have been accepted to the Australian Centre for Education (ACE) in Siem Reap and began their study in early 2017.

The Realities of Education in Cambodia

Access to education is something we take for granted in Australia. With the majority of Australian girls completing year 12 our experience is a stark contrast to Cambodia where attending school can change a girl’s entire life.

Only 32% of children go on to secondary school in Cambodia and only a small percentage of these are girls. Incomes are low and life is difficult. For a young girl with very little prospect of earning an independent income marriage becomes the only option for putting food on the table. This is the reality that faces girls in Cambodia who cannot access education.

Path Porka, the youngest of four children in a farming family is already planning how she can share the ongoing blessings of this opportunity. She stated in her ACE application, ‘I want to help the children to get the knowledge and get a good job in their future’.

Reaching level 12 English qualifications and achieving a diploma costs just under AU$2000 at ACE. With the average Cambodian family earning less than this per annum, attendance would not be possible for Path and her friends without support. Without a diploma it is not possible to sit university entrance exams.

DONATE NOW!

 

International Women's Day

Humble Beginnings in Svaychey Village

The Cambodian education system was dismantled under the Khmer Rouge and the neglected educational infrastructure has been slow to recover.  When the Step2Foundation began in 2012 the girls of Svaychey village had a decrepit school building and only one teacher with a teacher’s aide for over 250 students. There were no books or pencils and very little clean water.

Still, they showed up every day.

Four years of hands-on project work and dedicated fundraising by the Step2Foundation means that the school is now one of the best in their region. There are eight classrooms, eight teachers, a library, and a toilet block. The school now has electricity, operational computers, and a clean water filtration system is almost complete.

Education Makes Dreams Come True

To enrol in ACE, an international school with campuses across South East Asia, these hopeful young women had to do well at school and submit a written application.

Phaiia said on her application form, ‘I like studying English because I need it for my job. I want to go to University, to get more knowledge in the future and I want to be an English teacher at the University’.

Attending ACE means that Phaiia is well on her way to reaching this goal. On completion of her diploma she can return to Svaychey as a teacher. Already she is working with the Head Teacher to further improve her English teaching skills along with four hours of teacher training per week.

You Can Help Young Women Access Education in Cambodia

Two of these wonderful young women have regular sponsors who donate $12 per week. Regular support for the other two would make an incredible difference to their lives.

You can change the direction of a young woman’s life for the cost of lunch.

In Australia, 83% of 15-19 year old Australians are enrolled in study. These four young women are beating the odds in Cambodia where their education levels will put them in the minority and open up a safer future. For them, being bold for change was as huge, and as simple, as showing up every day for school.

DONATE NOW!

Education is at the heart of the Step2Foundation’s philosophy. We support local youth by giving them employment opportunities. All of our projects are undertaken with a long-term view to contribute to a thriving, sustainable village.

Help us to celebrate this International Women’s Day by sharing our story widely.

NEWS UPDATE APRIL 2017

We’re excited to announce that Varnsi has received a merit scholarship in recognition of her outstanding performance at ACE!

‘The hard work that Varnsi put into being accepted to ACE highlighted how determined these young women are to succeed. Step2Foundation is thrilled to provide the support they need to complete higher education and achieve their dreams,’ said Zeynep Roberts, Foundation Founder & Director. As one of the course’s most improved students Varnsi will receive three months of free tuition.

 

 

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Working to Break the Poverty Cycle – 2017 Achievements

Working to break the poverty cycle

When Zeynep first visited Svaychey Village five years ago, she was dismayed at the state of their school. The poverty that comes with lack of education was evident wherever she turned. Zeynep’s firm belief that all children deserve an education led to the founding of Step2Foundation.

With the support of a committed group of volunteers and donors like you, the poverty cycle is being broken for those that need it most.

In 2017 Step2Foundation gained registration as an Australian charity, supported four determined young women to continue their study at the Australian Centre for Education in Siem Reap, and ran a major fundraising raffle that was born at our inaugural fundraising dinner in September.

Here’s what we achieved in 2017

  • Expanded English learning program through further curriculum development using ACE (Australian Centre for Education) and volunteer Australian teachers
  • Grew the computer access and facilities within Svaychey Village English School
  • Continued to develop school infrastructure and build further resources in village communities
  • Increased Khmer/English teacher employment programs through mentoring local students and teachers linking with ACE
  • Expanded literacy program with addition of further English Language books for the Library
  • Consolidate the Clean water project in Svaychey Village with an additional water tower
  • Continued to provide food aid and establish volunteer teacher program to Lolei village community in Siem Reap
  • Built a water tower for Lolei Village to secure 800L per hour of fresh water for the community
  • Continued to develop Volunteer Teacher program in collaboration with Melbourne based organisation Volunteer Abroad

Keen to help?

If you’d like to help make a difference to the lives of students in Cambodia consider supporting the Step2Foundation by donating or volunteering.

  • Join our team! Do you have skills in teaching English, Music or Health Promotion? Contact the Step2Foundation or Volunteer Abroad directly to find out more.
  • Donate to a grass roots organisation to ensure you impact those that need it most through life changing projects.

 

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Win a Trip to Cambodia (updated with winner details)

NEWS UPDATE NOVEMBER 2017
Congratulations to the raffle winners who were drawn at our successful inaugural fundraiser on Friday 3 November.

1st prize – M. Hackett
2nd prize – J. Moss
3rd Prize – B. O’Leary

 

By buying a Step2Foundation raffle ticket you have a chance to win a trip to Cambodia. Grab your raffle tickets today to enter the draw.

 

Win a trip to Cambodia

1st PRIZE
Return airfare from Sydney to Cambodia for one person, 6 nights accommodation, 3 day guided tour of some of
Siem Reap’s cultural highlights and of course, a visit to Svaychey Village School.

2nd PRIZE
$500 Travel Voucher to a destination of your choice

3rd PRIZE
$250 Travel Voucher to a destination of your choice

Winners will be drawn and announced at our inaugural charity dinner 3 November 2017 at The Pullman Sydney Hyde Park. Tickets are $10.00 each or 6 for $50.00.

BUY TICKETS NOW

 

Support Step2Foundation – Be Part of the Change

By purchasing a Step2Foundation raffle ticket you are helping to provide education and infrastructure for disadvantaged children in the Siem Reap region.

As a grass roots charity we’re in a unique position to use funds where they are most needed.

We work in collaboration with village communities to:

  • Build school infrastructure;
  • Provide resources to improve English, literacy and computer skills for disadvantaged children;
  • Sponsor higher education for high-performing students;
  • Facilitate the provision of high quality, volunteer teachers;
  • Create opportunities for employment in the village.

Our projects, through community engagement, provide opportunities to build other sustainable programs such as health education and social enterprises.

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New Draw Date: 3rd November 2017 at Pullman Hyde Park

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December Newsletter

Svaychey Clean Water Project Update

Fantastic News – your support raised just over $2300 towards our Water Project. We are on track to commence mid-January 2017 and in good timeto collect vital water supplies during the wet season for the school and community. A big thank you from the families of Svaychey!

Step2Foundation Camobdian Education Charity

Art Draw Winners

1st Prize – Kara (Bulli, NSW)

2nd Prize – Doris (Ingleburn NSW)

The draw took place on Tuesday 29th November 2016 with Marie Miller & Nora Timpano of Little and Loud Preschool, Woonona. The children of Little and Loud held a gold coin dress up day and sold tickets to family and friends. What a huge effort from the kids raising more than $500.
We are so pleased to continue working with Marie on our new Student Teacher Mentor Program commencing in January 2017.
Please talk to us if you believe you have skills you would be prepared to share to help the community of Svaychey Village.
Sponsor children in Cambodia

Mentoring Talented Students

As part of Svaychey English School’s mentoring and development program we have selected eight outstanding
students from disadvantaged families to be accelerated and mentored to achieve high results in national exams.
The aim is to support these students as they progress from primary school to secondary and tertiary education.
Students were selected based on criteria such as exam results, spoken English ability, attendance, eagerness to
achieve, attitude and family support. These students believe the program will help them improve their educational opportunities and theircircumstances in establishing a future career.
For the cost of a lunch out each week, you could assist with:
  • Tuition
  • Books / school supplies
  • Uniform
  • Advanced English Coaching

Be a part of the change and sponsor a child’s education today.

You can follow the progress of your sponsored student with updates of exam results and personal progress as
they complete each school year. The satisfaction of seeing these students progress into tertiary education is enormous.

Students Benefit from Learning English

Congratulations to our four students who have found employment. This is a wonderful outcome and we have nothing but praise for their diligence and dedication to their studies, particularly in English language. These boys are now on their way to reaching their goals of finding professional jobs that will help them to support their families.
CHHY CHHAT found work as a bell boy
VIBOL SAN found work as a receptionist
NIKA HON found work as a waiter
SAREN KHON found work at Coca Cola
Cambodian education sponsorship

Volunteer Teacher Program

So excited.…. we have Liam Horniblow returning to Svaychey for five weeks, Liam spent 10 weeks in the Village this time last year so we are thrilled to have him back. So are the kids no doubt, they really enjoyed his visit last year.
We also have a new Volunteer arriving at the school in January 2017, Yvonne Bradford. Yvonne has extensive experience in Education and particularly in ESL (English as a Second Language). During her stay Yvonne will be working with our Cambodian teachers using her experience in the area of ESL to develop a tailored curriculum targeted to the school environment in Cambodiaand focused on success.
Looking forward to updating you on both Liam and Yvonne’s stay in Svaychey in our next newsletter.
Volunteer teacher in Cambodia

Experience Cambodia and Be a Part of the Change

We are almost ready to launch our next major raffle which is all around travel, and what better place to go than Cambodia. The draw will run until our inaugural Fund Raising evening in September 2017 which you will all be
invited to.
First Prize includes airfare, accommodation, and a guided tour of some of Siem Reaps most sort out sites and
of course a visit to Svaychey English School. 2nd and 3rd prizes will be vouchers for destinations of your choice.
This will be our largest fundraiser to date, with the target being an extension on Svaychey School to host our
volunteer teachers and extend our Volunteer Program. We will also be funding the expansion of the Clean Water Project with Stage 2 being to build a tiled wash room for the children.
The community will be assisting with labour so we are looking to secure some volunteer experienced builders to lead the building project for 3 weeks last quarter of 2017.

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