Kasumisou Foundation

To assist the poorest of the poor by providing essential living support to families and children impacted by extreme poverty and/or HIV-AIDS in Cambodia.
Dec 2, 2014

An essential self help tool for Kasumisou Scholars

This is a YouthSpark eligible program for 100%  donor  match  on December 2, Giving Tuesday!

The Youthspark Match will be 100% of your donation until matching funds run out to a max of $500 per donor per project.

Jobs for Cambodian Youth , was started in 2013 as way to assist our growing roster of college students from “disadvantaged backgrounds”. The phrase “ disadvantaged backgrounds” is quite the understatement. Unlike the US, where the term “ disadvantaged” may mean lower income ( with  US government subsidies for a range of services including rent, medical,student loans  etc), in Cambodia, “ disadvantaged” means that the family has little or no money, that each dollar may mean the difference between eating and not eating that day. It means that parents in rural areas , while perhaps able to provide food from home grown gardens, have zero dollars to contribute to their childrens college expenses. Zero dollars means that kids hitch hike to the city and the only funds they will have for food and lodging will be those they can earn. Wages are low in city jobs: construction jobs can pay $ 3 to $ 5 per day for full time workers. Higher wage jobs like " bar boy or bar girl" are shortcuts to prostitution.

These challenges provided the motivation for the Jobs for Cambodian Youth. In our culture, it is common for students to have jobs to pay for incidentals and living expenses. Our Jobs for Cambodian youth is modeled on this ideal.

The project has continued to grow has and for the past year grown to provide a job track for 13 teens and young adults, age 24 and under. The backgrounds of our youthful workers have been diverse , ranging from graduate from our previous dance program, a new college graduate who was a member of one of our programs for more than 10 years, 5 college students from rural Prey Veng Province, one college student from our AIDS Patient Family Support program,

This program has evolved into an essential building block for our college students, who without the modest income and housing assistance it provides, would not be able to continue their studies. In addition to these practical benefits, it provides an essential “ real world” look at how organizations are build, staffing is managed and challenges are met. Additionally, we are providing real jobs for young adults where few opportunities with “ professional potential” exist.

Jobs include doing various administrative tasks and the majority of the maintenance work   at Champey. They fill in as needed and some also serve as part time apprentice “ practice” dancers assisting our teachers , and are a critical part of our at the Summer Arts Camp and Champey’s growth into a year round program for dozens of local youth. These young people are eager and able to serve by augmenting staff resources, as well as being companion and roll model to the campers and students.

We are deeply grateful for your continued support, for the pay from these modest jobs are essential to the ability of our students and young adults to buy food and support themselves.

Nov 26, 2014

Congratulations to our newest College student !

Ravin with her mother
Ravin with her mother

Kasumisou Scholars is a YouthSpark eligible program for 100%  donor  match ( up to $ 500)  on December 2, Giving Tuesday!

 

November 2014 – Update on Kasumisou Scholars

Mark returned from Cambodia last week with bittersweet news.

The current census for the Kasumisou Scholars was at eleven students. All have come either from our AIDS Patient Family Support Program (FSP) or our RAP (Rural Assistance Program in Prey Veng province) . Currently  three of our ’scholars’ come from the FSP and the remaining eight come from the RAP.

This summer, two of our students, each  more than 10 years  under the care and guidance of our AIDS Patient Family Support Program were  ready to graduate from High School and they   sat for the national high school  exam in August.

One student. Ravin, age 18,   passed her exam  on the first try and she will enter our Build Dreams! Kasumisou Scholars program that helps Cambodian students  to attend college and get vitally needed employment from our Jobs for Cambodian Youth project. Ravin has been under our care since age 4 and she has  dreamed  of studying Chemistry and Food Science at University. Now, her dream is coming true, thanks to you, our donors!  Ravin  will enter Phnom Penh’s Royal University to study Agriculture and Rural Development , while maintaining her interest in Chemistry and Food Science.

Vichet, age 20, did not pass the exam on his first try,  but we are not giving up ! We have encountered this before . Vichet will repeat his 12th grade year with tutoring and re-take the exam next year.  Vichet has been under our care since 2002 and he comes from a  resettlement area and was orphaned ( by AIDS) and lives with his Grandmother and an orphaned 11 year old niece.We are so proud of the great progress he has made in the face of such personal challenges and we are confident that he will achieve his goal and reach his dream of entering college next year.

All cambodian  high school students must pass that national examination in order to be eligible for admission to most colleges in Cambodia.  So  our  congratulations go out to Ravin, our  12th student in the Kasumisoub Scholars program, and the 4th from our AIDS Patient Family Support Program.

All of this is possible because of the generous support of our donors and supporters. Thank you on behalf of our students for making " impossible"  dreams come true!

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Oct 13, 2014

FSP sees two students complete High School

>>>October 15 is Bonus Match Day at GlobalGiving !<<<

GlobalGiving will hold its Fall Partner Bonus Match Day on October15, offering a 30% match on donations. If you are considering making a donation to this project, your donation could receive 30%  in matching funds while funds are available.  

What's new at the FSP?  Two FSP students step toward future opportunity!

Since its beginning in 2000, Kasumisou Foundation  has provided educational assistance for the children in the Help Destitute Moms with AIDS Care for their Kids and  ( a part of our AIDS Patient Family Support Program).In a nation where educational  access is uneven at best,  few children finish high school. One of our most important goals for all of our programs,  has been to keep kids in school, to help them to break the cycle of inherited poverty.

Education is a long slow road. Progress may be uneven and sometimes the progress is so slow as to be nearly invisible. But sometimes , something wonderful happens. We have two kids who have just completed high school and wait, now as I write this report, for their national High School examination results, the last hurdle to cross in order to qualify to enter college! Both of these kids have been with our AIDS Patient Family Support program for 10 years or more. And both are now taking a step away from inherited poverty and  a big step toward future opportunity.

Inflation continues to creep up in Phnom Penh, with increases in rents and food costs. We have had to increase food allowances significantly, with increases ranging from 10%  to 25% depending upon the household and the need. As children grow up, so do their appetites , this combines with inflation and  makes our  food budget a moving target for us.

We are just starting the new school year with more thn 30 students. We are proud to say that 17 of our kids are high school students.

None of this  would not be possible without your patient and loyal support. Without you, our many  generous  supporters, now scattered far and wide over the years, none of these kids would have had a home, enough to eat, access to medical  and the opportunity to attend school and build a real future.

Our sincere thanks to you all for joining us in this effort. We hope that you feel as proud of the accomplishments of our kids as do we and that you will continue to join with us to help the kids in our AIDS Patient Family Support Program step forward into a brighter future.

Thank you,

Barbara and Mark Rosasco

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