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.
Oct 29, 2013

Building Community through dance


Summer Arts Camp 2013

Champey Arts Association  hosted  its first Summer Arts Program in August and September.  In addition to the children who are now becoming “ regulars” at Champey,  summer  campers came from included more than 30 children from the Phnom Penh Municipal Orphanage and several from our   AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP) . Children enjoyed a half day session learning  traditional Cambodian dances and music.   Traditional Cambodian  music is  a key part of the dance and teaches children the history and stories  behind the dance.   

Local daily attendance has continued to increase at Champey, with some days seeing as many as  100 local children coming to participate during the course of a day.  Our goal of building community and becoming a place for kids is gaining ground among local street vendors who  found the summer program a great way to safely occupy children during the school break.

The camp session ended with a field trip for all of the campers  to a local water park and a graduation  performance and party to celebrate their accomplishments.

Your  support of our efforts  gives us the opportunity  create a sense of pride of culture in these students by exposing them to Cambodia’s rich cultural heritage. 

Sep 23, 2013

Continuing the transition-Update on the AIDS Patient Family Support Program ( FSP)

Update on AIDS Patient Family Support Program:  Continuing the transition to independent living…

Mark   is in Cambodia where he is  engaged in a detailed  review  of  our programs.  His particular area of focus is our  AIDS Patient Family Support Program  ( FSP) , which helps  indigent families and mothers  impacted by extreme poverty and HIV/AIDS.  

Returning to the heart of our initial mission statement for the FSP  in 2000,   our focus over the past year has turned to identifying those members of the FSP who are  poorest and sickest and  who  have  no means of support.  

Over the years during which  the FSP has been active, we have grateful  that due to the continuing advancement and accessibility of medical treatment to victims of HIV/AIDS, the families in our  FSP have been able to stay together longer. Rather than losing mothers and family members  to AIDS in a few months, medical treatment and medication has allowed many of our families to experience an unprecedented long period of relative stability and   some, while not well, have been able to remain  in our care for several years.

We have been able to achieve our  basic mission of assisting fragile families ( primarily single parent) to stay together   and  live  an extremely modest lifestyle.  Additionally,  our effort and  focus  on keeping dependent children in school has  paid  off.  We not only can claim a significant number of  high school graduates among the  children  who have been members of  our FSP over the years,  but also  several college students and recently  2 college graduates.

Over the past year,   we  have actively worked  to assess  which  families should  be capable, in the short term,   of a transition to independence or  a transition  toward receiving   the support  of their own extended families.   We have identified a number of families  who fit in these categories. Dependent   children have now grown up and  completed school, and in some instances, are able to  earn enough to support the family.  In recent years,  the Cambodian economy has  continued  to recover from the devastation of a civil war now decades past.  The economy has added factory and other  jobs and  shows some signs of continued prospects for growth. We feel that this improved economy should   allow  relatives  to  step forward now  and assume responsibility  or provide assistance to some  members of our FSP.  Now as we approach the end of 2013,  we are actively working to put an action plan in place to move toward this goal.

In recent days,  Cambodia   has unexpectedly experienced  significant  civil unrest  due to a contested national election. This may spill over into areas such as  personal safety which could impact tourism and industry and impact donor sentiment.  Stability has and will be  a key factor  aiding or impeding  our  efforts.

Mark will return  to the US on October 3. After that time we should be able to provide additional updates.

Our sincere thanks to our donors for their generous support. 

Barbara Rosasco


Aug 26, 2013

Hope, Dreams & Extreme Challenges

Our new high school graduates are now waiting for their results on the national high school graduation examination.  We are hoping to have funding resources to sponsor a total of fifteen students for university studies in the coming year! 

Of these fifteen students,  six are already studying in Phnom Penh with our support. 

  • Two come from our AIDS Patients Family Support program (FSP)  in Phnom Penh
  • Four  students  come from our Rural Support Program (RAP) in Prey Veng province and are starting their second year.
  • Nine students are all newly minted high school graduates. 
    •  seven come from our Rural Support Program (RAP) in Prey Veng province
    •   two come out of our AIDS Patients Family Support Program (FSP) in Phnom Penh.

Tuition Costs

The total cost for tuition for 15 students will be $7,160.  The cost per student varies widely depending on the institution where each student will enroll and his/her major field of study.

Per student tuition costs  range from  $250 to  $1,400  with most student tuition  ranging between $250 and $450 except for the costs for three  students who hope to study medicine or health care.  For those three , the annual tuition alone will be $800 (nursing);  $900 (pharmacy/nursing);  $1,400  for a girl from the countryside who hopes to study medicine.  ]

Housing,Transportation, Food and Fees

In addition to the $7,160 for the tuition, we estimate that the need of an additional   $16,000 to cover books, fees, housing, transportation and food for our students. 

Student situations and  needs vary widely

Each student's situation and family background is unique.  Beyond tuition, the package of support which we provide may range from modest assistance  to full living costs.  Some students  have no source of support for their studies (i.e. they either have no families or their families are destitute and unable to provide any assistance at all toward their children’s studies next year).  

Our students

  • Four students  are from our FSP program.  

We  known them personally for at least ten years.  We are intimately familiar with each student's personality, academic achievements, family background and their families' financial situations.  Two of those students  were orphaned by AIDS and the other two lost their fathers to AIDS and their mothers now suffer from that disease. 

  • Eleven students  are from our Rural Assistance Program (RAP). 

Four students  have now completed their first year of studies with support provided by us.   Three students  work part time at our arts school in Phnom Penh . We have come to know them very well over the past year.  The fourth student, a girl who is studying nursing, does not work with our team in Phnom Penh because her campus is located outside of the city center so the cost in time and money for her to commute each day to the arts school would be prohibitive. 

  •  Seven students are new high school graduates  from our Rural Assistance Program (RAP). They were each selected by our colleagues at our partner organization in Prey Veng province.  In addition, a young American man, a Peace Corps volunteer who  is teaching English at a local high school  and  living in our target area in Prey Veng ,  has vetted the nominees,  as he is personally familiar with all of them.

How do the numbers break down  and what does they  total?

Here is a summary of the  candidates and their individual needs.

The  annual tuition estimates  for the fifteen students

$250:  two students.

$300:  one student.

$320:  one student.

$360:  three students.

$380:  two students.

$400:  one students.

$450:  one student.

$480:  one student.

$800:  one student.

$900:  one student.

$1,400: one student.

Total annual tuition of $7160 for fifteen students.

Books, supplies and fees

Books and fees:  $150 per year  X 15 students = $2,250.

Most of these kids come from families which have little or no cash incomes (such as peasant farmers).  This means that any  unanticipated expense,  whether for a book a lab fee or need an extra tutoring session,  is a potential crisis.  We are  budgeting an average of  $150 per student for "books and fees"  to cover these items.

Transportation costs

$300 per year   ($25 per month) X 15 students = $4,500.

The transportation costs for each student vary widely depending upon how far he/she lives from campus.  Some of them will be able to walk or ride a bicycle while others will need to spend $5 per day or more for transportation to and from their campuses.

Housing and food: 

$600 per year ($50 per month) X 15 students = $9,000.

Students from Phnom Penh can live at home with the families, this expense will be zero.  For the ones from the countryside, assuming they have no relatives in the city with whom they can live, this expense is likely to be around $100 per month for renting a very modest room and for food.  I have therefore budgeted a middle figure of $50/month as an average between those who will need no support from us for food and housing and those who will rely on us entirely because their parents are destitute farmers in Prey Veng.

The total for  all expenses for all 15 students:    $22,910 per year.

All  of these 15 students  are waiting to hear if they  might receive scholarship support from Kasumisou Foundation for the coming year.  At the present time,  our hope is to be able  to provide  a second year for  the six students whom we are already support and possibly the two new graduates from our FSP (AIDS Patients Family Support Program) in Phnom Penh whom we have known  more than ten years.

Together, with your help, these students have a chance to finish their education and enter a middle class. It is worth remembering how very few students even finish high school in Cambodia, let alone how few students of modest means manage to finish.

We have a unique  opportunity to change lives. It is literally a “ make or break” moment.  Your support can  make the dreams of these hardworking young people   possible.

Thank you for your generous support.

Barbara & Mark Rosasco


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