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.
Nov 28, 2016

A key to the success of Champey Academy Programs

Performing for Women
Performing for Women's Int'l Group Guests

November 29 is Giving Tuesday.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will give $500,000 in matching funds for donations up to $1000 made on Giving Tuesday to supercharge your support ! Match day begins at 12:01 AM New York Time.


Multi-purpose – a key ingredient to the success of Champey Academy Programs

As the reputation of Champey and its students  grow , our students have recently been performing for groups of hotel tourists and other groups who have begun to visit Champey. After seeing our dancers perform at Champey in October, the Women’s International Group - Cambodia  asked our students to perform for their annual Christmans Bazaar at the Intercontinental Hotel in Phnom Penh on November 27!

Champey Academy is more than just a dance and arts school.

Although our reports typically focus on our instruction programs, Champey also provides a lot of additional support to its youthful team members. Beyond  teaching music and art to students,  Champey provides  all of our young people, whether staff or student,  with a safe place to go and grow. On a more practical level, we also provide daily lunch to the members of our team. For both class participants and student workers, their abilities are respected and encouraged and many of our students attend classes daily.

What makes Champey run?

We have a dedicated group of young people, about 20 in all, ranging from age 16 to 25 who work in various capacities at Champey. Most are part time and their income is vitally needed as they are all from disadvantaged backgrounds. As you may imagine, we have almost no turnover in our student workers as we provide a unique opportunity: working in a safe, happy place which offers them a chance to learn and to  improve their skills .

The appearance and achievement of success of our students with smiling faces posing in their practice costumes or dance costumes are in most cases sharp contrast to the daily reality of live for many of these young people as they overcome significant obstacles such as extreme poverty. Many of our team and students also suffer from the impact of HIV where the death of a parent caused additional trauma and poverty and some our students and student workers themselves are HIV positive. Team members earn $35-$170 per month depending upon tasks and number of hours worked.

Accentuate the positive!

At every turn, our goal is to “ accentuate the positive” while respecting the unique life path of each student or student worker. Our view  has long been that while the arts and dance are a point of engagement, beyond this  exposure to the arts and Cambodia's rich cultural heritage,   is the development of a sense of personal pride of accomplishment, as well as building team skills and discipline, skills that spill over into the personal lives of our young people.  For example, our team of student " greeters" have practiced their English language skills to the degree that they are now also able to give a brief introductions and explanations about the basics of traditional Cambodian dance.

Your continued support of our program provides these multiple opportunities to the young people on our staff and as well as to the local neighborhood children who can at attend our classes free of charges.

We couldn’t do this without you!

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Getting ready for costume...
Getting ready for costume...
After the Performance
After the Performance


Nov 23, 2016

What is moringa and how can it help our farmers?

Farm homestead in Prey Veng
Farm homestead in Prey Veng

During Mark's visit to Cambodia and Prey Veng in early September, he met together with our long time local friends and "development partner" to  continue ongoing discussions on how to provide economic opportunities to our farmers in this remote area of Cambodia.

Once such possible  collarboration involved a small "moringa" processing and distribution company in Phnom Penh.  The general  idea was that the moringa company could  make a contract with our farmers to purchase a certain quantity of moringa leaves each month and, with that guaranteed market for their leaves and their ability to access water  with the wells which we provide and  that we could , hopefully,  continue to provide in the future, the farmers can plant many moringa seedlings around their homesteads. One  additional advantage of adding  moringa as an additional crop to the traditional  annual  rainy season rice crop that is the mainstay of farming in Prey Veng,   is that (organically grown)  moringa leaves are in such demand that the farmers could get  a real boost to their cash incomes while further diversifying away from dependence on a single crop of  rice.

Now,  as we fast approach the end of  2016, we are about to launch this  exciting new initiative together with our  local partner, Mohaleap Development Association. In keeping with our longstanding goal of promoting chemical free farming and improving the incomes of farmers in our target area, we  will recruit some of our farmers to plant moringa around their homesteads and in their vegetable gardens.    

This has the potential to be a real " game changer" for our farmers by boosting their incomes.

What is  moringa? Moringa is a very popular dietary supplement in many countries and regions of the world. Moringa contains proteins, vitamins, and minerals. As an antioxidant,  it is thought to potentially  help protect cells from damage.

We have now  made an agreement to sell the moringa harvest of our farmers to a local processor of moringa products with the understanding that all of our moringa leaves will be organically grown. 

The initial group will include about fifty farmers.  On average, each farmer is expected to plant about five hundred moringa seedlings around his/her homestead and vegetable garden. After about six months, the plants should reach a height of about 0.5 to 0.7 meters and the first leaves can be harvested. The initial harvest is expected to yield about 0.3 to 0.5 kilograms per plant and the farmers will receive about U.S. $0.25 per kilo of leaves. From the initial planting of about 500 seedlings, we expect each farmer will harvest 150kg to 250kg in the first year but, in subsequent years, as the plants reach maturity, those same 500 plants should yield up to 3,000 kg of moringa leaves providing our farmers with cash income of approximately $750 per year.

For most of our farmers, an additional income of $750 per year will be a considerable windfall and, with that money, they can make important improvements to their farms and to the welfare of their families.

The moringa plants can be expected to provide a good yield for about five years so we are excited at the prospect that this new program will provide our farmers with a guaranteed price for their moringa leaves resulting in a significant boost to their incomes.

Keeping young seedlings of any kind alive and flourishing throughout the year will require a well to insure a stable supply of water.  Kasumisou Foundation is hoping to sponsor the drilling of new wells for farmers who do not yet have a well,   at an approximate cost of $ 270 per well.  Key to the success of  each farmer for this new initiative,  will be his ability to access a reliable  supply of water .

Each year since 2001 we have driiled water wells, totaling more than 450  wells to date which provide a reliable supply of water for thousands of people. These well often serve not only the farmer but also  their neighbors. Finding sponsors for the  new water wells will be a critical part of the long term success of this program and we are hopeful that our donors can see how a modest investment in a well can help a farmer work toward a significantly better life for his family.

GlobalGiving Match Day on November 29

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is providing  $500,000 in matching funds on Tuesday, November 29. Your donation to Kasumisou Foundation's Rural Assistance Program of any amount up to $1000 is elibigle to receive a 50% matching donation from the Gates Foundation.  Please join us and support our efforts  by  helping to fund  new wells and build  a new future  for our farmers.  

 We are deeply grateful to you,  our donors for your  continued support.

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

Oct 30, 2016

Genius in our midst.....

Ravun ~ October 2016
Ravun ~ October 2016




“Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration” . Thomas A. Edison

Education can be a slow and steady process. We are so pleased that we have been able to provide the opportunity to our students to work toward their dreams of obtaining a college education.

All of our students are financially vulnerable and they receive little or no financial support from their families. Simply paying for tuition and books would not be enough to help these young people achieve their goals, so we also provide most of our scholars with part time work at our Champey Academy of Arts . Four of them – two boys and two girls – sleep in the classrooms there at night to avoid the considerable expense of renting a room in Phnom Penh.

Genius in our midst…..

Our update today will focus on the inspiring story of Ravun, one of our students. Ravun , age 20 is a Food Science major , she is now in her 3rd year at the Royal University of Agriculture. Her goal after graduation is to work in a lab.

Ravun has a long history with Kasumisou Foundation, more than 15 years. We have known Ravun since about age 4 as her mother was a member of the first generation of our Aids Patient Family Support Program patients. Amazingly, Ravun’s mother is still with our FSP program and although she is medically frail, she works as a cleaning woman for an expatriate family in Phnom Penh. She is currently nursing a broken arm after a fall from a motorbike. Our FSP stressed education and Ravun was always strongly encouraged to attend school, advice that led to a series of graduations: elementary school, middle school and eventually high school. An exceptional and determined student, Ravun joined our Kasumisou Scholars program at age 17.

Ravun lives at home in a small apartment with her mother in central Phnom Penh. Ravun suffers from a congenital handicap where her legs are uneven in length, which causes her to walk with a severe limp. Despite this challenge, Ravun bicycles to attend University classes every day. The bike ride to the University, which is located outside of Phnom Penh near the Killing Vields, is a considerable distance from the city center . Although we have not measured the exact distance Ravun rides, the distance is about a 45 minute drive by car each way.

Ravun is exceptionally motivated young woman who has a clear vision of the career path that she wants to pursue. This photo, taken just this week , shows a capable young woman, who although faced with daunting life circumstances has chosen many times to pursue success although facing considerable odds. Cambodia is a country where it is estimated that only 40% of all students even attend high school. Rather than just give up and “ accept fate” Ravun has instead chosen to take a path of pursuing excellence and achievement. We cannot yet predict the full extent of Ravun’s future accomplishments, but we are confident that in the context of Thomas Edison’s quote, that “Genius” is in our midst.

The new school year has started and at present we still have 6 students in our program. Several students our original 11 students have now graduated and we are so proud of their achievements.

The generosity of you, our donors, has provided students like Ravun with an opportunity , that but for your support, would have been an impossible dream.

On behalf of our students, we extend our heartfelt thanks to our wonderful supporters and we hope that you understand that your donations and continuing support can   truly make a difference in the lives of these young people.

Consider for a moment, all that you have accomplished together, so far..... 


Barbara & Mark Rosasco


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