Jun 13, 2021

Summer 2021 Update

Jakkrya & Rina delivering food to poor families
Jakkrya & Rina delivering food to poor families

As everyone knows, COVID-19 is a worldwide phenomenon.  As I write this, in Cambodia currently there are restrictions on travel in-country, and many schools at all levels are intermittently closed.  Universities are conducting online learning where they can, but are otherwise closed to face to face classroom teaching.  Accordingly, there have been disruptions in the lives of our Chelly Scholars.  Some have been staying in Phnom Penh with friends and family.  Others are back in Chum Kiri District, where they grew up and went to school. Our students are doing the best they can to cope in continuing their education in difficult circumstances.  These circumstances have been made more difficult by the loss in some cases of part-time jobs due to economic conditions caused by the pandemic.  These jobs helped supplement student income as well as providing extra funds for their families back home.  In cases of hardship while in school, The Chelly Foundation is assisting with providing additional school supplies and other needed items.

Despite all of the hardships, I can report that our students still very much care about their home community.  For example, two of our Chelly Scholars who reside at the Harpswell Foundation spent time in faciitating the delivery of food to over a dozen of the poorer families in the local area these students came from.  

The Chelly Foundation is committed to making sure that all of the young women in our scholarship program have what they need to continue their university education through to graduation, even during a pandemic. Let's all hope that conditions improve in Cambodia and elsewhere.

In the meantime, we remain so grateful for all the wonderful support we continue to receive from our donors.  We cannot thank you enough.

Food & supplies in truck
Food & supplies in truck
Feb 17, 2021

Our Chelly Scholars at the Harpswell Foundation

Rina with creative writing certificate
Rina with creative writing certificate

To all Chelly Foundation Friends and Donors: 

It is with a great deal of pride and joy that I provide this update.  As remarkable as it is, we now have two of our Chelly Scholars being admitted into The Harpswell Foundation, a leadership academy for the best and brightest young women in all of Cambodia.   The mission of the Harpswell Foundation is to equip young women with the leadership skills in order to create and inspire positive social change. Here is how a US former Ambassador described Harpswell when it was founded in 2003:

Harpswell Foundation is a U.S.-based NGO that offers talented young women from the provinces an opportunity to help themselves and their community by assisting them with education, housing, and leadership training. The women of Harpswell are studying at some of Cambodia’s best universities, and the first graduates of the program are already going on to do amazing things in Cambodia and beyond.” – William Todd, Former US Ambassador to Cambodia.

Harpswell students live together while going to universities in Phnom Penh, where they are provided with an immersive program giving them every opportunity to learn about the greater world, through expert speakers and a wide range of extra-curricular programs.

Harpswell only admits 20 or so young women each year from all of Cambodia, after interviewing potential admittees from high schools around the country.  The fact that two young women from the villages we work in have been admitted to Harpswell is nothing short of extraordinary.

Two years ago, one of our Chelly Scholars, Jakkrya, was admitted into Harpswell -- the first girl graduating Chum Kiri high school (where the Chelly Library is situated) ever given the opportunity to attend Harpswell.   She was admitted after the Chelly Foundation sought out senior staff at Harpswell to consider inviting for the first time the principal at the Chum Kiri High School to submit names and applications from students in the villages we work in.   

Jakkrya has gone on to distinguish herself at Harpswell, including by participating and winning awards in debate tournaments, as well as spending substantial time engaged in humanitarian activities and programs.  Jakkrya is now a sophomore at the University of Cambodia.

Our latest Chelly Scholar is Rina, who just graduated from Chumkiri High School this past Fall.  She received a creative writing certificate after participating in a week-long program by the Writing Through nonprofit organization, and sponsored by our charity at the local high school. She will have similar opportunities to shine while at Harpswell and while she pursues her studies on a full-ride scholarship from the Chelly Foundation.

I should add that Harpswell requires that each of its admitted students receive scholarships from other organizations to have students stay enrolled at universities.  

All of our Chelly Scholars, both those who have graduated (8 so far), and all of the students still in college, have had their lives transformed by having scholarships given to them by our charity.   Because of you, these young women will continue their journeys to obtaining a university degree and a better life.

Thank you.  

Jakkrya with debating awards
Jakkrya with debating awards

Links:

Oct 20, 2020

Graduating Scholars

We have terrific news to report: as of this Fall, eight of our Chelly Scholars have received university degrees.   This is a life-changing experience for each of them, which could not have been possible without the support of donors to The Chelly Foundation.   Here are passages from a few of the letters received from the students: 

My name is Channary.  I am from Chumkiri district, Kampot probince.  I come from a poor family.  My father and mother are farmers.  I am very lucky that I got a full scholarship from The Chely Foundation  I am veru happy because my dream has become true.  Now I have graduated with my bachelor degree at Vanda Institute, with my major in accounting.  My parents are so happy.  Now that I have a job, I can help my younger sisyter to continue her study.  She is a good student.  I will help to continue her study at a university the same as me.  I would like to say thank you so much to The Chelly Foundation and all donors who make my dream come true.  Your donation provided me with a positive change in my life.

My name is Srey Nich.  Today I am working at a bank in Phnom Penh.  I graduated with a bachelor's degree in banking and finance from Asia Europe University in 2020.  I received a scholarship from The Chelly Foundation that changed my life from a child who was desperate for education due to a poor family life, to a socially recognized person who has a good job and is able to earn a living on her own.  I was a person who was afraid of daring to face many people, but after I came to study in Phnom Penh, I dared to stop in front of many people, and dared to apply for a job interview on my own.  I would like to thank The Chelly Foundation for providing me with this scholarship.

My name is Srey Leap.  I am 22 years old.  I have three siblings, and I am the eldest in the family.  After graduating from high school, I dreamed of going to university.  But my family was poor and could not afford to send me to continue my education.  I was one of the lucky ones to receive a scholarship from The Chelly Foundation.  My family and I are very happy that the organization has helped me achieve my goal.  I am very thankful to the organization because after completing my four year bachelor's degree sat Asia Europe University, I changed. [I have a] new life, new experiences, a good job, know good people, made me more creative. I have income to help provide my family.  Finally, I would like to say thanks and wish the organization continues to move forward in in helping children who are incapable of continuing their education to achieve their goals.  Without the organization's funds, my life would not be where it is today.  Thank you so much The Chelly Foundation.  I love The Chelly Foundation.

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The Chelly Foundation is currently supporting 15 young women who are continuing their studies at universities, including at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and the University of Cambodia.  One of our scholars is a resident at the prestigious Harpswell Foundation, a leadership academy for students at university, who I will provide an update on in a future report.  She has promoted a younger girl finishing high school this year, who we have accepted as one of our Chelly Scholars in the coming semester.     Our program continues to be a vibrant way to transform young women's lives from a very poor, rural community.  We can continue to offer these wonderful opportunities with your support.

Thank you.

Links:

 
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