Jun 23, 2020

Continued Learning in Challenging Times

I am happy to report that despite the COVID-19 pandemic happening all around the world, all of our Chelly Scholars remain safe and healthy.   As of March 2020, universities in Phnom Penh suspended in-person classes.   But our students have continued to engage in online learning as best they can.  Some of the students returned to their home villages in Chum Kiri district, and others have elected to stay in Phnom Penh.  Here is a letter I received this week from Sokthai, one of our current 22 scholars:

"First, I would like to thank you again for selecting me as a recipient of [a scholarship from] The Chelly Foundation.  I am now a sophomore student at National University of Management in Phnom Penh.

As you know the whole world is suffering from Corona virus, so most of the countries are in lockdown.  In Cambodia, the government decided to close all the schools and [invited[ students to study with online classes.  In this period, it's very hard for me to go anywhere or go to work because some companies are off -- thus I decided to leave Phnom Penh back to my hometown.  I a staying home and learning in online classes in the evening,  My school uses two apps for students to learn online One is Google meet for teaching and one more is Google classroom for testing or exams.  For my online class its okay for me.  I still keep learning well and also know more about technology during this period."

Sokthai went on to say:

"I hope you and your famiy are safe and well. Don't forget to weark a mask when you go out and please be aware to wash your hands more often berfore touching to face, eye, mouth, and food.  Any risk of sickness can be happening anytime.  Please kindly take care of yourself.  Thank you again for your donations and always [caring] for me.  I hope to see you in person next year or one day.  With kind regards and best wishes."

Such a beautiful letter, written in almost flawless English!   Many scholars have written to me with similar sentiments. 

Like Sokthai, some of our students have lost their part-time jobs due to lack of tourism in hotels or businesses shutting down.  They were in those jobs to obtain needed skills as well as to help better support their families.  Even though their life is now harder, I have assured each and everyone one of our students that we will continue to support them with scholarships through their graduation from college.  

As I have said before, none of the students receiving Chelly Foundation scholars could ever have afforded the opportunity to go to college without your help.  And the good work we are doing is paying extra dividends: for example, one of our students, Channary, who graduated with a degree in accounting and is now studing for a second college degree in English, intends to support her younger sister going to college as well in the Fall.  Both came from extremely poor circumstances back in rural Chum Kiri, as I saw when visiting their home in 2018.   

We will not let COVID-19 deter us in our mission to transform the lives of these young women. On behalf of all of us at The Chelly Foundation, I again thank you for your past donations and continuing support.  

The pictures here of our students were taken mostly before the virus hit Cambodia.  One is from a visit to their home village, a second is from and the countryside around Chum Kiri.  A third is one of our students wearing a mask.  And the fourth picture is a picture of one of our students looking at the Phnom Penh skyline -- I would like to think she is dreaming of a very bright future for herself and her family.  Please everyone stay safe.

 

Looking to a bright future....
Looking to a bright future....

Links:

Feb 25, 2020

Chelly Scholars At Work

To all Friends & Supporters of The Chelly Foundation:

Through GlobalGiving and the donations of many friends and supporters, The Chelly Foundation Our has supported giving scholarships to t25 young people (including 22 women) from very poor families rural Chum Kiri district, located about three hours southwest of Phnom Penh.  The full or partial scholarships have been for students attending four-year universities in Phnom Penh, including the University of Cambodia and the Royal University of Phnom Penh.  Two of our Chelly Scholars graduated in 2019, and four more are expected to graduate this year.  The subjects our students have chosen to major in include chemistry, mathematics, finance & banking, economic development, accounting, hotel & tourism, and teaching.  We are proud of everyone!

One of the ways in which students are preparing for their future is to take part-time jobs while in school.  Doing so provides valuable skills that help them in obtaining good paying, post-college jobs.  The salaries made also help support their families back in their home villages in Chum Kiri District.  It is extremely gratifying to know that our students have been able to obtain employment in a variety of office settings, representing accounting firms and banks.  One of our students has decided to take a full-time job as a teacher of math to 5th graders, while continuing her studies at night.  See the pictures of a few of our scholars accompanying this writeup.

If not for the donations received by The Chelly Foundation, the young women pictured here would most likely have gone on after high school to doing labor-intensive work on their families' rice farms back in Chum Kiri, and/or would likely have been seeking temporary work in clothes factories, travelling in the back of open-air, crowded trucks to work each day.  

On behalf of all of us at The Chelly Foundation, thank you for your past donations and continuing support.   We are absolutely making a tremendous difference in the lives of these young women and their families.   Please do consider continuing to support our mission through a small one time or monthly donation to GlobalGiving.   A year in school costs $500 per student on average; but even a small gift of $25 or $50 will help buy books for Chelly Scholars and will otherwise contribute to their living expenses while in Phnom Penh.  A little bit goes a long way in Cambodia!

Thank you.

Links:

Dec 2, 2019

Bright Stars of 2019

Group Picture of Chelly Scholars 2019-2020
Group Picture of Chelly Scholars 2019-2020

Greetings at the Holidays to all Friends & Supporters of The Chelly Foundation:

In October 2019, we welcomed six young women as new Chelly Scholars, all from rural Cambodia in areas surrounding the village of Chum Kiri in Kampot Province.  Two are attending the Royal University of Phnom Penh, to study chemistry, biochemistry, and one will be studying English as a foreign language at the University of Cambodia.  Another three all plan to be studying accounting at the Vanda Institute of Cambodia.  The Chelly Foundation provides housing for all of these students -- they will be joining their fellow Chelly Scholars in a special three-story dormitory that we lease in Phnom Penh.   

We can also report that Jakkrya, who we previously have reported on, continues to flourish as both a Chelly Scholar and a Harpswell Scholar.  (She was one of only 20 or so young women from all of Cambodia picked to join women at Harpswell, who live together in special quarters and receive the benefit of their wonderful leadership program.)  Jakkrya and her fellow Harpswell debating team finished fourth in a large debate competition recently, winning prize money for themselves (see picture).

We encourage all of our Chelly Scholars to return to their home village in Chum Kiri, to talk to students and to inspire younger girls (and boys) to work hard in school for a chance to obtain college degrees.   Recently, two of our Chelly Scholars, Manouv and Channary, were invited to give speeches before a large crowd of gathered students at the Hun Sen Angchork High School in Chum Kiri -- their "alma mater."  It was a great day including speeches by the District Principal, the Principal of the high school, and others.   Manouv and Channary are pictured here next to Samorn Khem and Nop Ess, who together have run all Chelly Foundation activities since we began in 2015.

On Giving Tuesday (December 3), and especially before the end of the calendar year, we would be so grateful for your continued support of our remarkable scholarship program. We really are giving opportunities to young women from a very rural part of Cambodia, who without your support would never be able to obtain a university degree. 

Jakkrya at a Debate Competition
Jakkrya at a Debate Competition
Manouv and Channary back at HS
Manouv and Channary back at HS
HS students listening to Chelly Scholars
HS students listening to Chelly Scholars

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.