Wonderful news everyone: we have exceeded our original goal in raising $8000 through our Global Giving Campaign! With a generous donation of $1400 from an anonymous donor (thank you whoever you are!), and donations fromdozens of others of you, four young women have been able to attend universities in Phnom Penh on a full scholarship. But we aren't done! We have now “doubled down” and at the invitation of Global Giving have renewed our campaign so as to give more opportunities to more young women from very poor rural villages in Chum Kiri district to go to college and become successful in whatever they wish to pursue. Here is how our scholarship program has grown:
In 2015, we picked our first Chelly Scholar, Manouv, who will be graduating this fall from the Royal University of Phnom Penh with a degree in chemistry. She has become a big sister to a host of other Chelly Scholars, and is an inspiration to girls everywhere. Manouv plans to join the workforce after graduation in her chosen field, and may one day pursue a graduate degree.
In 2016, one of our Chelly Scholars, Channary, started at the Vanda Institute of Cambodia, and is the first of our scholars to graduate with a degree in accounting – she did so a year early. We are so proud of her!
Between 2016 and 2019, we grew from awarding 6 Chelly Scholarships, then up to 10, and this past year have been supporting a total of 17 young women (and also 2 young men) through the award of full scholarships, partial scholarships, and housing stipends to enable everyone to be able to live together in our newly leased dormitory in Phnom Penh (a multi-story townhouse) while going to college. We expect 5 of our current students to go on to graduate in 2020.
Funded in part by the generosity of Global Giving donors as part of this campaign, this Fall we expect to be offering at least 6 new scholarships to young people graduating high school – of which we expect 5 to go to young women candidates.
Tuition at local universities varies between $400 and $600 a year per student, depending on the place our scholars are enrolled. Our costs for housing 20+ students are approximately $500 a month total. Additional costs include ensuring that students have books and school supplies, receive medical treatment when needed, and are otherwise cared for through small stipends if needed. Almost all our Chelly Scholars on a full scholarship work part-time jobs, many sending back money to help their families out back in rural Chum Kiri.
Your Global Giving donations go a long way in ensuring that our scholarship program remains healthy and successful! Our Chelly Scholars know how lucky they are to have been able to go to university in far away Phnom Penh. In future postings, I will make sure that you hear their stories in their own words. All of us at The Chelly Foundation are incredibly grateful to have received your continuing support.
Please also know that our Foundation is doing great things back in the village of Chum Kiri as well, maintaining The Chelly Library at the local high school, sponsoring free English classes and workshops, holding bread feast days at local elementary schools, providing bicycles, keeping sanitation facilities we built in order, and taking field trips to local cultural events. And that's just some of what we are doing... check out our website and especially our Facebook page for everything we are involved in.
And one last thing: if you are the anonymous donor who pledged such an extraordinary amount putting us over the top for our original goal, could you please contact me? Don’t be shy! We wish to give you a special thank you!
Chelly Scholars helping out back in Chum Kiri
Students with Nan Nop