Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia

by PEPY Empowering Youth
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Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
Support PEPY & Rural Youth Scholars in Cambodia
PEPY team members at team meeting
PEPY team members at team meeting

Dear PEPY friends and family, 

Wow, what a year! Over the last few weeks, we have been celebrating our youth participants' graduations as well as their personal and professional successes. Each and every youth that has had the opportunity to develop themselves and improve their livelihood is because of your generosity and kindness. In this report, we would love to highlight what we have accomplished this past year with your support. 

We are proud to share that we have supported over 900 youth through our Dream Management, Scholarship, Learning Center, and YISI Programs.

  • In the Dream Management Project, we have been able to give rural youth access to more programs and initiatives than ever before. We coordinated the first Public Speaking Contests in our partner schools with the local government so students would build their confidence and study skills. The local government officials were so impressed with the speakers that they helped us enter them into the National Public Speaking Competition. In the rural and remote regions, our youth rarely have opportunities to travel in the city and join competitions with their urban-based peers. All of the participants were thrilled and are so excited to have the chance to join the event next year. Many of these youth were too shy to share their thoughts in the classroom, and now, they are speaking on stage in front of hundreds of people! We cannot wait to expand public speaking programs across rural Cambodia.
  • 194 out of 199 of our eligible work scholars and alumni are employed! We are so happy that almost all of our scholars and alumni have found work again, that they are facing less economic hardship, and that we have been able to move more of our resources and funding back into our running programs to support future youth. Next quarter, we will be working to ensure the remaining unemployed youth receive a rewarding job opportunity and we look forward to updating you soon. 
  • Just two weeks ago, 59 Learning Center students graduated from our course after completing their English language, soft skill, and IT students. This is the first year we have introduced coding into our curriculum! Since the students are now able to take IT home and continued practicing in their free time, their IT skills are more advanced compared to the previous Learning Center students. This gave us the opportunity to teach them more administration, graphic design, and web development applications during the last couple of months. All of the students have impressed us with their passion and drive to improve their communities in their Civic Engagement Projects, and we are so excited to see what they will accomplish in the future! You can check a recent video of their community waste management and education development work here: https://youtu.be/rByylPS4yi0
  • Lastly, our YISI Program supported over 50 entrepreneurs this year. By the end of the Social Enterprise Incubator Course, YISI helped launch 3 women-led businesses in the community and expanded/improved over 5 existing businesses. One business we are particularly excited about is Storius Cambodia which was founded by our Youth Innovator Thangdy Roun. Storius is an audio-guided app that enables tourists to travel to different countries and locations independently while listening to detailed insights, historical facts, and stories from locals. The app has been translated into English, Khmer, and Chinese and they plan to add Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos tours and languages soon.  

Please see our recent quarterly report (linked below) for more detailed information!

Before we go, we wanted to share a student story that really stood out to us and reminded us why our work is so important:  

Deva's Story

Deva Rorm is a 20-year-old scholar from Srei Snam District. He was born and raised by a single mother in Srei Snam District, Siem Reap Province. He has 3 siblings and he is the last child in his family. His father died when he was only 4 years old. Deva and his siblings had a tough childhood since his father passed away because his mother had to migrate illegally to Thailand to earn money. He shared, “It was so difficult for us when my mum went to Thailand and left us [here] living with my grandmother. I was so small and I didn’t have a chance to stay with her often.”

Deva decided to stay in school and now, he is the only person in his family to graduate from high school and continue on to higher education. He was also the only male student from Srei Snam District to receive the PEPY scholarship in 2020. Deva realized that he has a great talent for drawing and designing, so after receiving the scholarship, he decided to pursue a Bachelor of Architecture at Build Bright University, Siem Reap Campus. He is now a junior at university. “Since my family is very poor, I never imagine[d] that I would have an opportunity to continue my studies after high school, but the PEPY scholarship made it possible for me so I could shape my talent and follow my dream,” said Deva.

Deva is a hard-working student and always earns a high GPA. He is also working as a full-time Graphic Designer at Eyso Creative, and he has been working there for almost a year now! Since he is doing what he loves, Deva is proud of his work and will keep pursuing his goal to become an architect. We are so proud of incredible youth like Deva, who are dedicated to their studies and contributing to their community. We cannot wait to see his first architecture project come to life!

________________________________

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our updates. None of this would be possible without your generosity and we are very grateful that you are part of our community. We wish you a wonderful new year and hope you are just as excited as we are to see what the future holds! 

Sincerely,

Kathryn 

Deva in his workspace
Deva in his workspace
Students enjoying a lesson in Dream class
Students enjoying a lesson in Dream class

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Dear PEPY community and friends, 

I hope you are doing well and having a great week so far! Through your support of PEPY and our scholars, we have been able to make some progress in recent months. Our team has made great efforts to increase our skills. Our Executive Director and Finance and Admin Manager took a multi-day training in partnerships and fundraising in Phnom Pehn. While our Learning Center, YISI, HR, and Partnerships and Development teams have had the pleasure of working with Team4Tech and Zendesk, helping us build our capacities in our respective departments. We are looking forward to operating at our best so that our community gets the best tools and resources to succeed! 

In the Scholarship for Higher Education Project:

  • The Scholarship team has successfully implemented PEPY Championship IV, bringing together scholars, alumni, and PEPY community members for a month-long football tournament. Over 200 participants joined the games
  • After implementing the Mentorship Network and Tutoring Corner, students' grades have improved and their commitment to their studies has been incredible. 86% of students achieved a 3.0 GPA or above and 19% received a 4.0 GPA!
  • Lastly, 194 students are now fully employed leaving only eight scholars or alumni unemployed and four scholars in an internship

Some top highlights from each program include: 

  • Outreach Program- We had the pleasure of running Study Tours for over 600 students in our partner high schools, giving them the opportunity to come to Siem Reap to get tours of universities and vocational training programs. Study Tours give many rural youths the unique opportunity to see higher education programs and opportunities firsthand so that they feel motivated in their school work and can visualize their future post-high school. The students loved getting the chance to see Angkor Wat and learn more details about the various programs' application processes. 
  • Learning Center Program- In the Youth Empowerment Project, five student groups in the Civic Engagement Project are working with Kralanh District stakeholders and government officials to implement a waste management project in the local market. At the same time, five other youth-led groups are running education development projects in Srei Snam Districts, working with local stakeholders to provide more schools and libraries focused on raising the quality of education for students in early education.   
  • Youth Innovators' Space and Incubator Program- The YISI team initiated a new short course for supporting youth who want to work on strengthening their business plans. Between their IT for Business Courses and their regular courses, they have reached 70 regular participants this year giving so many youths the opportunity to improve and develop businesses in our region. 

We also have attached our general Quarterly Report and our Scholarship for Higher Education Project report in case you would like to read more details about the progress of our programs and read our stories of impact! 

Thank you again for all your support of our work and our students, helping them reach their potential and achieve their goals both personally and professionally. We look forward to sharing more updates with you in the coming months and hope to have your support on this year's upcoming Giving Tuesday on November 29th. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns after reading our reports, please feel free to Contact us. 

Sincerely,

The PEPY team 

Participants in the entrepreneurs' exhibition
Participants in the entrepreneurs' exhibition

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Our YISI youth after their business launch
Our YISI youth after their business launch

Hello PEPY friends and community,

We hope you are doing well and having a wonderful week so far! First and foremost, thank you so much for your continued support and dedication to Siem Reap youth. Your generosity enables us to run our projects and initiatives that give youth the opportunity to realize their potential, and this last quarter was certainly no exception! We are very excited to share some updates from our team and students with you!

General PEPY Updates:

  • Last month, 10 PEPY team members participated in PEPY’s first Tour Guide Certification Workshop led by our Partnerships and Development Manager. All trainees got the opportunity to learn our tour standards and guidelines, and practice giving a tour of PEPY to enhance their confidence and public speaking skills. Going forward, all staff members who are Tour Guide certified will take turns leading school and visitor tours.
  • We welcomed Van Leat, our new Incubator Officer. We are very pleased to bring an officer on board with a wealth of experience in participating in and supporting an incubator prior to joining PEPY. 

Dream Management Project:  Sen Sok High School conducted its first-ever Sharing Event with 300 participants! Kralanh High School also held a Sharing Event this quarter with 400 participants. A Sharing Event is where key speakers and leaders come to our partner high schools to share inspiring stories and lessons learned through adversity. They help youth identify role models in Cambodia that encourage them to stay in school and pursue their dreams. 

Scholarship Project:  We held our first Scholarship Graduation Recognition Ceremony for all 113 former scholarship students who successfully graduated from their chosen university or vocational institution. Pha Phon, a 2017 scholarship student and event speaker highlighted the importance of this event, sharing, “I am the only person in my family and one of the very few in my community to have the opportunity to continue higher education, so the scholarship means a lot to me. I can become the person I am today because of PEPY, and without PEPY, I would probably migrate to work in Thailand or somewhere else to earn money just like my siblings.”

In addition, 91% of eligible scholars have found employment

Learning Center Program: The Learning Center team had some exciting developments this quarter with the return of our Cambodia Ireland Exchange Program! The Learning Center Program Manager, Channa, traveled to Ireland for 3 weeks with two former students and PEPY’s Dream Officer, Mara. While in Ireland, they visited schools and organizations to share Cambodia’s culture with the Irish community as well as share updates about PEPY and our work. This is the first exchange since the COVID-19 pandemic outbreaks so everyone was thrilled that we were able to finally make it happen! We are looking forward to Irish teachers coming to Siem Reap in July for conclude the 2022 exchange and share their culture and lessons with our Learning Center students. 

Youth Innovators' Space and Incubator (YISI) Program:  Since adding the additional online course and short-term professionals’ course, the YISI Program has expanded quickly with 39 regular participants! In addition to the courses, the YISI events are becoming more popular and well known in the community. On March 26th, 2022, the team conducted the first We Business Talk in 2022 on the topic of “Role Model Leaders in Business’’ by Mr. Ieng Sotheara. Mr. Sotheara is a very successful businessman and is the founder of several local businesses. He offered advice, experiences, and recommendations in starting and operating a business to the 56 participants. The event was so well received it was extended for an additional hour so the participants could continue asking him questions. We look forward to providing another successful We Business Talk soon!

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We hope you enjoyed reading some quick updates from our team and youth! None of these activities/achievements would have been possible without you, so, again, thank you so much! 

If you would like to know more about our projects or have some questions after reading this update, feel free to reach out to us anytime!

Sincerely,

Kathryn McDaniel | Partnerships and Development Manager 

kathryn@pepyempoweringyouth.org

Recent alumni proud of his new work opportunity
Recent alumni proud of his new work opportunity
Welcoming new team member, Van Leat
Welcoming new team member, Van Leat
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Our Communications Officer Working on a Training
Our Communications Officer Working on a Training

Hello PEPY friends and community, 

Cambodia has officially reopened and our PEPY scholars and team are breathing a sigh of relief to see youth returning to schools and tourism reinvigorating the Siem Reap community. Now that the town is more lively, scholars are finding work opportunities in schools and in local businesses and our unemployment rate has shrunk to just 11%! In the coming months, we predict that our scholars will achieve an employment rate above 90%, the highest it has been since the first COVID outbreaks. 

As we begin to feel more optimistic in 2022, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for supporting our scholars and our team, in a time when crises after crises were and continue to impact communities around the world. Without you, our scholars would have had to drop out of school and move back into their hometowns, as they would have been unable to afford their living expenses, while their family members were facing food insecurity. By funding PEPY and our Scholarship for Higher Education project, students and their families were provided food and extra support, enabling our scholars to continue their studies and their job searches within the city. If the scholars were forced to give up on their dreams and drop out, they would likely be doing construction work or farming to try to help their families and very few of them would have returned to school. Thank you, for helping us end the cycle of poverty in our communities! 

Quick Updates: 

  • LinkedIn Training: In February, the PEPY Communications Team provided an introductory workshop on LinkedIn to help our team become more engaged with job networking, career research, and lectures/career-building events. Our goal by the end of the session was for all PEPY team members to have a polished LinkedIn page that they use as a tool to help our students, support other NGOs, and develop themselves. We are pleased to have the entire team join and our Communications Team will be following up by providing one on one sessions for every staff member. Find us and friend us next time you are on LinkedIn! 
  • Team4Tech 2nd Round: We are so thrilled to receive another $15,000 from Team4Tech to support our team and participants' IT training needs. We plan to use the funds to give our team members better quality computers, to cover workshops and courses for our staff, purchase more computers for our IT library, and put some money toward our Public Community Lab and Coworking Space in the YISI office. 
  • New Volunteers: 8 Learning Center graduates received SE Asia Foundation scholarships this quarter! This fund will cover their studies and the purchase of a computer for them to perform well in school. We are so proud of them for their hard work and determination to complete their higher education degrees. As SE Asia Foundation scholars, they must complete 2000 hours of community service with their sponsoring organization (which would be PEPY in this case). Right now, the scholars are divided into different departments including Operations and HR, Admin, Learning Center Program, and YISI Program. We think it is wonderful that they will be able to intern with us and increase their professional skills. We thank SE Asia Foundation for providing us and our Learning Center graduates with this incredible opportunity!

If you want to follow the activities and updates from PEPY more closely, we would encourage you to sign up for our newsletter, or follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, or Twitter! We also have quarterly reports for each program that we would be happy to send you that you can request by emailing us.

Sincerely,

Kathryn, PEPY's Partnerships and Development Manager | kathryn@pepyempoweringyouth.org

YISI IT for Business sessions starting up!
YISI IT for Business sessions starting up!
Dream student excited to one day become a teacher
Dream student excited to one day become a teacher

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Our new Communications Officer on a photo exchange
Our new Communications Officer on a photo exchange

Hello PEPY friends and family, 

On behalf of the PEPY team, I would love to thank you for your incredible generosity and support of our organization. We have faced unprecedented challenges this year, both financially and mentally, coping with unpredictable lockdowns and the loss of local and international funds. Your donations have been our lifeline to keep our programs running so that we can continue to support youth in our communities. We cannot thank you enough! As the holiday season nears and we prepare for a new year of classes and students, we wanted to share an update on PEPY and our projects with you. 

This Quarter, September- November

This quarter, we have had some exciting activities and developments! First, we have a new Communications Officer, Somnang Phalla, supporting our bilingual communications and taking on our social media! Next, we were able to conduct our final activities in person this year so our youth could celebrate their end-of-year achievements together. We have also been conducting monthly panel events on our Facebook live called our Raise Your Voice! series. Each panel highlights a different industry and the empowered individuals who work in those industries looking to better the world through their work. The first session was focused on writers and we gained over 2000 followers on Facebook from the event! We then hosted a panel on performing artists and next month we will be focusing on IT professionals. We look forward to conducting 2-3 more sessions engaging youth in these great networking events.

Our Doors Are Officially Open!

In Cambodia, the government has lifted restrictions and schools practicing social distancing have been allowed to reopen. We are so thrilled to be able to support students in person again and for them to have the opportunity to run projects and research in their communities. If anything changes due to Omnicron variant or another crisis, we will keep you informed! 

Program Updates

In response to school closures, our organization shifted our focus and programs to ensure that youth would be able to continue their studies and access education. Our first order of business was giving our participants access to technology. With the successful launch of our Future is Bright Lab and Library, all first-year scholars have laptops, while all other participants and alumni are able to rent computers and another tech for nominal fees. This not only provides some funds to PEPY to cover small purchases and IT wear and tear, but it has also helped our youth keep up with their studies and apply regularly for jobs.  

In late November, 16 youth rented either a smartphone, computer, or additional IT tool and reported to us how life-changing this opportunity has been for them.  

Our Scholarship Team added new initiatives including the Tutoring Corner, where older scholars give homework and class assistance to new scholars, and the Scholarship Mentor Project, where they schedule meetings and provide moral support.  
Now, the tests scores from our Learning Center and Siem Reap universities are in, and, we are so excited to share that our students are exceeding our academic expectations despite the courses being moved online. 100% of the Learning Center students graduated in November this year, compared to 89% in 2020. Additionally, almost all of our Scholars have a 3.5 GPA or above! We believe if we continue our efforts, we will help them to stay motivated and focused on their studies and help them reach their goals! 

Our team members have also increased their focus on career networking and job placement support. As a result, 89% of our scholars are now employed! We are looking forward to getting it back to 100% in the coming months. 

Now our Dream, Learning Center, and YISI programs are all recruiting for their projects that they plan to start in January of 2022, after the national exams. For now, we are working with our current participants to provide them with ongoing support, career workshops, and helping Learning Center students work on their community projects in their hometowns.  

We look forward to sending you more updates as students come back to our offices! In the meantime, we are sending you our best wishes and hope you have a fantastic holiday season. 

Sincerely,

Kathryn McDaniel, Partnerships and Development Manager

kathryn@pepyempoweringyouth.org

Learning Center students' Graduation
Learning Center students' Graduation

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Organization Information

PEPY Empowering Youth

Location: Siem Reap - Cambodia
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @PEY_NGO
Project Leader:
Kathryn McDaniel
Siem Reap, Cambodia
$86,906 raised of $100,000 goal
 
324 donations
$13,094 to go
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