Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!

by Kasumisou Foundation
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Build dreams! Send Cambodian Students to College!
Vichet and Grandmother in earlier years
Vichet and Grandmother in earlier years

Please join us  Wednesday, July 18  at 9:00am for  GlobalGiving's 50%  Bonus Match Day!

Contributions up to $500 can receive a 50% match.   Matching funds ( $120,000)  will be awarded first come , first served , so please set your clock for 9:00 am New York Time!

 

Meet our newest college student ! 

Vichet , a young man, now age 23, was orphaned at a young age.  We have known Vichet since 2002, when Kasumisou Foundation through its Family Support Program ( FSP) began to provide social and housing support for Vichet and his grandmother . In more recent years for his young cousin , now age 13 has come to live in the same household.

As many of you know, our FSP while providing essential living support such as food, housing, access to medical care and the like, strongly emphasized the value of education as the primary way to break the chain of inherited poverty.

USAID statistics from 2011 estimated that while 96% of children receive at least some elementary education, just 34% attend lower secondary school and just 21% upper secondary school ( high school) with graduation rates being estimated at a much lower rate.

It is a considerable accomplishment to even make it to high school and diplomas are awarded only upon completion of a national examination. Vichet’s educational progress was uneven, but he stayed with it and last year completed grade 12. However he failed to pass the national exam for a high school diploma certificate. Despite often working full time loading trucks and delivering household products for a distributor, this year Vichet to continue to study on his own  and was able to pass his exam. Vichet continues to work, ,making about $ 150 per month, most of which goes to pay the family’s food expenses .

Vichet started studying English at Panasastra University in Phnom Penh at the end of June as part of our Kasumisou Scholars college program.  He attends classes in the evenings after finishing his work. Vichet is taking foundation courses in English to prepare for enrollment. Hopefully after completing two semesters of foundation study, Vichet will enter a degree program in English language and literature.

Vichet’s goal is to qualify for work as a tour guide in Phnom Penh. However, he is very intelligent and hard working, so depending upon the results of his university studies we may encourage him to pursue a more ambitions goal for his future.

We hope, in the near future , to invite him to join the staff at our Champey Academy of arts and to live at the school. This would allow him to avoid a very long daily commute between his grandmother’s home in the resettlement district and his job and university in central Phnom Penh.

This project shows how a life can change and catapult forward with the right combination of financial and social support combined with a strong work ethic of a young man determined to lift himself out of poverty.

This is only possible due to the generosity of you, our donors.

We hope that your can join us on July 18th for the GlobalGiving Bonus Match day to help your donations work even harder.

Barbara & Mark

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Update on our Students

Our four  college students began classes in November.  While we would like to be able to present an action packed report, in reality, education is  a slow and exacting process . All of our students continue to be on track and one has recently received some  really good  news.

Srey Ravin* (female, age 22):

Ravin has grown up in our Family Support Program ( FSP) .  Ravin  and her mother were among the first clients of the FSP and we have known Ravin since she was about 4 years old.  Ravin is HIV negative but she does have some physical impediments, as one leg is longer than the other so she walks with a significant limp. Despite this challenge, Ravin has, for years,  continued to bike to school and then to university.

Despite  the economics of her challenging home environment , Ravin has always set her sights high and worked hard in school. We frequently remind our supporters that Cambodia is a country where it is estimated that only 40% of all students even attend high school and far fewer graduate, but even so, Ravin completed her high school coursework and passed the national examination.

Four years ago Ravin entered a four year program at the Royal University of Agriculture (RUAH).  Her major field of study is food science and as before, she has always strived to be highly ranked in her class of 38 food science majors.  Ravin had recently applied for a grant of $1000 from US AID to assist her in completing the thesis required for her degree at RUA. We are so pleased to tell you all that Ravin recently learned that she will be awarded her grant and she will be able to proceed with her thesis. Ravin remains focused on her career goals and she dreams of an opportunity to study abroad after completing her bachelor’s degree at the RUA.  

Despite a series of remarkable life challenges, Ravin has continued to pursue her goals and she now dreams of the opportunity to study abroad. Ravin speaks English but the logistics of study abroad without significant economic sponsorship remains a yet to be solved challenge. In the meantime, Ravin is also looking at possible  opportunities in Asia, possibly in Japan.

Ravin is a great example of how a combination of essential support, mentoring and access to opportunity can significantly change the course of a life . None of this would be possible without the generous support of our kind donors. Our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to everyone who has made this remarkable young woman’s access to opportunity possible.

 

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

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Our four  college students began classes in November.  While we would like to be able to present an action packed report, in reality, education is  a slow and exacting process . We are pleased to report that all of our students continue to be on track. In short , no news is good news !

Returning  students

Srey  Ravin*:   continues in her efforts to complete her four year degree program at the Royal University of Agriculture where she is majoring in food science.   Srey Ravin has set her sights on a high goal, to be able to attend graduate school abroad and devotes herself to her studies.

Srey Poch*: As you may recall, Srey Poch had initially enrolled in a college program but due to sudden and severe medical problems about two years ago, she had dropped out of her program, putting her dreams of working  toward entrance into  Institute for Foreign Language at the Royal University, on hold.

 We are so pleased to report that Srey Poch's  health is now very  much improved and she   has embraced her new course of study at Panastra College where she is re-building her English skills. In her first hear,  she is working hard to catch up,  beginning with remedial studies,  in what  amounts to an ESL, or  English as a second language platform.  Her initial focus is on reading children’s books and stories to build a stronger vocabulary and command of grammar and her studies require that she write about the content of the books and stories she is reading.   In addition, Srey Poch works part time at our Champey Academy  as a book keeper and where she also has opportunity to interact with English speaking tourists and guests

Our new students

Srey Rathana* ~ As you will recall, in our last report we introduced Srey Rathana, who had just completed high school.  Although Srey Rathana  did not pass the national high school diploma exam she did secure admission to Panasatra College.   Like Srey Poch, Srey Rathana’s  first year course of study is to begin to build a strong platform of grammar and vocabulary . A very motivated student, Srey Rathana works hard in class with a goal of eventually achieving a college degree.  Additionally, Srey Rathana works part time along side her mother and aunt  in a small market stall it the Central Market  that sells sewing, craft and beading materials, to supplement the family’s modest income.


Srey Smile* ~ Srey Smile  also completed high school in July. Although she  did not pass the diploma exam, Srey  Smile has secured admission at Panasatra College where she will continue to work on her English skills during her first year  and  then work in her study of English toward her dream of eventually becoming a tour guide.   Srey Smile also  works nearly full time at Champey Academy where she is on the welcome team, greeting tourists, working in the office and helping to provide English translation to guests about Champey’s  dance and other program events, utilizing every opportunity possible to practice and improve her English language skills

*Srey is an honorific used  that is similar to " Miss" and used with young women. 


The estimates for  annual tuition costs plus books and  transportation are between $ 4500 - $5,000 for these four students.

Our students are motivated and eager to try to move forward. Your support of our  students offers them a unique opportunity to work  towards a better live.   Although it is a slow process, these and other students have demonstrated that it is indeed possible.

We are often reminded, that for each of these young people, we function to some degree  as their “ family” .   Our program’s support, made possible by your generosity  not only provides opportunity to these students, but it also keeps these  vulnerable young people focused and  on track , moving toward a decent, middle class life, by providing guidance, mentoring , supervision and  financial support to sustain them on their long and uncertain journey.


We are deeply  grateful to you for your great kindness.

Barbara and Mark Rosasco

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Beginning a new term 

Classes will begin in November for our four  college students. Two of our students have been  in our program and are returning to classes and we have two new students  who are joining our roster.

Returning  students

Srey  Ravin*:   is currently in her third year of a four year degree program at the Royal University of Agriculture where she is majoring in food science. Her hope upon graduation is to be able to attend graduate school abroad.

Srey Poch*: has been studying English and had initially hoped to prepare for the rigorous  examination for Institute for Foreign Language at the Royal University. However, she  suffered from severe  medical problems for the past two years which has  significantly set back her studies.  In August she will re-start her studies at a new college, Panasatra College where she will pursue a degree in English language and literature with the goal of eventually becoming a teacher. Due to the gap in study caused by illness, we estimate  that it will take Srey Poch another 2 years to complete her degree.

 

Our new students

Srey Rathana ~ had just completed high school, but she  did not pass the national high school diploma exam. However, she has secured admission to Panasatra College, where she will spend her first year trying to improve her English skills.  She hopes to continue on with English language studies from there.

Srey Smile ~ has also just completed high school in July but she also did not pass the diploma exam. Smilr  has secured admission at Panasatra College where she will continue to work on her English skills during her first year  and  then work in her study of English toward her dream of eventually becoming a tour guide.

*Srey is an honorific used  that is similar to " Miss" and used with young women. 

Three  of these  students work at our Champey Academy in various capacities and one student works part time in a market stall selling sewing supplies in the Central Market.

The estimates for  annual tuition costs plus books and  transportation are estimated at between $ 4500 - $5,000 for these four students.

Your support of our  students offers them a unique opportunity to move break the chains of inherited poverty and  forward towards a better live. It is a journey that sometimes seems  all but impossible, but like our students, we don’t give up. We still encourage them to move forward to try to reach their goals.

We are deeply  grateful to you for your continued support.

Barbara and Mark Rosasco

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Students from Prey Veng
Students from Prey Veng

Breaking news !    From 9:00AM on Monday, August 7th,  GlobalGiving will offer a 100% match donation per donor  up to a max of  $250 in celebration of International Youth Day, on August 12th.  Funds will run out quickly and are first come , first serve. 

Four Students Anxiously Await Exam Results and Graduation News.

This year four of our remaining six university students will, hopefully, pass their final exams, receive their degrees and start new careers. 

It is because of you....

Sina (“Dana”) (F) and Sokha (M) attended Human Resources University in P.P. Dana studied English literature and Sokha studied business and banking.  They will find out within the coming weeks whether or not they passed their final exams.  Both of students  are still working at Champey although Sokha worked for a few months in a bank but returned this month as an assistant   teacher and musician  at Champey. 

Pheng (F) attended National Institute of Banking and will take her final exam on September 12.  She has already started work as a bank teller. 

Saorith (F) completed her studies in plant pathology at the Royal University of Agriculture.  She does not have final exams but must submit a thesis and then defend it in October.  

The first three students have  all lived and worked at  our Champey Academy (see our project on GlobalGiving)  to support themselves while in college.  As noted, Pheng is now working in a bank but she still lives, along with Dana and Sokha, at Champey.  Saorith lives outside because her university is located adjacent to the "killing fields", much too far to commute on a daily basis from Champey.  

 All four of these students came to us from our Rural Assistance Program ( RAP ) in Prey Veng province ( see our project on GlobalGiving) .  Dana, Saorith, Thy and Sokha all come from very poor farming families..  Dana and Saorith are both exceptionally bright and both graduated near the top of their class at Baphnom High School.  

If all four of these students are successful in passing their exams and graduating with their bachelor degrees, our program will have just two students, both are girls,  remaining.  One of those is currently in her third year of a four year degree program at the Royal University of Agriculture where she is majoring in food science.  The other girl has suffered from very severe medical problems for the past two years.  That has significantly set back her studies.  In August she will restart her studies at a new university where she will pursue a degree in English language and literature with the goal of eventually becoming a teacher.  

This year our Family Support Program ( see our project on GlobalGiving)  has just one high school graduate.  She hopes to pursue a career in the tourism industry and plans to try to pursue a university degree while also working as a tour guide.  The national examination for high school graduation will be administered on August 21 and 22.  The exam is very difficult and many students fail. It is offered only once each year but those who fail to pass it have the option of waiting a year to retake the exam.

The cumulative success of this program: 

Since the start of our college program, we have had a total of   14 students. Of these 14 students,  5 have graduated, 2 dropped out, 1 student  failed his exam and hopes to retake it. We  also  have 4 students who are either awaiting the results of their exams or who will soon take their exams.   There are still 2 other  students  who are in the program and we have a student from our FSP who awaits results of her high school exam and who hopes to go to college.

Because of you ....

Without a doubt, none of these students would have ever thought in their wildest dreams that they might one day go to college, let alone graduate. Your generous support has changed these young lives  and we so appreciate that you  have joined us in this effort. Consider for a moment, the great accomplishments of our students.

As our remaining students move forward, we are unclear of the future of this program due to a mismatch of funding. It has been a challenge to maintain this program  without stable and dedicated funding. To be sure, somehow, you , our wonderful   donor support has always come through. However,  until our funding  picture becomes more clear, our goal will be to support our remaining students and to carefully consider the financial viability of taking on possible future candidates.

We remain deeply grateful to all of you for your wonderful support.

Barbara & Mark

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Organization Information

Kasumisou Foundation

Location: Menlo Park, California - USA
Website:
Project Leader:
Barbara Rosasco
Secretary/Treasurer
Menlo Park, Ca. United States
$49,027 raised of $99,000 goal
 
485 donations
$49,973 to go
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