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!
Aspiring Student
Aspiring Student

One of the ways Kasumisou Foundation works to maximize results in its programs is by looking at challenges and opportunities as two sides of one issue. The old idea  of giving  a hungry man a fish to  feed  him today but teaching  him to fish feeds him for a lifetime is  seen in how we manage and integrate  our scarce  resources.

Part of our mission for our AIDS Patient Family Support was to keep kids in school and  enable them to have a chance to break the chain of inherited poverty. This summer we see results  as another two students, each  more than 10 years  under the care and guidance of our AIDS Patient Family Support Program, are now ready to graduate from High School.Both will sit for the national high school  exam in August and assuming that they pass, both will enter our Build Dreams! program that helps Cambodian students to be able to attend college and get vitally needed employment from our Jobs for Cambodian Youth project.

Ravin, age 18, has been under our care since age 4 and dreams of studying Chemistry and Food Science at University.

Vichet, age 20,  has been under our care since 2002 and he comes from a  resettlement area and was orphaned ( by AIDS) and lives with his Grandmother and an orphaned 11 year old niece.

All of this is  possible because of  a combination of  taking a long term approach  and  the loyal support of you,our donors.

Thank you for your continued support of our efforts.

Barbara & Mark

Aspiring student
Aspiring student


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Project update: Meet our students !

Our apology for the delay in providing these detailed updates on our students. As you will read below, collecting the information for each student is both a joy and a challenge. We hope that you will share our pride in  the accomplishments of the students in our higher education program.

Over the past year, our college program has grown from the original 6 students . The transition form high school to college is a challenging one in any culture, and this has proven to be true with our program. From 15  original candidates, over the past year some of our students were not able to successfully make that transition, leaving us with a  current core of 11 college students , all but one now aged 18-23

Eight of our students are from rural Prey Veng Province . These  have successfully made the transition from a close knit rural life style in a thatched house with no electricity or running water to life in the capital city, Phnom Penh, despite  many challenges and temptations.

All of the original 6 students from Prey Veng Province have been able to advance into their second year.   We have added two more  students from Prey Veng, for a total of 8 . Of these 8 students, four of the students are able to attend college in Phnom Penh because of our additional support to them of housing, board  and part time employment. Three of our college students came from our AIDS Patient Family Support Program.

One of our  students , is age 24 and a Buddhist monk.

In addition to these 11 we also support one high school student age 16 with room, board, tuition and part time employment . Beyond these students, we support the education of the children in our AIDS Patient Family Support Program.

All of this is possible because of you, our generous donors. Thank you. Together, we are changing the world, one life at a time. 

Our current roster of college students:

1.  Dararith (male) age 24, is studying law at Build Bright University in Phnom Penh and will be entering his third year this fall. Dararith came to our college program via our Aids Patient Family support Program in 2000. Three years ago, Dararith became a Buddhist monk to honor his deceased parents. In addition to his duties as a Buddhist monk, Dararith took time to instruct his follow monks in English and mathematics at the pagoda where he lives.

2.  Thierry ( female) age 20 studies psychology at the Royal University of Phnom Penh ( RUPP) . She is in her third year studying to become a psychologist. Thierry came to us via our Aids Patient Family Support Program and in addition to her studies worked for some time as a volunteer in our program for severely disable children at the city orphanage.

3.  Srey Poch ( female) age 19 is studying Banking and finance   at the Royal University of Law and Economics ( RULE) and hopes to become a banker after graduation. Srey Poch came to us via our AIDS Patient Family Support Program which had supported her family from 2002. She is an excellent student and throughout elementary school , middle school and high school ranked near the top of her class .

4.  Serey ( male) age 21   is an “A” student, also studying Banking and Finance for a Bachelor’s Degree at Human Resouces University . Now in year 2, he will spend 2 more years until graduation. After graduation, he wants to pursue a career in banking or as a business owner. Serey comes from a family of peasant farmers, neither his mother or father have any formal education. He has 5 siblings. Serey works as an assistant dance teacher and also performs maintenance tasks at Champey academy. Serey acquired his knowledge of traditional Cambodian dance through our dance program the district high school .

 5.  Laiy ( female) age 20 studies nursing at the Royal Scientific Institute of Health ( RSIC) which is located in the outskirts of Phnom Penh. Now in year 2, with one more to go, after graduation Laiy will work as a mid wife at the Center of Health in Phnom Penh.     Laiy was an exceptional student in high school. Her mother had a 4th grade education , her father an 11th grade education, which was unusual for a farmer.

 6.  Youu, ( male) 23 is a strong “B” student, studying Banking and Finance for a Bachelor’s Degree at Human Resources University . Now in year 2, Youu will spend 2 more years at university. After graduation he wants to work in banking. In addition to his studies, Youu helps at the Champey Academy ( our dance program) as a junior t dance instructor and assists with maintenance . You’s father died when he was born and Youu’s mother has a 5th grade education He frequently travels home to Prey Veng province to help his mother tend their small farm.

 7.  Sdoeurn ( female) age 22 studies at accounting at Vanda Institute in Phnom Penh. Now in her second year, she has a career objective of becoming an accountant in a bank. Sdoeurn works part time at our dance school . Sdoeurn showed unusual initiative, borrowing money from a micro lending institution to finance her first semester of college in 2012 before entering our program. One of 8 children, Sdoerun shows great promise.

 8.  Ty ( female ) age 19 is a first year student at the National Institute of Business ( NIB) studying Banking and finance and English. Now in year 1, she will complete her studies in 3 years and hopes to work for a bank.

9.  Sokha (male ) age 23 is a student at Human Resources University studying Banking and Finance. Now in his second year, he needs 3 more years to complete his degree.   Sokha, was a member of our traditional arts troupe at Baphnom High School where he was recognized as a very talented musician. He was also a member of our Prey Veng Green Champions program. Sokha’s parents are peasant farmers , his mother reached grade 5 and his father has no formal education.   Sokha is undecided yet on a career, but has thoughts of becoming a teacher. Sokha plays the “ roncat”, which is a zylaphone type Cambodian traditional instrument . We support Sokya with room, board and a small stipend as a musician accompanying our dance students and by doing odd jobs at the school as needed.

10.  Dana (female) age 19 is a student at the Human Resources University in Phnom Penh where she studies English Literature. Her current course of studies is a means to a bigger dream, which is to enter medical student. Her dream , since early childhood is to become a doctor and English is but the first step. We support Dana at the Dance School where she works at Guest Relations, greeting foreign tourists and explaining the school’s program . We also support Dana with room, board and a small stipend. Dana’s parents are peasant farmers, her mother has a 3rd grade education, her father no formal education. Among her accomplishments in high school was her work as a translator for a group fo American dentists who visit annually to provide free dental care for local children. Dana is one of the most gifted and talented students, who has consistently distinguished herself in a high school of 2500 students, despite coming from a family of the most modest means, she has managed to excel as a student, help others and continue in her singular goal to qualify to enter medical school.

11.  Saorith ( female) age 20 studies at the Royal University of Agriculture where she is pursuing a degree in Agricultural Science. Now in year 1, she will need 3 more years to complete her studies. After graduation she wants to work with farmers to develop the community through more modern farming techniques. Saorith received an award for the best grades at Baphnom High School for the 2010/2011 school year, ranking as the # 1 student out of a 2,500 student body. Saorith’s mother is a farmer and her father a retired NGO worker. She is the youngest of 8 children. Like Dana, Saorith was single minded in her pursuit of education, each of them riding their bikes to school , covering a total distance of 40 KM ( 24 miles) each day to attend high school.

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Building Dreams- Our  student roster is growing !

For nearly 15 years, our   programs, such as our AIDS Patient Family Support Program and our Rural Assistance Program have  focused on protecting   children from trafficking and victimization by empowering them with education. Education  combined with a stable home environment  will allow them to break the cycle of inherited poverty. Our strong focus on education enabled many  children to complete middle school, high school and now, thanks to this program, have the opportunity to go to  college.

The potential long term impact of these efforts is immense for these students. It is our hope that this opportunity to access  a college education  will be the catalyst to move these students to  move solidly to the middle class and  a professional level lifestyle. 

Our students

At the present we have retained all of the six initial students who began courses last year . They have now completed their first year and are enrolled in  their second year course of study.

Of the universe of eleven possible  candidates that  we had identified from our Rural Assistance Program  in summer 2013 , four successfully completed  the application and interview  process  and were viewed to be ready to be able to make a  successful transition  from rural family life to independent living in the capital city and maintain  their desired course of studies. One additional candidate withdrew  from consideration as her parents were able to secure a place for her at Christian mission college.

Classes for the students have started in October and November.

In addition to the students from our Rural Assistance Program, we had identified 2  students from our Aids Patient Family Support Program ( FSP) , who have now successfully begun classes . Of the four students  coming from the FSP, two are AIDS orphans, and two themselves have AIDS.

This brings our  2013  student roster up to a total of 12 students currently enrolled in colleges in Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital city.

For all of these students, your support is vital to help these young students to achieve their dreams of completing a college education.

Thank you for your continued support.


Barbara & Mark Rosasco

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Our new high school graduates are now waiting for their results on the national high school graduation examination.  We are hoping to have funding resources to sponsor a total of fifteen students for university studies in the coming year! 

Of these fifteen students,  six are already studying in Phnom Penh with our support. 

  • Two come from our AIDS Patients Family Support program (FSP)  in Phnom Penh
  • Four  students  come from our Rural Support Program (RAP) in Prey Veng province and are starting their second year.
  • Nine students are all newly minted high school graduates. 
    •  seven come from our Rural Support Program (RAP) in Prey Veng province
    •   two come out of our AIDS Patients Family Support Program (FSP) in Phnom Penh.

Tuition Costs

The total cost for tuition for 15 students will be $7,160.  The cost per student varies widely depending on the institution where each student will enroll and his/her major field of study.

Per student tuition costs  range from  $250 to  $1,400  with most student tuition  ranging between $250 and $450 except for the costs for three  students who hope to study medicine or health care.  For those three , the annual tuition alone will be $800 (nursing);  $900 (pharmacy/nursing);  $1,400  for a girl from the countryside who hopes to study medicine.  ]

Housing,Transportation, Food and Fees

In addition to the $7,160 for the tuition, we estimate that the need of an additional   $16,000 to cover books, fees, housing, transportation and food for our students. 

Student situations and  needs vary widely

Each student's situation and family background is unique.  Beyond tuition, the package of support which we provide may range from modest assistance  to full living costs.  Some students  have no source of support for their studies (i.e. they either have no families or their families are destitute and unable to provide any assistance at all toward their children’s studies next year).  

Our students

  • Four students  are from our FSP program.  

We  known them personally for at least ten years.  We are intimately familiar with each student's personality, academic achievements, family background and their families' financial situations.  Two of those students  were orphaned by AIDS and the other two lost their fathers to AIDS and their mothers now suffer from that disease. 

  • Eleven students  are from our Rural Assistance Program (RAP). 

Four students  have now completed their first year of studies with support provided by us.   Three students  work part time at our arts school in Phnom Penh . We have come to know them very well over the past year.  The fourth student, a girl who is studying nursing, does not work with our team in Phnom Penh because her campus is located outside of the city center so the cost in time and money for her to commute each day to the arts school would be prohibitive. 

  •  Seven students are new high school graduates  from our Rural Assistance Program (RAP). They were each selected by our colleagues at our partner organization in Prey Veng province.  In addition, a young American man, a Peace Corps volunteer who  is teaching English at a local high school  and  living in our target area in Prey Veng ,  has vetted the nominees,  as he is personally familiar with all of them.

How do the numbers break down  and what does they  total?

Here is a summary of the  candidates and their individual needs.

The  annual tuition estimates  for the fifteen students

$250:  two students.

$300:  one student.

$320:  one student.

$360:  three students.

$380:  two students.

$400:  one students.

$450:  one student.

$480:  one student.

$800:  one student.

$900:  one student.

$1,400: one student.

Total annual tuition of $7160 for fifteen students.

Books, supplies and fees

Books and fees:  $150 per year  X 15 students = $2,250.

Most of these kids come from families which have little or no cash incomes (such as peasant farmers).  This means that any  unanticipated expense,  whether for a book a lab fee or need an extra tutoring session,  is a potential crisis.  We are  budgeting an average of  $150 per student for "books and fees"  to cover these items.

Transportation costs

$300 per year   ($25 per month) X 15 students = $4,500.

The transportation costs for each student vary widely depending upon how far he/she lives from campus.  Some of them will be able to walk or ride a bicycle while others will need to spend $5 per day or more for transportation to and from their campuses.

Housing and food: 

$600 per year ($50 per month) X 15 students = $9,000.

Students from Phnom Penh can live at home with the families, this expense will be zero.  For the ones from the countryside, assuming they have no relatives in the city with whom they can live, this expense is likely to be around $100 per month for renting a very modest room and for food.  I have therefore budgeted a middle figure of $50/month as an average between those who will need no support from us for food and housing and those who will rely on us entirely because their parents are destitute farmers in Prey Veng.

The total for  all expenses for all 15 students:    $22,910 per year.

All  of these 15 students  are waiting to hear if they  might receive scholarship support from Kasumisou Foundation for the coming year.  At the present time,  our hope is to be able  to provide  a second year for  the six students whom we are already support and possibly the two new graduates from our FSP (AIDS Patients Family Support Program) in Phnom Penh whom we have known  more than ten years.

Together, with your help, these students have a chance to finish their education and enter a middle class. It is worth remembering how very few students even finish high school in Cambodia, let alone how few students of modest means manage to finish.

We have a unique  opportunity to change lives. It is literally a “ make or break” moment.  Your support can  make the dreams of these hardworking young people   possible.

Thank you for your generous support.

Barbara & Mark Rosasco


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Building dreams:   The challenge of trying to make dreams come true.

Matching Grant Opportunity:   Please consider supercharging your donation, by  making a donation on June 12, 2013 from 9:00am Eastern Daylight time during the GlobalGiving Match day. Global Giving will give " Super Star" projects such as ours a 50%  match on  donations up to $1,000. 

We have not given up on our goal to  help rural Cambodian students fulfill their dreams of attending college, although over the past  6 months we have only raised $ 160  in total for this project.

None the less, we have taken the plunge to help these students . Had we not done so, more than likely our four students would have drifted to meaningless work  for rock bottom wages  and lost their opportunity to realize their dreams of attending college and building a successful  middle class life.

Here is a brief update on our students:

All four of  these  students came from our Rural Assistance Program in Bapnom Province, Prey Veng, Cambodia and all four were active members of the student dance program sponsored by  Kasumisou Foundation at Babnom  High School. The student dance program  provided instruction in traditional Cambodian dance free of charge  to any student  who wanted to participate.

Additionally, these four students  participated in Kasumisou Foundation’s “ Green Champions Project ” a student- led program to reforest local areas. Students created nurseries for tree seedlings, transplanted the seedlings along a long  treeless dusty road ( about a mile long) commonly used as a main  pedestrian and bicycle thoroughfare. Our students  tended the  young trees, watering them and  protecting them from destruction by  foraging live stock.  The Green Champions project   objective is  to provide trees for  shade by  reintroducing  pioneer native  tree species . These trees will also  create improved biomass to help to enrich depleted soil and  will encourage birds and other animals to re-establish a presence . These factors will combine  and lead to the long term  improvement  of  an area that had been subjected to decades of land degradation and mismanagement.

As a result of their academic achievement and their participation in these two rigorous programs , our  four students had been selected as those most likely to succeed by the teacher overseeing these programs at Bapnom High School.   These four students not only graduated from high school, but showed their skill, talent ,  self-discipline and leadership  through their continuing  participation in these two programs.


Born Laiy ~  Female, Age 19

  • ·         Royal Scientific Institute of Health- School of Nursing
  • ·         Paid $850 for one year’s tuition and books
  • ·         Shares housing near the school


Nhes Sor Sdoeurn ~ Female – age 19

  • ·         Vanda Institue of Accounting
  • ·         Paid $ 450 for tuition, books,supplies
  • ·         Shares housing with several  classmates.  Helps with accounting,  dance instruction to younger   students  and  marketing at the  Champey Academy of Arts, a Kasumisou Foundation project.
  • ·         Receives $ 70  per month to cover food, share of rent, personal expenses

Chhoun Lean You  ~ Male – age 22

  • ·         Norton University-English & Communications
  • ·         Paid $ 450 for tuition, books, supplies
  • ·         Lodging is sharing a  storeroom at Champey Academy of Arts   with fellow student Hun Serey in exchange  for helping out with tasks at school including class instruction  and marketing.
  • ·         Receives $ 70 per month to cover food, personal expenses

Hun Serey ~ Male – age 19

  •           Norton University – Business Management       
  •           Paid $450 for tuition, books, supplies
  • ·         Lodging is shared storeroom at Champei  Academy of Arts with fellow student You  in exchange  for helping out with tasks at school including class instruction  and marketing.
  • ·         Receives $ 70 per month to cover food, personal expenses


If any of these four  students wish to return home to visit their families, the flat bed  trucks that serve as shared “ taxi” will take 4  to  6 hours each way and cost $ 14 round trip.  The students ride bicycles to school and they are responsible for all of their personal expenses including clothing.

 We hope that once you have a chance to learn more about our students, that you too, will want to become a part of their amazing success story. 

Thank you for your generous support of our efforts to help these students!

Barbara & Mark Rosasco

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Organization Information

Kasumisou Foundation

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