Run-down shanty houses, open sewers, violence, lack of jobs, and poor educational opportunities are just some of the challenges faced in urban poor communities (slums) in Phnom Penh that limit the prospects of children and youth. Without access to quality education and opportunities to develop skills necessary for better-paying jobs, these young people face a difficult and dangerous future.
EYC operates three community centers in partnership with the local communities and offers students quality education and opportunities they would not otherwise have access to, including:
Aspects central to EYC’s model are a focus on the individual student and a culture of giving back. We view both as critical to the personal development of the student and to their ability to create change for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Before EYC, many of our students thought they would never graduate high school and would find jobs similar to their parents as street vendors, trash collectors, or tuk-tuk drivers. Instead, EYC has helped hundreds of students stay in school and complete vocational training or university. These students have developed the skills and confidence necessary to drive positive change for themselves, their families, and their communities through better jobs and through the spirit of giving back.
Our impact truly comes alive through the stories of our students. Take a moment to meet some of our students, including Simouy, one of EYC’s first generation of students. Prior to starting at EYC, Simouy believed her future would be limited to the traditional roles of women in Cambodia. Today, she is a university graduate and she is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Gender Studies in Australia and plans to support women’s empowerment in Cambodia in the future. These are the faces and stories that inspire us every day.
Moving Forward & Giving Back
Punlok grew up in an impoverished family. After his parents died, he spent his childhood with his grandmother. He had to drop out of school to sell books in restaurants and scavenge recyclables to sell. When his grandmother passed away, he was left feeling hopeless and lonely. Since then, he has overcome many challenges and continues growing at EYC as a cycling coach. His generosity and commitment to EYC are emblematic of EYC’s culture of giving back and supporting the next generation of students. He is an inspiration for all of us.
We appreciate your interest and investment in EYC, and we are committed to making your funds go further with transparency and accountability. We serve roughly 750 students and over 600 community members each year on an annual budget of $350,000.
Partnering with over 35 organizations and hundreds of volunteers, we are able to expand our reach, scope, and expertise at a lower cost. Our partners and volunteers provide over $120,000 of free services and 17,000+ volunteer hours, ranging from bringing art and music into our classrooms to providing medical and dental services to the communities.