Education First Cambodia

September 2016 

New students!
Yes, we know. This looks a lot like our first newsletter. However, some of you may have noticed that this newsletter's photo has twice as many students as our previous newsletter. That is because we just added twelve new, bright students to the EFC program! 
In July, we went to Phnom Penh and interviewed 21 of the candidates who applied for EFC, and we selected twelve to join our program. Their majors range from math, physics, biology and chemistry to international business management, environmental science, Khmer literature and psychology. They are all starting their second year of university this month and, like the twelve students from our first group, all come from poor rural families. We are very excited about our new students! 
We also had a chance to spend time with our first group of twelve students, and are happy to see how much progress they have made since we last saw them in February. They are all now starting their third year of university.
There were also several meetings and classes with both groups of students, and it was amazing to see how quickly the groups merged and formed into an expanded sisterhood. The older students each immediately paired up with one of the new students, promising to help them any way that they can. It was so nice to see!
Lastly, for those of you who counted, yes, there are only 22 students in the photo above. Two from EFC's first group of students were doing volunteer work in the provinces the day the photo was taken. You can see photos of all our students here.

Sponsors needed!
Would you like to be a sponsor for one of our new students? Being a sponsor involves an annual contribution of $1,200 ($100/month can be automatically charged to your credit card) and corresponding with the student once per month. The young women are very eager to practice their English and interested in learning about other cultures. Writing an e-mail is not much of a commitment -- only a few lines about you or your family, what you eat for breakfast, what holiday traditions you have, or whatever else is on your mind. The students LOVE getting the e-mails, and it is a great way of building a connection with the young woman whose life you are changing.
To become a sponsor, just click here or contact us!

English Program at Royal University of Phnom Penh
The EFC students have very different levels of English, especially when they first enter the program. Our first generation of students are at four different levels, and the new students are at four completely different levels! Because of this, it is not practical for EFC to operate its own English program. Instead, EFC pays for its students to study at the English Language Program (ELP) offered by the Royal University of Phnom Penh. The students study at the ELP five evenings per week for 1.5 hours each day, and they must pass exams to move to the next level.  In July, the ELP program had a special Summer Course that our students attended in addition to their normal English classes, adding an additional two hours of English training to each day.
English is essential for any professional in Cambodia today, and for students who hope to study abroad one day, top English skills are essential. That is why we have the EFC students study as much English as possible, and also arrange for volunteer native speakers to serve as tutors.


Roatny's story 

Roatny is one of the four math students from EFC's first generation of students. Math is a serious and tough subject, but Roatny -- a charming young woman with a great smile -- is up for the challenge. She is 22-years-old and comes from Kampot province, which is in southwest Cambodia, edging onto the Gulf of Thailand. Her parents were both farmers, but her father passed away in late 2015. His many years of illness were hard on the family and their five children, but because Roatny was a very gifted student her family allowed her to continue her studies.
Roatny works incredibly hard at school and it shows in her grades. She also does well in her English and computer classes. Roatny dreams of becoming a university professor one day, and later in life she plans to create an organization in her village that lets poor students learn for free. Roatny knows what it is like to be poor, and she wants to help others who would otherwise grow up the way she did.

Welcome to Phallin!
Phallin is actually not new to EFC, she has been an advisor since July 2015. But with Davy's departure to study in the U.S., Phallin has taken on a more active role. Together with Savry (see the panel to the right), Phallin runs the Sunday leadership classes and is one of our two key people on the ground.  
Phallin started out much like the women Education First Cambodia helps. She grew up poor in a rural area, and struggled when she first came to university in Phnom Penh. She knows firsthand the challenges that Education First Cambodia’s Women Scholars face. 
Phallin has a great background as an English teacher at the highly regarded Australian Centre for Education in Phnom Penh, and is currently working full-time as a learning facilitator and recruitment specialist at an innovative education center. Phallin brings a great deal of experience and skill to EFC, and we are fortunate to have her work with us. 
Thanks, Vivi!
We hope that, like us, you like the EFC logo. It was designed by Vivi Linnemann, an accomplished artist and good friend. Check out Vivi's work at:
Welcome to Savry! 
Like Phallin, Savry started out much like the Women Scholars helped by Education First Cambodia -- she was raised in a poor rural family and came alone to Phnom Penh to attend university.
But Savry was able to thrive, getting her Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and then a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship from University of Lille. Savry also received extensive leadership training while an undergraduate. 
Savry is now a Certified Public Accountant working for the Clinton Global Health Initiative, and serves as its Finance and Human Resources Administrator in Cambodia. Savry is an excellent role model for the Women Scholars and a great addition to EFC! 
The Sunday classes are planned by Phallin and Savry, and focus on building leadership skills, critical thinking and analytical skills, often using current events as the basis for discussions. We also have occasional guest speakers, typically women who through hard work and good education have done well in their careers.  
Our next newsletter will describe the "Money Minded" course on financial literacy that will be provided for our students for free by the largest international bank in Cambodia, ANZ Royal Bank.
We welcome your donations!

You can easily donate here, or you can send a check to: 
Education First Cambodia
25 South 40 Dock
Sausalito, CA 94965

We are a 501c3 organization!

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Education First Cambodia · 25 South 40 Dock · Sausalito, CA 94965 · USA

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