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Supporting education since 2010

Today’s Cambodia is influenced by a recent history in which educational institutions and resources were destroyed, and educators and the educated massacred during the Khmer Rouge in the 1970’s. As a result, the public education system has had to rebuild from scratch.

Though all Cambodian children have a right to free basic education by law, a huge gap exists between the rhetoric and the reality. Students face numerous barriers to accessing school, and education is often low quality, particularly in remote areas. As well as formal schooling, Cambodian youth have little access to practical skills training opportunities, both due to a lack of finances and the low number of local training institutions. Cambodia has a large youth population, with 30% of the population aged 10-24.

As a result of these complex factors, we believe that the biggest impact Oaktree can make is by supporting local organisations to eradicate financial barriers in accessing quality education for young people.


Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE)

KAPE is the largest local education NGO in Cambodia, influencing over 150,000 children at 300 schools across 11 provinces at the primary, secondary and tertiary level. KAPE’s mission is: “To work with government, community and other stakeholders, to empower vulnerable children and youth to achieve their own right to a quality education through innovative approaches.”

Oaktree supported KAPE to implement two projects: the Beacon Schools Initiative (BSI)  and the Girls Education Initiative (GEI).

(Current project): The Girls Education Initiative (GEI):

  • Type of partner: funded project
  • Implementing partner: KAPE
  • Location: Kampong Cham province, Cambodia.
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Focus: secondary and tertiary education

GEI aims to promote opportunities for girls living in rural areas. GEI works across 12 Secondary Schools in Kampong Cham Province, and throughout a number of tertiary institutions in Kampong Cham Province and Thailand, where girls are particularly vulnerable to child labour and unsafe migration. The initiative hopes to support vulnerable youth, particularly girls, to receive secondary level education and opportunities for tertiary level education through the provision of scholarships. In addition, GEI provides livelihood skills and support to the families of students facing financial barriers to accessing education, and also runs outreach activities to enhance community awareness of the rights of children and the importance of girls education.

(Completed project): The Beacon Schools Initiative (BSI):

  • Type of partner: Funded
  • Implementing organisation: KAPE
  • Location: Kampong Cham province, Cambodia
  • Duration: 3 years, with 2 year extension
  • Focus: Formal secondary education

 BSI has worked to transform three public secondary schools in rural Kampong Cham into ‘beacons’ or models of innovation, for other schools in Cambodia to replicate. Through scholarships, teacher training, science labs, computer labs, bio-gardens, life skills, student councils, effective school management and community participation the three schools have made huge gains in shifting away from traditional rote learning to fostering teacher and student leadership and engagement. KAPE have worked with district, provincial and national levels of government to implement BSI as they recognise the need to influence systemic change and lift standards within the Cambodian public education sector.


Puthi Komar Organisation (PKO)

Puthi Komar Organisation is a local NGO working in Battambang, in northern Cambodia. PKO works to empower young Cambodians through education and practical training. Oaktree supported PKO in their largest project so far, Young People for Development (YPfD). 

(Completed project): Young People for Development (YPfD):

  • Type of partner: funded
  • Implementing partner: PKO
  • Location: Battambang, Cambodia.
  • Duration: 3.5 years
  • supports formal education at a secondary and tertiary level

YPfD offers formal education opportunities for disadvantaged students through comprehensive and multi-level scholarship provision. The project supports vulnerable youth through scholarship support in high school, at university, and at teacher training centres. YPfD promotes healthy development and positive learning through its unique Resource Centre. The Resource Centre provides informal learning opportunities to youth, practical skills training courses, and a space of simultaneous recreation and learning.


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