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Education is knowledge, and knowledge cannot be stolen

Education is knowledge, and knowledge cannot be stolen

I write this update having just returned from two weeks spent in Cambodia with Oaktree's International Engagement team.

One of the highlights of the trip was seeing our International Engagement team in action when visiting our project partners. Oaktree’s partnership manager for our Beacon Schools Initiative (BSI) project, Kim joined Oaktree on our first ever Roadtrip as a high school student in 2005. Since then, she’s developed a strong expertise in the field, working in monitoring and evaluation for Oxfam, on top of volunteering at Oaktree.

The partnership evaluation I witnessed over the week we spent with our implementing partner KAPE was one consistent with best practice, adding great value to the work of KAPE, and to Oaktree.

Oaktree enables young leaders, like Kim, to continue be equipped with the skills needed to lead the movement to end extreme poverty, and assist our partners in executing excellent, sustainable and life changing development work.

I also had the privilege of attending a meeting with Cambodia's Education Minister, Dr Hang Chuon Naron and our partner KAPE. KAPE's model of education, supported by Oaktree in the Beacon Schools Initiative, has been so successful that it has captured the Minister's attention. 

During our meeting, he outlined his plans for implementing the learnings from the KAPE model across Cambodia. The Minister's vision for policy reform, informed by KAPE and supported by Oaktree, has the potential to significantly impact the landscape of education across a country where the education system was decimated 40 years ago by the Khmer Rouge.

Currently, only 30-40% of youth receive a high school education, making KAPE's work and the Minister's commitment particularly significant. This struck home when meeting with parents involved in KAPE's education. The value they place on their children's education is immense, with one mother telling me, "education is knowledge, and knowledge cannot be stolen."  It was a humbling experience.

The enormity of the Minister's vision and reform agenda is hugely exciting. At Oaktree, our mission is "young people leading the movement to end extreme poverty." Partnering with local organisation's like KAPE, is one way we live out this mission. It's a privilege to be a partner in such systemic, movement building work.

Chris is Oaktree's CEO

Want to know more? Check out our overseas impact work.