Devi is a Year 11 student in the Kampong Cham province, Cambodia. The youngest of three siblings, he lives with his single mother, a rice farmer, and his older sister, who works in a shoe factory. Devi’s mother passionately encourages his education; believing that only this will enable Devi to improve his employment opportunities and live the fulfilled life she envisages for him.
Like Devi’s mother, Oaktree believes in the potential of education to empower young men and women to make their own change and break the cycle of poverty. We turn this belief into action by providing funds to Cambodia’s largest local education NGO Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE) for their Girls Education Initiative (GEI) scholarship program.
GEI supports youth, particularly girls, to receive secondary and tertiary education in Cambodia and Thailand through scholarships. But KAPE provides much more than just money: their involvement in the lives of kids like Devi is holistic and long-term.
Devi is passionate about his education. While his mum sets aside time for him to study each day, he is a model student. He counts completing his homework and reviewing his lessons from that day at school as hobbies, alongside drawing cars, listening to Khmer music and playing soccer. When he is at school, indeed, Devi finds it easy to learn his favourite subjects: maths, chemistry and science. He likes the school’s structure and environment: its rules and punctual, professional staff. When he graduates from secondary school with the help of KAPE’s scholarship, he plans to attend university in Phnom Penh and become an electrical engineer. Devi hopes that following this passion will enable him to improve both his family’s living situation and contribute to Cambodia’s development as a whole.
Oaktree supports projects like GEI that have huge potential to influence change on a larger scale. Even small impacts contribute to Devi’s ability to make a difference in his own life and thus his wider community: like the chickens provided to Devi’s home by KAPE’s livelihoods program, or the bicycle and helmet he uses to make his 2km journey to and from school each day easier.
On a deeper level, Devi believes that KAPE’s scholarship motivates him to study even harder, and will continue to help him achieve his goal of becoming an electrical engineer. Oaktree is proud to support KAPE’s goal of leading hard-working young people like Devi to empower themselves and one day transform the future of communities far beyond their own backyards.