You're viewing an archived version of this project. Please visit the new Big Give site to find current fundraising campaigns.

Project information

Help children reach high school in rural Cambodia

Breaking the circle of poverty by providing access to high school education to 75 children from rural Cambodia where 70% of children drop out at the end of primary school.
The children receive accomodation, complementary courses, self-development and orientation workshops. The success rate is 100%.

October 2018 - September 2019

Charity information: Children Of The Mekong

Children Of The Mekong logo
  • Need


    In remote Northwest Cambodia, lower attainment at secondary school is due to a lack of educational resources and the limited finances of local families. The situation is acute in Samrong province, where there are only 36 secondary schools compared to 210 primary schools. 45.7% of the population in the region is defined as poor and many children discontinue their education to help support their families, often engaging in subsistence farming or illegal work across the Thai border.


    Opened in 2006, our education centre in Samrong aims to give 75 disadvantaged children the chance to: 1) pursue a secondary or high school degree, which would not be possible without the centre. We provide free courses that supplement regular school which helps to make up for the low-attainment levels 2) prepare for higher education at a university or through vocational training, and 3) shape responsible, well-rounded individuals to become actively involved in, and contribute to society.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Give underprivileged children from rural Cambodia the chance to pursue a high school degree.


    » Provide 4,600 hours of free supplementary courses led by 13 teachers in our centre as the system of compulsory tution favours those who can afford it.
    » Provide social support and monitoring of the children and their families to ensure they keep their motivation for school.
    » Provide accommodation and food in 4 foster houses, as well as medical support to the 75 children.

    What success will look like

    Through indicators such as the students' success rate in their baccalaureate, honours received, the drop out rate, the hours of courses provided, results in the centre's exams etc.

    Aim 2

    Prepare for higher education at a University or through vocational training


    » Provide a University forum, a vocational training forum and a job forum to inform and inspire them about the various options for their future.
    » Train students on new organic techniques to maintain vegetable gardens and paddy fields so they can apply them on their parents' farms.

    What success will look like

    Through indicators such as the number of children attending orientation forums, % of students continuing further education, the quantity of rice and vegetables harvested etc.

    Aim 3

    Shape responsible, well-rounded individuals to become actively involved in society.


    » Provide self-development activities such as outdoor games, dance classes, workshops on health, hygiene, environment, creative writing and more.
    » Encourage teamwork through regular household chores and tutoring activities in the centre to encourage the young people to be involved in society.

    What success will look like

    Through qualitative criteria such as the behaviour of the students living in the centre, success stories, the relationship between the students and the social workers.

  • Impact


    Our project will help break the circle of poverty for underprivileged chidren from rural Cambodia by providing them access to high school education, orientation on options for further education and by shaping well-rounded individuals.
    Our impact is demonstrated in academic achievements, academic advancement, and the self-development of the children.


    Political instability following national elections in July 2018 could impact our operations. We mitigate the risks by maintaining a close relationship with local authorities and also by closing the centre during the summer vacations.

    Natural disasters such as drought could also have a dire impact. We have developed a large pond in the centre and another one near the paddy field to mitigate the risk of drought and to have water all year long.


    Monitoring and Evaluation Reports detailing the results will be published on our website, and shared with donors. We will also share pictures and videos periodically. Field visits are welcomed.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £57,522

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £14,624 Education Providing complementary eduction to 175 children (teachers' salaries, library, computer room, classr
      £3,953 Self-development activities Self-development activities (sports, workshops, field trips, vegetable garden and paddy)
      £20,553 Accomodation Welcome 75 children in 4 boarding houses (accommodation, meals, cook’s salary)
      £12,219 Social Monitoring Social monitoring (direct help to families, including social workers’ salaries)
      £945 Healthcare Healthcare for children in the centre
      £1,465 Local admin Local administration costs (utility bills, stationary, translations)
      £3,763 M&E M&E and impact assessment related costs 7%

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Grants from Trusts and Foundations £14,783 Guaranteed
    Local income (bank interest and rice from the paddy) £1,835 Guaranteed
    Child sponsorship funds £25,460 Guaranteed
  • Background


    Samrong is the capital city of Otdar Meanchey province (‘OM’), located in remote Northwest Cambodia. The province was the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge and is the most landmine-ridden area of Cambodia. Educational opportunities for children are severely limited and the enrolement rate drops dramatically in later years. E.g. In 2015-2016, 36,315 children enrolled at primary school but only 4,829 continued their high school education (Source: Ministry of education report 2015-2016)


    75 children from rural province of Otdar Meanchey in Cambodia. 55% are girls, aged 12 to 20 years old.
    95% of their parents are farmers.
    75% of their families have a monhtly income less than $80 and 99% of them are in debt.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Children of the Mekong has operated in Cambodia since 1991, working closely with the authorities at the provincial level and with the Ministry of Education since 2002.
    We have been running education centres for more than 15 years, and Samrong was opened in 2006.
    Impact reports show that in addition to emphasis on academic excellence, our human-centred holistic approach shapes inviduals to become potential leaders of their country.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.



    Social worker since the start of the centre in 2006, she is the living memory of the centre and the aunty the children cherish greatly.


    Previous sponsored child from the province, he went for a bachelor in Phnom Penh and came back to the centre to give back to his community.

    Vincent And Segolene

    French couple, overseas volunteers, in Samrong for one year to coordinate the centre. Their energy and care for the children are boundless.