Cambodia High School

Working together to change the odds.

Open Tabs

The project

Sponsor 19 at-risk children, grades 10-12, to stay in high school, prepare for university, and have a shot at becoming leaders in their communities.


CFI serves some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in Cambodia through access to quality education and well-being programs. We operate our programs out of our Learning Center in rural Northwest Cambodia, located in a community outside of Battambang city (Battambang is located near the Cambodia-Thai border).

The children that CFI serves come from uneducated and impoverished families, many of which are affected by domestic violence, alcoholism, and gambling addictions. Many also come from migrant families that don’t own land or a home, and are constantly looking for work as laborers. Without a functional safety net in place, many children’s basic needs are not being met. Many are malnourished, sick from preventable diseases, and living in unsanitary and unsafe conditions. The desperation of their situation puts them at high risk of becoming victims of child labor, human trafficking, and prostitution.

When children drop out of school, many of them leave their communities and crossing illegally into Thailand. Often they are deceived and taken across the border by traffickers with false promises of high paying jobs. Other times, children are pressured by neighbors, or even family members, to search for work to support the family. In either case, the risk to the children’s security and wellbeing increases significantly. They are without a passport, they don’t know the language, and they lack any form of safety net. Children quickly become easy targets for exploitation as sex slaves or forced child laborers, often moved around Thailand or even to other countries around the world.

Although our first priority is the health and safety of the children, we recognize the critical importance of education in providing them opportunities for a self-sustaining future. Our goal is for all of our students to achieve the highest level of education possible based on their individual situations and abilities.

Problem Statment

Cambodia’s public schools are not adequately educating the demographic of children that CFI serves. Cambodia’s poorest students face challenges that prevent them from attending school, including discrimination, verbal abuse and teacher demands for bribes. The lack of support from home further discourages their attendance. The problem is exacerbated as students enter into higher grade levels, when teachers demand more money and children face increasing pressures at home to work and support the family.

Project proposal

The proposed pilot program will send 19 CFI students – 16 girls and 3 boys, in grades 10, 11, 12, to Dewey International for their Khmer (Cambodian) schooling. Dewey is an accredited private secondary school in Battambang city, which is located 8km from CFI’s Learning Center. The program will support the children to study at Dewey through their high school graduation after year 12. continue with their studies in university.

The students will not only receive a significantly better Khmer curriculum education at Dewey International, but they will also benefit by having significantly more time to participate in the CFI community and attend enrichment classes at CFI’s learning center in the afternoons. With a well-rounded education the students will be well prepared to continue with their studies in university.


Thirty-five years ago Cambodia suffered one of the worst genocides in recorded history. The educated population was targeted in an attempt by the Khmer Rouge to create a classless society. Teachers, doctors, engineers and religious leaders were killed. Today the country is still struggling to recover. An educated population is key to the successful rebuilding and development of the country.

“Unofficially”, the public school crisis is widely recognized as a major impediment to recovery. If CFI can prove this program model to be successful, we anticipate that future program funding will become available by informed donors who are looking for ways to overcome Cambodia’s education deficit.

CFI is unique in that we are committed to serving all of the many needs of the children in our target community. In order to accomplish this, we depend on the contributions of various partners to support individual components of our comprehensive programs.

Rotary's Investment through Help for Hope

The Nyon Rotary Club will conduct several actions in 2013 to support the project!

A huge thank you to the Rotary Club of Nyon for making this project possible and therefore allow 19 young people to be students again!

  • January 2014



Every student is bright and motivated to study.

Every student is bright and motivated to study. Very determined and eager to succeed.



Your support matters!

None of these young boys and girls would be in school today without your support! They are grateful no to be working in highly dangerous jobs and away from home.


CFI serves some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in Cambodia through access to quality education and well-being programs."

Jenny Ciucci