What Your Gift Will Do
Your gift will support children living in poverty in Cambodia receive education and build a better future.
There are thousands of children in Cambodia living in dire conditions in slum areas facing overwhelming challenges in their quest to get an education and a chance for a better future. EYC works in four urban-poor areas, and together with the community, empower these vulnerable young people through education, mentoring and direct support. The needs of these children are vast, and EYC provides a variety of programs to develop their skills, self-confidence and self-reliance, including English and computers lessons, leadership programs, scholarships, sports, health services and community development. Our community centers are run using local skills and basic ideas that work, and over half of our staff members are former students.
In 2005, Drew McDowell visited a slum area in Cambodia. What he experienced stuck with him; wonderful, bright children living in squalor. He returned to volunteer in 2006 after fundraising from his friends and family. Upon arriving he became involved with a school that was about to close, and Drew met a dynamic local English teacher who became the teacher and manager. Drew continued to fundraise and helped grow operations, supporting the local team to open a total of four schools and start new programs. In 2016, Drew moved back to the United States with his family.
EYC is extremely fortunate to have Delphine Vann assume the leadership role for the organization. Delphine has deep roots in Cambodia, her father’s home country. As a little girl, when the war broke out in Cambodia, she and her family were able to escape to find refuge in Switzerland, her mother’ country. The urge to “return to Cambodia to help” inspired Delphine in building a career as a humanitarian professional working in war torn areas, including Bosnia, Rwanda and Colombia, returning to Cambodia in 2001.
After fifteen years, Delphine’s conclusion is that Cambodia’s development lies in the hands of its youth. Empowering the youth to become good leaders will bring the country forward, and so she dedicates herself to developing programs such as EYC, coaching young leaders and raising funds for the programs, to enable those who have the potential to work towards a better future for themselves, their family and their community.
Through EYC she sees many students are going beyond breaking the cycle of poverty – they are flourishing in careers and making an impact toward the development of their country. Children who were living in poverty with little access to resources have become symbols of success, and your support will continue to provide those opportunities for more children.
Jodi and Synoeun are co-champions supporting EYC. Synoeun grew up in Phnom Penh. After leaving school at the age of 16 to work in a garment factory, she began attending classes at one of the schools run by EYC. Her teachers quickly realized her potential and through EYC support she was able to go back to high school. She finished at the top of her class and continued to university where she spent a year at Bridgewater University in Boston on an exchange program. She has a degree in media and communications and currently has a key leadership position for EYC. Jodi has worked with EYC since 2010. She has traveled to Cambodia to volunteer in leadership support of the staff, and she is the Chair of their Board of Directors. She has seen firsthand the confidence that comes through the education, leadership and sports programs as well as the desire of the students to give back to EYC, their communities, and country.