Professional Development and Higher Education Scholarship Program: Building a Brighter Future
Project location: CAMBODIA
Project start date: August 2009 - Project end date: December 2009
Project number: 2009-52
Beneficiary: Global Children
In 2002 Global Children accepted its first group of ten students into the Building a Brighter Future Program, followed by a second group of eight students in 2006 and one student in 2008.
The success of this project is evident through the personal accomplishments of each individual student and by the addition of educated Cambodian nationals to the professional workforce. All ten of 2002 group now have Bachelors Degrees and are successfully employed. Six of these students have moved into their own homes. Four of them continue to live at the Global Children student house and two of those four are working for Global Children. The Building a Brighter Future Program helped the students complete their higher education, instilled a strong work ethic in them and supported their already generous nature. This initial group of students is now self-sufficient and capable of leading a new generation of young Cambodians. They are the generation that will begin to re-build infrastructure and will work towards curtailing corruption in Cambodia. They will most importantly be equipped with the tools to lead the next generation to a more peaceful and productive future.
The project’s goals are being achieved through a scholarship, internship and mentoring strategy. This approach allows these students to complete higher education and gain necessary skills and experiences for professional/technical employment.
The Khmer Rouge persecutions that ended in 1979 destroyed Cambodia's professional, artistic and educated population leaving “only several hundred people in the entire country with a higher education.” With 90 percent of educated people gone persistent poverty and a lack of social support has compounded the problem and prevents candidates from receiving higher education.
This program provides higher education opportunities empowering the students and increasing the number of Cambodian nationals in professional and technical positions.
The Nando Peretti Foundation's philosophy of empowering and providing opportunity to young adults through higher education is accomplished through the Building a Brighter Future Program.
Global Children provides full University scholarships to the students allowing them to obtain a Bachelors Degree through a four or five year program. There are no limitations on their field of study. Currently, the student demographic consists of 4 young women and 5 young men all from low socio-economic backgrounds from various provinces in Cambodia. The current students are pursuing the following degrees: Business, Information Technology, English Literature, Economics and Medicine.
Global Children encourages each student to find an internship within their field of study to add a hands on element to their learning and living experience. This internship component to the Building a Brighter Future Program creates a holistic educational opportunity. Currently, five of our nine students work part time in addition to their studies.
In the absence of parental or family support these students need an especially supportive “home” environment that is conducive to their academic and social development. The students currently live together in the Global Children Student House in Phnom Penh, which is overseen by a house supervisor who acts as a mentor, friend and project supervisor. The role of the House Supervisor is to mentor through monitoring, leading, and supporting the students. It is vital this person relate well to, understand and represent them. Global Children's current House Supervisor, Hun Sarath, was himself one of the first students in 2002 cycle who graduated with a Bachelors Degree and was the first student to gain employment in his field of study after graduation. Global Children felt it vital that its staff come from the communities it works in - young adults who have endured the financial, social, emotional or familial hardships and worked hard to accomplish educational and personal goals. Sarath, positively fills the role of mentor and leader. The students themselves have formed a family of their own and share in each other's successes and hardships.
The Nando Peretti Foundation awarded a grant for Building a Brighter Future Program to achieve the following goals.
1) To provide opportunity to the students in our program to receive a higher education and obtain a bachelor's degree
2) To increase the number of Cambodian nationals in professional and technical positions. The project’s goals are being achieved through a scholarship, internship and mentoring strategy. This approach allows these students to complete higher education and gain necessary skills and experiences for professional/technical employment and empowers them positively impacting their lives and that of future generations.