Savong Foundation Annual Report 2015

published by PhilSavong

Want to create a visual like this?

Get Started
501(c)(3) non profit for Cambodia
Phil Caldwell CEO Amelia Yim Treasurer Eddie Lamborn  Scholarship Manager Brandi Jackson  Secretary
I remember when I first traveled to Cambodia to visit and photograph the temples of northern Cambodia.  I was determined to do more than the typical tourist so I searched online for volunteer opportunities in Cambodia and came across Savong and his English language school.  Despite being in Siem Reap for a relatively short period of time, I managed to meet with Savong, visit the school and even take a trip out to the countryside to visit with an entire village who needed help because they had no clean water to drink.  This short trip changed my life and I don’t think there is any question that it changed a lot of other lives too.  I returned year after year to Cambodia –first to do water projects and then switching to education projects and in May of 2011, the Savong Foundation officially became a 501(c)(3) non profit focused on supporting and empowering young Cambodians.   I’m very proud of what the Savong Foundation has achieved for its students and their families.  We work very hard to find hard working students who come from very impoverished backgrounds and give them scholarships to high quality private institutions.  For our high school students, we support them at the Future Bright International School.  This school has raised the standard for education in Siem Reap and when our students tell us that they find the curriculum challenging, I think that’s a good thing!  We receive daily attendance and monthly test scores so we are better able to track our students and make sure that they are not slipping with their studies.  For university, we support students at Build Bright University as well as University of SouthEast Asia and in the future, we hope to support our graduates at universities in Phnom Penh.  We also provide some of our best students with supplemental English instruction at BELS English school, another private institution where native English speakers teach the language.  Proficiency in English is extremely important for a good career so this tuition money is being well spent.   In 2015, we supported 27 students.  While this may not seem like a lot compared to other programs, the Savong Foundation treats every student as an individual and we encourage our students to be the best that they can be and we do everything possible to help them achieve this.  Our Scholarship Manager, Rathana, meets with our students at least once a month to help motivate them and address any concerns and I personally know all our students and keep a very close eye on how they are doing.  Nevertheless, we have told them that our support is not unconditional; we have high expectations and if they don’t meet them either by skipping classes or failing courses, then their scholarship can be terminated.  As we enter the 2015-2016 school year, I have been very pleased with how hard working our students are and it’s incredibly exciting to hear that our students have goals of being doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, IT specialists and business owners.  Without the Savong Foudation, these same students could have spent their entire lives in rice fields or menial labor or forced marriages.   Our students do a lot of hard work and the Savong Foundation board members do their share but it’s really the donors that make all the magic happen.  We are so thankful for the continued support, year after year and we promise that we will do everything we can to stretch every donated dollar as far as possible; the board members are all volunteer, they pay all their travel expenses, we only have two paid staff salaries and we minimize money transaction fees.  In 2015, over 98% of all the public money went towards our programs which gives us a high ranking among non profits.  That’s how much we value your support!   These are exciting times for our students and we are passionate about helping them achieve their professional goals.  I hope you continue to join us on this wonderful journey.   Sincerely, Phil Caldwell CEO Savong Foundation
"it’s incredibly exciting to hear that our students have goals of being doctors, nurses, teachers, lawyers, IT specialists and business owners."
Phil Caldwell CEO
Our mission is to support and empower underprivileged students in northern Cambodia by providing them with education, shelter and healthcare.  
We accomplish our goals through three main projects:  
Scholarships Program
The Savong Student Center
We believe in giving our students the best quality education that we can find.  
We treat every student as an individual and encourage them to pursue their own dreams and goals.
We are not a "charity"; we provide our students with  opportunities but we expect them to work hard for themselves and their families in return.  
Student Water Pump Project
We provide either full scholarships (includes accommodation, food, tuition and health services) or outreach scholarships (tuiion and a bike only).  
A home for those students who need a place to live in Siem Reap so that they can study at the better schools in town.  
Students build pumps and provide ceramic filters for those families that need clean water in the Siem Reap area.  
Graduates from Grade 9
Graduates from High School
Students in Grades 6 to 12
Students in University
Over 98% of your donations went directly towards supporting our education and community programs!
Total Contributions
"It's funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope."
Dr. Steve Maraboli, Unapogetically You:  Reflections on Life and the Human Experience
KimSan is well known to many of our visitors to Cambodia thanks to her friendly outgoing spirit and her constant desire to improve herself.  She comes from a very poor town close to the Thai/Cambodian border and her mother wasn’t able to send her to school because there wasn’t enough money for it.  She met Savong who took her to the SOC Children’s Home where she was given a place to live so she could attend the local government school.  We recognized how ambitious KimSan was and we decided to support her to stay in Siem Reap where she now attends the Build Bright University.  This year she completed her Associate’s Degree and is entering into the Bachelor’s Program.  She teaches English at the Happy Sunshine Organization and would like to teach English literature as a career.  
We didn't look for Cheat ... he came looking for us!  He found Duncan Stuart (from the Savong School) on the internet when he realized that there were better educational opportunities in Siem Reap which weren't possible in his small village.  Duncan arranged for him to stay at the SOC Children's Home until we offered him a scholarship to stay at the Savong Student Center and attend Future Bright International School.  Cheat is at the top of his class and has been our Student Manager of the Student Center for two years in a row.  This year he is in Grade 12 and next year, he hopes to study Marketing in Phnom Penh and possibly get an international scholarship to study abroad.  
Krouch has been part of the Savong Family for many years.  I first met her as a happy but shy girl at the SOC Children's Home where she lived because her parents could not afford to look after her and send her to school.  We gave her a full scholarship to live in Siem Reap and attend the Future Bright International School and she has matured into a confident young woman who never seems to stop smiling!  We put her in the position of Student Manager for the other young scholarship women and she reports back to us about how they are doing.  Krouch recently graduated from Grade 9 and she hopes to go to university in Siem Reap and study teaching.  
Since we are a grassroots non profit, we rely on even the smallest donations to make our programs a success. However, even small non profits can dare to dream and these are the dreams that we hope to turn into a reality for the upcoming year.  Can you help?  
Extra English classes at BELS
Cost:  $50/month
Learning English is an essential skill for our students and this school excels at providing language instruction from native English speakers.  We currently have a wait list for those students who would love to attend this school.  
University Scholarships in Phnom Penh
Cost:  $125/month
We have four students who wish to study in Phnom Penh next year to pursue advanced degrees.  Three of them are young women wish to study to become medical doctors which  couldn't make us any happier!  We need to start looking for these funds as soon as possible so that we can be sure that at least their tuitions are covered.  
Student Water Pump Project
Cost:  $258/pump and filter
Our students love giving back to the community and this is one way that you can be involved too.  Under the supervision of our Outreach Student Manager, Orong, the students build a pump which brings clean and purified water to a family in the countryside who either does not have access to fresh water or has to travel a long way to get it.  
Laptop computers
Cost:  $250  to $450/computer
The Savong Student Center has a computer room where our scholarship students get access to computers as well as supplemental computer instruction.  We need an additional two computers which can either be bought in Cambodia (more expensive but helps the local economy) or bought overseas (cheaper and better selection).  We are certainly open to anyone offering a donation of a used computer too!  
Solar panels at Savong Student Center
Cost:  $2000 +
The cost of electricity at the Savong Student Center is expensive and we are looking for  ways to reduce this cost and find something that is sustainable and environmentally friendly for the future.  With plenty of sunshine in Cambodia, solar is the answer.
Nearly five years ago, we were excited about getting a $20 donation and we still are!  It's true that we make every donation go as far as possible but it costs a lot of money to provide full scholarships, run a student center, operate a computer lab, send our students to the best schools and employ the people to make all this happen.  We are so thankful for the ongoing support that we have received and we look forward to your support for the years to come.  
Individual donors
Through our scholarship program, we pair up a student with a donor (or donors).  These donors give us a yearly lump sum or donate every month.  The students communicate to their donors (via the Savong Foundation) every three months through letters that they write.  
Corporate donors
We are always looking for supporters who would love to help our students and since the Savong Foundation is a 501(c)(3), your contributions are tax deductible in the United States.  
We are very thankful to iHerb for their continued generosity.  They are the official sponsors of the Savong Student Center and they also sponsor several of our students.  
LUSH got off our Student Water Pump Project to a great start!  They have provided the funding to build over 30 pumps in the community.  
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Total contributions for 2015  $68,828
All travel expenses and some management/general expenses were covered by board member contributions.  
Over 98% of 2015 public contributions went to program expenses.  
We are very proud of our gold-level GuideStar participant award which means that we are committed to transparency!