Who We Are 2018-03-01T15:13:36+00:00

Our Story

Shine Cambodia Incorporated was established in Otres in April 2016 in response to Painting Smiles English School closing down. This closure inspired Suzanne Wright, who had managed Painting Smiles from 2013-2015, to start again with a new vision: To create a holistic centre to offer children in poverty a bright future.

With a classroom donated by Painting Smiles and 20 eager students, Suzanne and Piseth Sen Neary, the Cambodian teacher, became Shine Cambodia.

From April – October 2016, Shine provided 2 hours a day of free English lessons (one hour to each ability level), health and hygiene classes, and occasional programmes of art and environmental awareness.

In October 2016, Suzanne returned to Cambodia, now a resident in Australia, with a sustainability plan. She conducted a needs analysis with community leaders to ensure that the holistic services offered are those actually needed by the community and the vision became clear.

The word spread.

Shine Cambodia opened its temporary doors (using borrowed classrooms) and 80 students enrolled with more than 40 children waiting to enrol!

In 2017, Shine Cambodia provided structured programs and services to over 90 students and their families.

This is just the start of our incredible challenge…and we need your help.

Shine’s Curriculum

We offer supplementary education, complementing children’s state school curriculum.

The main subjects are:

  • Khmer (Cambodian language:  reading, writing and speaking)
  • English
  • Health and Hygiene
  • Sport
  • Yoga

We are also already teaching Art and Environmental Awareness and as the curriculum develops we will include Mathematics and other subjects in time.

We currently employ mainly Cambodian staff and will ensure that the staffing structure remains over 90% Cambodian. We are also very lucky to have the support of Western volunteers who live in Otres and teaching volunteers from across the World who enrich our curriculum with their experience.

Our Team

Suzanne Wright
Suzanne WrightFounder and CEO
Suzanne has been a teacher for two decades, teaching children in the UK, Asia and Australia. It is her absolute passion. She was deeply touched by the people of Cambodia while working there and knew her teaching skills could help so many families desperate for education and social support. Suzanne’s vision is to create a sustainable education and support service for the children and families of Otres and she has dedicated her future to helping theirs.
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Piseth Sen Neary
Piseth Sen NearyHead Teacher
Piseth is a fantastic educator who has worked with the children of Otres for 2.5 years. He began teaching in 2002 and has many years of experience working with not-for-profit organisations in Cambodia. Piseth lives locally and helps engage with the families and also other Cambodian teachers. He is extremely dedicated to the children and families of Otres and we are excited that he is our head of staff and curriculum development.
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Addressing a Need

Many students are illiterate in their native language, Khmer, although they may be able to speak English. Cambodian people see English as important because it leads to work in the tourist industry. However, without literacy in Khmer, most careers are not an option.

The state school opens for 3 hours a day and only a few families can afford to send their children to private school in the afternoon. Even free public schools often incur costs for the uniform, equipments and tests which make it unattainable for a vast proportion of rural families.

To address this issue, Shine Cambodia has increased its school hours to 3 hours per afternoon and has expanded the curriculum to include Khmer. This gives poor vulnerable households the chance to send their children to school so they can learn and thrive, opening many more doors for them as they grow up.

Connect with us

Fundraise, donate, spread the word, follow our journey, teach, volunteer…

We need your help and can’t wait for you to join us on this incredible journey!