Hello from Cambodia!

Happy New Year and we hope that 2023 will be a great year for you.

We have been very busy at Shine with the new school year starting at the beginning of January. We now have 110 students enrolled (with many more on the waiting list).

This year all places at Shine were snapped up in just 2 days. This is a new record for us. Normally the enrolment process can take up to 2 weeks to fill all our class quotas.

This is testament to how respected Shine is in the community and how keen parents are to secure a place at Shine for their children.

Students must attend state school, which is around 2 hours a day. Shine then tops up education through teaching supplementary Khmer and mathematics and teaches additional English lessons. We also provide school lunches to students.

This way students receive a full days quality education, a safe place to spend time whilst their parents work, a healthy lunch, school supplies and community support.

We welcomed 21 new grade 1 students starting school for the first time. They have settled in well and can already recite the English alphabet after only 3 weeks! 

Primary school graduation

Primary school in Cambodia is grade 1 to grade 6. We were delighted when all grade 6 students passed their secondary school exams in November and have now progressed into secondary school.

This was not always the case in Otres. Only a few years ago many students would drop out of school before grade 5 or 6 to take up low paid, manual work without a basic primary school education. Unfortunately this is still the reality for many children living in poverty or rural Cambodia.

We are so proud of each and every one of these students for their hard work and commitment to reach grade 7 and graduate to secondary school.

We are also delighted that all of their parents were keen for their children to continue with education. Many of the parents did not have an opportunity to attend school. But due to Shine’s work in the community around the importance of education in breaking out of poverty parents are happy for their children to continue with school. 

Although we don’t have an official secondary school support program at Shine we regularly keep in touch with our secondary school students and hope in the future we can fund an official program.

Meet the team in Cambodia

We are grateful for the dedication and commitment of our team here in Otres. Their passion and resilience ensures that we were able to deliver our programs effectively.

Let us introduce the team below. Starting from the left we have Narith who is our Community Outreach Officer and teacher, next to him is Vida who is our English teacher. Thorn teaches Khmer and mathematics. Molika cooks student lunches in the morning and teaches in the afternoon. Next is Sarith our Head Teacher and Program Director and on the right is Samantha who is our Project Manager.

We believe in employing local Khmer staff. All our teaching staff are Cambodians passionate about making a positive change to their community.

⭐ Fundraising Update  ⭐

Cross The Line, Shine’s major annual fundraiser, took place last October. With 59 amazing individuals taking part from many different countries worldwide.

Thank you for all participants and their kind donors who helped raise an incredible $34,795AUD.

This gives us funds to continue to run our education, community support and school lunch programs for around 6 months!

 We will be launching Cross The Line 2023 again in October 2023. More information on signing up will be available in the coming months. 

In December we had some very special guests visit Shine.

Irene, a primary school teacher from Scotland, who first visited Shine in 2019, spent the week in Otres carrying out teacher training with the staff. Irene shared many interactive learning games to help increase engagement in student learning. In addition to this Irene also donated a brand new colour printer which was enormously helpful for staff to create school resources for the classroom. Thank you Irene for your continued support, your time, energy and generous gift.

We also had Mia and Sally visit from Australia. Mia first visited Shine as part of a school trip to Cambodia in 2019 with Founder Suzanne Wright, and has been involved with Shine fundraising in Australia for many years. It is always special when supporters can come and visit our project first hand and see what a difference their contributions make. 

As a small, grassroots organisation we value each and every person who supports the work we do. Your generosity helps give young people in Otres, Cambodia the gift of education and a chance to achieve their potential.

Are you looking for a good cause to support at at local event? Perhaps you want to run your own fundraiser for Shine? Or have a good idea how you can help support us to continue the work we carry out?

If so you can contact us by clicking here and we would be delighted to chat through your ideas.

Thank you to our regular donors

Shine is 100% reliant on private donors to keep our doors open and our programs running and this would not be possible without our 40 regular donors who contribute monthly.

We cannot overstate how much we appreciate your contributions, and without them we would not be able to exist.

These donors help keep Shine afloat. Whether it is $10 or $100 a month every $ counts and all money raised goes towards running our programs in Cambodia.

We would love it if you become a regular donor. It’s easy to set up and you will be part of something special that is helping change and empower the lives of children and their families in Otres.

In 2023 Shine will have been operating for 7 years. As each year passes we can see what a difference Shine is making to the local Otres community.

Children are staying in school for longer, graduating to secondary school, learning the importance of an education to get into meaningful employment and breaking out of the cycle of poverty.

We thank for your continued support towards Shine Cambodia and are excited to share our journey with you!