Our Work 2019-08-13T11:07:25+00:00

Shine provides the community of Otres, Cambodia with the resources and support needed to break free from the poverty cycle. Programs include supplementary education, health and well-being, family support and social care. Shine provides volunteer opportunities and experience to young people in Melbourne. Through Shine, young people can acquire and hone the skills to work with a not-for-profit charity, or start their own social enterprise, whilst experiencing the joy of altruism.

The operations are delivered by over 100 volunteers, the majority of whom are under 16. Operations are governed by a team of professionals: educators, health, corporate and social sector volunteers.

Our Mission

To empower Cambodian people to end the poverty cycle they are in;

To create change through education and community support;

For young people to become leaders in social change.

Our Values


We believe education should be available to everyone. It is unparalleled in its role in breaking the poverty cycle. We aim to provide educational resources and an opportunity for life-long learning, so Cambodian children and families can support themselves: improving their well-being, providing economic stability and proving the value of education which will be passed to others.

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We believe it is a basic human right to live a healthy life. A healthy body and mind allows personal growth, learning and an individual the opportunity to reach their potential. We hope to help Cambodian people be happy and healthy. By providing access to healthcare, optometrists, dental care, and home support Shine seeks to remove the barriers to learning and well-being.

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Shine Cambodia believes in everyone having a voice. We are committed to listening to the Cambodian people and providing the community support that is required. The community is led and made up of the Cambodian people; Shine Cambodia is there to assist in improving the quality of life and our well-being programs are all community based.

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We believe that sustainable change requires a holistic approach. Shine strives for long-term solutions not quick fixes. We aim to provide programs and services that will eventually enable communities to be self-sustaining. We believe lasting change comes through education and by removing the barriers to learning we can make it accessible to all.

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Shine believes that education is empowering; charity is disempowering.  A solution to poverty can only be achieved through the acquisition of knowledge and through improving the access to education so an individual can be independent; it cannot be solved through hand-outs.  Shine respects human rights and champions the importance of each individual’s rights.

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Our achievements so far

  • From 20 students in April 2016 to over 160 students regularly attending all year round.

  • Increased staff members from 1 to 7 that are predominantly Cambodian.

  • A partnership agreement with the public school giving unlimited access to use classrooms and for us to share knowledge and resources.

  • A partnership agreement with the monkhood of Otres Chas Pagoda allowing us unlimited access to the public school, to their land and to build a community centre.

  • Increased hours of school from 2 to 3 hours a day teaching Khmer, English, Maths, Health and Hygiene, IT, Art and Yoga

  • A nutrition program providing school meals for those in need. We provide up to 50 nutritious school lunches each day

  • Many local businesses are on board supporting us by housing donation boxes and spreading the word.

  • We have raised enough funds to provide transportation to get students to state school in the morning and at the end of our day so come rain or shine they are with us!

  • A pilot scheme for secondary school scholarships has started.

  • Escape Dubai, a travel company experienced in project fundraising and the building of schools/community centres, and Mr Sok, a local community leader and landowner, have pledged fundraising assistance and advice for the community centre.

  • Medical assistance partnerships have begun and a medical referral program is in place.

  • Football coaching available on a weekly basis and a Shine football team.

  • Water pump fitted to allow better access to running water.

  • Agreement with M’Lop Tapang to conduct regular, free, dental check-ups with one of their partners for those in need.

  • Land has been rented to provide temporary respite for those families displaced due to the repossession of land.

  • Transport and school supplies to 5 students in secondary school in Sihanoukville

  • 3 students in vocational training

The Bigger Picture

Shine Cambodia is looking to the United Nation’s World Food Programme and Development Assistance Framework to bring our development goals in line with those already in place in other areas of Cambodia. Our aims are also in line with the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Development goals. For more information click here

Shine Cambodia follows and adheres to the Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) code of conduct.

The Challenges Ahead

Household income

Two or three family members are usually responsible for providing for a large family of three generations. The eldest child is often sent to work at an early age to provide a household income. The next in line will help raise the youngest children. Having no role models who have been educated, means that no other option has been proven to work. Our aim is to change this cycle.

Value of education

Education is a luxury many cannot afford, even when school is free. The genocide inflicted by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s wiped out of all professionals, including teachers, therefore the knowledge, expertise and the importance of schooling was lost. It has steadily been reintroduced and reestablished over the years, however it is often in a state of disarray with poorly structured curriculums, underpaid and undervalued teachers, little teacher training and a lack of monitoring.

Help the next generation Shine