GLEF Selects Next School Projects

In April 2012, non-profit Golden Leaf Education Foundation (GLEF) announced that its Board of Directors chose to focus on rebuilding three separate elementary schools in Cambodia, each impacted from the Khmer Rouge regime. All three schools are in dire condition and unsafe for use.  In February 2013, thanks to GLEF’s supporters and donors, construction began on one of the three schools, Koh Broteal School. Funding is still needed for the other two schools, Soeur Village School and Svay Klaing School. Please donate today — we thank you for your support!

The following summaries tells of each of GLEF’s school building projects:

Koh Broteal

Koh Broteal Elementary School: This school is currently being rebuilt. Construction began in Feb. 2013.

• Koh Broteal (KAH BRO-TEEL) Elementary School.  Located in the small village of Choum Raisse in Pursat province, this single school building serves 142 kids, age six through 11. Approximately 215 students are expected to enter the school in the next year. The school stands on a site where a Khmer Rouge labor camp once stood. Very few who went there survived. More information on Koh Broteal is here.

UPDATE: Thanks to GLEF supporters and donors, this project is a go! Construction officially started in February 2013. The foundation for the school was laid and the walls are now going up. The Rotary Club of Pursat is on the ground and monitoring work and supply GLEF with photos and videos throughout the process. The water pump, graciously donated by The Rotary Club of Edmonton West is fully built and will be ready for use when the dry season hits this April.

Soeur Village student in front of the main school buildings with Kim Im, GLEF supporter and volunteer.

• Soeur (SUE-ER) Elementary School. This school in Soeur Village in Banteay Mancheay Province serves 1,065 students grade one through six. Four buildings are located on the land, but only three are barely operational. Students can only attend half days on account of the limited size of the buildings. More information on Soeur Village School is here.

UPDATE: GLEF Construction Chair, Mony Mao and Cambodian-American Community of Oregon Representative, Mardine Mao visited this site as well during their February 2013 trip. Two new school buildings were recently built by other organizations, but there are still several others in much needed repair. Mony and Mardine graciously donated a computer for the staff to use for administrative needs, a much needed tool for such a large school. We are still seeking funds to build the school.

Phoum Bourn Svay Klaing Elementary School. The roof and walls leak during rain storms.

• Phoum Bourn Svay Klaing (SVIE CLANG) Elementary School. Phoum Bourn Svay Klaing Elementary School is the only school in its village in Kampong Cham Province serving 167 students in kindergarten through grade six. The parents fear the roof will collapse on their children. During the rainy season, students can’t attend on a regular schedule because of this danger. The building needs to be raised onto a concrete base to ensure it won’t flood.

UPDATE: This school has received so much support both from the community in Cambodia and in the U.S. In February, GLEF Construction Chair Mony Mao and Cambodian-American Community of Oregon Representative Mardine Mao visited the site and donated supplies and books. We are still seeking funds to build this school.

The Âng School: GLEF’s First School

The fully renovated Âng School in Battambang, Cambodia. Photo courtesy of Chanly Bob.

Golden Leaf Education Foundation’s (GLEF) first project was The Âng School (Battambang province in Cambodia.) It was completed in November 2011. In January 2011, GLEF Founder Mr. Kilong Ung, President Mr. Norb Murray, and GLEF Building Committee member and President of The Cambodian-American Community of Oregon (CACO) Mr. Chanly Bob visited Cambodia (using their own funds.) H.E. Ambassador Heng Hem (Embassy of Royal Cambodia in Washington D.C.) accompanied the GLEF delegates. The delegation’s primary purpose was to officially kick off the Âng School school building project. Under the guidance of the GLEF Building Committee, the delegates met with the school officials and contractor. The building contract was signed and GLEF enhanced relations and transparent communication protocol with the donors, the school, the GLEF Building Committee in Cambodia, and the government of Cambodia.

While in Cambodia laying foundation for future school building and renovation projects, the delegates met with Governor H.E. Prach, Chan and Vice Governor H.E. El, Say of the Battambang Province, the Rotary Club of Battambang, the Rotary Club of Pursat, and Former Cambodian Ambassador to UN and Secretary of State of Ministry of Foreign Affairs H.E. Ouch, Borith.

The Âng School renovation is was led by the GLEF Building Committee in Portland, Oregon: Mr. Mony Mao (Chair), Mr. Norb Murray (GLEF president), Mr. Chanly Bob (CACO president), Mrs. Sophorn Cheang, Mr. Tom Joyce, Mr. Cheya Mackay, Ms. Kanitha Chan, Mr. David Simas (GLEF treasurer) and Miss Nitiya Sin. This renovation replaced a monsoon-worn, wooden structure with a more sustainable school building. It now includes five classrooms, two restrooms (the school currently had two dilapidated out-houses) and basic classroom furnishings. This enhancement benefits over 400 students (kindergarten-sixth grade) along with a faculty of nine. The Âng School project manager is the President of the Battambang Rotary Club, Saroeun Nouv.

The Âng School renovation is the result of the generous support of GLEF donors. In less than a year, GLEF raised funds for this project. The majority of funds were generated at GLEF’s first fundraising event—“A Magical Night in Cambodia”—in Portland, Oregon. (Save the date for the fourth “A Magical Night in Cambodia”, Sat. Aug. 3 ,2013!) The seed-money for the project came from the founder’s book proceeds and $5,000 donation from an anonymous reader.

GLEF is a non-profit founded in 2010 in Portland, Oregon. Its mission, inspired by Kilong Ung’s memoir, Golden Leaf: A Khmer Rouge Genocide Survivor, is to enhance educational opportunities internationally for children in need, in memory of genocide victims, and in honor of survivors—golden leaves. GLEF operates 100 percent on the volunteer efforts of students, business professionals, community members, and community leaders. GLEF is welcoming everyone who is interested in leveraging the history of the Cambodian genocide to make the world a better place through school building and renovation.