GLEF 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 were in dire condition and unsafe for use. By 2018, all three schools have been completed, thanks to GLEF’s supporters and donors. For on-going support for these schools, donate today — we thank you for your support!
The following summaries tells of each of GLEF’s school building projects:
• 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 was completed! Construction officially started in February 2013 and was completed in the autumn of 2013. The water pump, graciously donated by The Rotary Club of Edmonton West is fully built and is ready for use when the dry season hits.
• 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: Thanks to GLEF supporters and donors, this project was completed! in 2015.
• 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. GLEF completed its school building project in 2014.
The Âng School: GLEF’s First School
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 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. 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.