The Ponheary Ly Foundation was formed in response to a local, national, and international recognition of the low literacy rates in Cambodia and the wide gender disparity in those rates, coupled with a growing awareness of marginal school attendance in rural villages and the existence of poorly resourced government schools across the nation.
The transformative role of education becomes especially salient in the Cambodian context where decades of war, civil conflict, and political instability have resulted in massive social, economic, and cultural devastation and widespread poverty and illness amongst families and communities. Close to half of Cambodia’s population is aged 21 or younger, a statistic underscoring the importance of education for the future of this country.
The foundation is well established as a credible and innovative organization
in the multiple communities in which they work, amongst governmental bodies, and other non-profit organizations working in education and social development.
The schools they support are already established government schools with Khmer teachers. They are not reinventing the wheel with their own schools, simply supporting the schools that already exist in their villages, and providing an opportunity for all children to attend.
Through their array of programs, PLF currently reaches some 2,500 children and young people across primary and secondary schools in Siem Reap and Preah Vihear provinces.
PLF is supported financially by private donations
and on the ground by both local Cambodian volunteers and visitors from abroad. People from all walks of life and from all over the world have taught, bandaged, cooked for, played with and inspired children. They have bundled, loaded and delivered supplies to students and schools far and wide in the blazing heat and raging monsoons.