Cambodian Children’s Fund Wins Innovative Education WISE Award

Cambodian Children’s Fund’s education program has been awarded the 2012 WISE Award as “one of the world’s best initiatives in innovative education”.

Cambodian Children’s Fund’s ‘Generational Change through Education’ project – which wraps community well-being around a comprehensive education program – was recognized for its “transformative impact on education and society”.

CCF is the first organisation in South-East Asia to be awarded the prestigious prize.

The WISE Awards are designed to identify, showcase and promote innovative educational projects from all sectors and regions of the world to inspire change in education, with six awards given each year. Since 2009, just 24 projects have been recognised with a WISE Award from over 1,600 applications.

Cambodian Children’s Fund started schools in 2004 in the Steung Meanchey area, then the municipal garbage dump of Phnom Penh, which was the home and workplace to several thousand children.

Over the past 4 years, the CCF education program has developed into a comprehensive learning resource, combining public school education with CCF’s own intensive education that includes English language classes, computer training and leadership training. CCF’s community support includes the provision of medical care, fresh water, maternal health, a nutritional program and care for infants and pre-schoolers.

In 2011, with 635 children in full-time education, CCF recorded a 100% pass rate in the public schools, 97% retention, with a daily absentee rate averaging less than 1%.

“We are honoured to have our education program recognized by such a prestigious body”, said Cambodian Children’s Fund founder Scott Neeson.

“The program’s success is tied to the community inclusiveness.” Neeson added, ”As the child advances, so does the family. With family and community engagement, children can truly find their own potential”.

“By remaining community-based, there is a natural progression towards independence and local ownership of the program. The future of education lies not in scaling up, but by replicating the community-based model”.

Each year, a Jury composed of leading experts from the education world selects six innovative projects for their concrete and positive impact on communities and societies. These winning projects gain global visibility and receive a prize of $20,000 (US).

“When determining the best projects, the Jury looks at what is being achieved as well as how it is done. The winning initiatives were selected because they are successful, but also because of their innovative approach. These are not ordinary education efforts.” said H.E. Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Ph.D., Chairman of WISE and Chairman of the WISE Awards Jury.

This year CCF is among six WISE Award winners from around the world who will be honoured at the 2012 WISE Summit, November 13 – 15, in Doha, Qatar.

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