May 28th, 2024 05/28/24 | News

His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni Leads 20th Anniversary Celebrations of Cambodian Children’s Fund

His Majesty joins festivities to mark two decades of giving destitute children and families in Cambodia a better life.

His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni has praised Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) for its efforts to enhance the lives of children and families in impoverished communities in Cambodia during celebrations marking the organization’s 20th anniversary.

His Majesty was guest of honor at a ceremony on May 28 in Steung Meanchey to mark two decades of CCF.

“I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to the Cambodian Children’s Fund and all the teachers, officials and staff, who have devoted their physical and mental efforts to educating children as their own,” said His Majesty.

”I would like to thank Scott Neeson, Founder and Executive Director of Cambodian Children’s Fund. Every year, the Cambodian Children’s Fund assist thousands of poor Cambodian children in obtaining education, maintenance and support to acquire a wealth of knowledge.”


His Majesty said CCF students graduating from high school were working as civil servants or in the private sector, while others earn scholarships to study abroad to ensure a better life for their families.

”This is a noble activity of the Cambodian Children’s Fund, which has partnered with the Royal Government of Cambodia to contribute to the improvement of Human Resources, the most crucial factor in the development of Cambodian society,” said His Majesty.

His Majesty called it an “empowerment” for children to grow from shoots to strong bamboo and become good students and good citizens.

500 people attended the festivities to commemorate CCF's remarkable journey since its beginning in 2004.

Samdech Preah Aphiserei Bour Kry, Great Supreme Patriarch of Dhammaguttikanikaya of Cambodia, was among the guests.


Ministry officials, ambassadors, dignitaries, and supporters from overseas and in Cambodia also attended the event at CCF’s Neeson Cripps Academy (NCA) high school.

His Majesty donated USD$5,000, 20 tons of rice, 500 boxes of noodles and 250 packs of canned fish.

“I take this opportunity to appeal to national and international philanthropists to continue to provide materials and financial support to sustain the work of the Cambodian Children’s Fund in the noble cause of helping Cambodian children.”

His Majesty presented awards to CCF staff and donors, recognizing their contribution to the organization’s success.

His Majesty also toured the NCA and a fair showcasing the work of CCF students in science and technology, art and design, 3D and motion capture, and Khmer poetry.

Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) started in 2004 by helping one girl and her family off the garbage dump in Steung Meanchey before expanding to look after the health and well-being of 45 children.

Nearly 2,000 students are now working towards a better future for themselves and their families.

CCF’s vision to lift communities out of poverty and into a new era of hope and possibility by transforming lives through education is fulfilling the vision of CCF founder Scott Neeson, the former Hollywood executive who gave up his career to start CCF.


“The Neeson Cripps Academy is a terrific example of the transformation. This site was once a garbage-strewn piece of land. This phenomenal building now stands as a beacon of hope for the community,” said Scott Neeson.

“As we look towards the future, I am excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. Widening the impact and sharing the knowledge we now have to benefit more children and people in need.”

Evidence of CCF’s work over the past 20 years is all around the Steung Meanchey community.

CCF housing communities and community-based schools now stand on ground that was once strewn with rubbish. CCF’s flagship NCA provides a world-class education with a STEM-focused curriculum.

CCF continues to work on the ground to achieve the most significant impact and direct community support, including a medical clinic and daycare provision.

CCF’s mission to end generational poverty is driven by creating tomorrow’s leaders. It transforms children once deemed unreachable into passionate, engaged young leaders who care for their community and their country.

Over 70% of the first CCF students have gone on to university and developed successful careers, and many are now working to pull their families out of poverty.

Since the inception of CCF, around 4,300 of the most at-risk children have been supported with access to education and community services.


Sokchannoeurn Kram, CCF’s Country Manager and one of the first employees who helped Scott launch the organisation in Cambodia, received a Grand Order of National Merit of Cheatopka medal from His Majesty.

”When we started CCF, there were only a handful of staff. It's Scott's leadership, his love, and his care that has built this organisation. It was from the love and care he has spread all over us. So today, everyone here at CCF is proud to work for CCF and is proud to work for Scott,” she says.

"I also feel pride when I see a kid I've known since they were sitting in my lap, standing on stage wearing a graduation gown. They come up with a big smile and just say 'thank you,' and you will see them go back and help their families, the younger generation. I feel everything in that moment; it gives me goosebumps."

Thanks to Wing Bank, ABA, ACLEDA Bank, Chip Mong, Go Gym, Intercare Hospital, Tian Long Gong Si Co. Ltd, and the Royal Phnom Penh Hospital for supporting CCF's 20-year celebrations.

Written by

Kate Ginn

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