Here are some answers to those nagging questions!
When did you become a registered nonprofit?
The Savong Foundation became a 501(c)(3) in May 2011.
What does the red lotus in your logo mean?
The red lotus symbolizes the original nature and purity of the heart and all its qualities; love, compassion and passion.
How do you financially support your projects?
We rely on the generosity of individual donors. We are also very thankful for corporate funds from companies such as iHerb and LUSH.
Who are your board members in the United States?
We have four board members; Phil Caldwell (CEO), Amelia Yim (Treasurer), Eddie Lamborn (Scholarship Manager) and Brandi Jackson (Secretary).
What are the differences between the Savong Foundation, the Savong Organization Cambodia (SOC) and the Savong School?
The Savong Foundation is an American nonprofit which supports youth projects in northern Cambodia. The Savong Organization Cambodia (SOC) is a registered Cambodian NGO under which the Savong Foundation operates in that country. The Savong School is a free language school near Siem Reap which also falls under the SOC but is operated by Duncan Stuart in New Zealand.
Why do you send your students to the Future Bright International School which is a private institution?
We have a very good relationship with Future Bright having worked with them for the past three years. The staff at Future Bright really care about the students and they give us monthly academic and attendance records so we can better assess a student’s performance and motivation. Most importantly, the students love going there to learn and at approximately $65/month for tuition and school supplies, the fees are quite reasonable for the quality of the curriculum. With such a solid high school education, the students are well prepared for their university years.
What is the difference between an Outreach scholarship and a Full scholarship?
An Outreach scholarship is provided to underprivileged students who are still able to live at home and attend school in Siem Reap. Their full tuition is paid (either at the Future Bright International School or a university) and they may also be given a bicycle if they need transportation. A Full scholarship is provided to underprivileged students who do not have family or friends in Siem Reap and require accommodation so they can attend the better schools in town. Along with the accommodation, these students are given full tuition, food, a bicycle if needed and a small amount of spending money for personal items.
How can I support a student?
It’s very easy! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will give you the list of students that still need support. Sponsorship’s for individual students start at $50/month and can go up to $140/month for full scholarships. The students correspond with their sponsors by writing update letters every three months. No direct personal communication is allowed between sponsor and student so these letters are passed through the Savong Foundation.
How do you select your students for a scholarship?
Our outreach team interviews families and selects students based on previous academic performance, future ambition and financial need.
Why don’t you support hundreds of students?
Even though there is an “ocean of need” in Cambodia, we prefer to deal with smaller numbers of students who we feel will truly appreciate the opportunities that they have been given. We know our students as individuals and we treat them like family.
How do I find out about your financial information?
We firmly believe in complete transparency. Our financial information can be found on Guidestar or if you read our annual reports, it is included there as well.
Is Cambodia really that beautiful?
Yes it is! You can view Phil’s Cambodia photography here: Savong Foundation SmugMug if you don’t mind the shameless plug.