We Are Passionate About Our Communities
… and we are proud to be in collaboration with these awesome partners who share our same values and heart.
Together we can do so much more!
HAVEN is a popular and long-standing institution in Siem Reap – a restaurant with one of the most delicious menus in town, providing training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged rural youth. Founded by Swiss couple Sara and Paul who – on their first visit to Cambodia were struck by the lack of vocational opportunities for young Khmer trying to navigate their way into the workplace – vowed to return and create a haven where they could learn skills relevant to the rapidly growing hospitality industry. Every year since 2013, one of our PLF students has been lovingly guided through their excellent mentorship program and graduated into a great hospitality work placement.
Cleanbodia provides an innovative solution to one of Cambodia’s biggest waste issues – the over-reliance on plastic bags. Most trips to the market result in multiple bags being used to carry items on the short journey back home, then simply discarded onto the street or field. With a lack of proper waste disposal services, these bags very quickly become a pollution hazard to the environment and those living in it. Cleanbodia’s biodegradable bags are sustainably made from cassava, a root vegetable that is grown throughout Southeast Asia. By using them for all our food drops and supplies distribution, we save rural Cambodia from an average of 17,000 unnecessary plastic bags every year.
The integrated programs at REACH Siem Reap prepare impoverished children with life skills to gain fair employment and to break cycles of generational poverty. PLF has happily donated rusty, pre-loved bikes to their REACH Riders Club, which recognizes the absolute necessity of a bicycle to a Cambodian child in accessing education. At their Repair Shop, the bikes are fully refurbished by the older students themselves, emerging road-worthy and ready again to carry another Khmer child to their future. And in our hour of need during the strict covid lockdowns, REACH assisted us in-kind by delivering essential food relief to our beneficiaries who were behind the red zone boundary lines.
Eco-Soap Bank is a humanitarian and environmental non-profit organization that collects, sanitizes and recycles leftover soap from manufacturers and the hospitality industry, and re-supplies it to communities where lack of access to basic hygiene products remains a critical factor in fighting the spread of preventable diseases. This approach significantly reduces waste generated by industry, while providing decent livelihoods and educational opportunities to the disadvantaged women who are employed on their program. We buy more than 9000 bars of soap every year from Eco-Soap Bank, with extreme cost savings compared to local prices and none of the packaging problems.
Writing Through works to supplement the Cambodian education system, which was almost completely destroyed by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Consequently today it is extremely limited in time and scope, its teaching methods focussing nearly entirely on memorization and repetition. With their creative workshops, Writing Through builds the imagination and self-esteem of Khmer students, as well as the limited professional development available to teachers by sharing with them new skills and methods. In 2020 our high-school dorm students participated in one of their workshops, and we look forward to more fun sessions to come.
Treeline Urban Resort is a luxury hotel in the center of town, with a solid commitment to the local community through environmental sustainability, promotion of contemporary Khmer art, and social development. We have always enjoyed a very positive relationship with Treeline, culminating in an expansion of our foodbank initiative established in response to covid, with its devastation of the tourist industry and loss of income for so many. Working within Treeline’s extended network has enabled us to reach beyond our existing beneficiaries and deliver food relief to some of the most marginalized communities in and around Siem Reap.
Morowood Cambodia – aka Arjan – is the go-to cabinetmaker in town for bespoke furniture and has worked on many high-end, luxury projects. He has also made all of our beautiful library and classroom furniture – because no job is too small, and no distance has ever been too great to travel. All of his pieces are made from sustainable wood – in a country that is now almost completely deforested, this is of huge significance and sets a crucial example in sustainability to his team. Many apprentice Khmer carpenters and welders have learned their craft at Morowood, which has been creating great employment opportunities and quality furniture since 2014.
CLEW (Cambodian Legal Education for Women) is an organization co-founded by Elizabeth Bennett-Martin, Ruth Gastle and the Bennet Gastle Law firm in Toronto, Canada, building pathways for young rural women wanting to pursue a career in law. CLEW grants one PLF student a full scholarship every year to the Royal University of Law and Economics in Phnom Penh, including entrance into their Dormitory, and we currently have four students in their program. Each new graduate has the potential and capacity to help many more women in turn, by improving women’s rights and addressing gaping gender inequity within Cambodia.
Safe Haven provides essential support to children living with disabilities in a country where, even in the cities, services are woefully inadequate and families are left struggling to care for, or even understand, their child’s needs. Safe Haven’s multidisciplinary team provides physical and occupational therapy, nursing support, nutritional supplements, developmental and social work services. Over the last 10 years they have been our go-to when we find children whose families could benefit from the services they provide.
EdukoMondo is headed up by Peter Stremus who challenged PLF to think through how to deliver what is usually cloud-based learning in remote environments that have no internet, nor access to (technological) clouds. Pre-COVID, they helped us figure out how to deploy iPads at rural children’s libraries. This knowledge became highly meaningful when schools suddenly closed due to the pandemic, and we had to quickly respond to the need for setting up online classes for our high-school students in remote areas.
Women’s Resource Center is run by Cambodian women for Cambodian women, providing emotional support, referral services and free informal educational workshops at both their drop-in center in Siem Reap, and via community outreach. WRC has been a wonderful support and sounding board for our staff as they learn to care for our students, and a first consideration when we know someone needs a more technical referral. PLF students and staff regularly join their community events, such as their Bike Ride to End Violence against women.
Spean Chivit – “Bridge of Life” in Khmer – is a youth resource center bridging the gap between education and employment for young Cambodians, and PLF students have been excited to participate in their youth-led programs. Designed to build confidence, encourage engagement and provide a sense of ownership and responsibility, topics cover critical thinking, life skills and creative development. Spean Chivit also kindly offered up their huge center for our own workshop series when covid social distancing protocols required a larger space.
XI Consulting is a data and technology consultancy based in Phnom Penh and its founder David is a Microsoft MVP, considered by Microsoft to be in the top 100 or so Excel users worldwide. XI Consulting designed a bespoke PowerBI and Google Sheets system to run and analyze our student data, adapted to our very specific needs. This wizardry has been invaluable for tracking and reporting on students’ progress, as well as the overall results and impact of our programs.