Our PLF Hero Award recognizes those who have gone above and beyond to help us achieve our mission.
Every recipient on this page is a hero in their own right: warriors who have sacrificed their time, energy and resources to do the work no one else can (or sometimes wants!) to do. And they have gone about it quietly, behind the scenes, with no compensation or fanfare whatsoever.
Well, now it’s time for some fanfare!
TO OUR UNIVERSITY VOLUNTEERS
… for stepping into mentorship roles, helping them get to grips with our eLearning program during the pandemic. This new campaign was already in the planning stages when covid arrived, and we had to hit the gas hard to get it out quickly to our +400 rural high-school students across all our locations.
This would not have been possible without your devoted service, supporting study groups in your home villages. Without you, we would not have been able to move fast enough to fill the educational voids left by school closures. You shared your time, energy, knowledge and care with the younger generations coming up behind you, and for that, we owe you a huge debt of gratitude!
Grade 12 Math & Khmer at our Girls’ Dorm
Grade 11-12 English at our Girls’ Dorm
Grade 11-12 English speaking practice at our Girls’ Dorm
Grade 12 Math at our Girls’ Dorm
Grade 12 Math at Chey
Grade 12 Class Management at Chey
Grade 12 Class Management at Chey
Grade 11 Class Management at Chey
Grade 11 Math at Chey
Grade 11 Physics at Chey
Grade 11-12 Math at KVLC
Grade 11-12 Khmer at KVLC
Grade 10 Math at KVLC
Grade 10 Math at KVLC
Grade 9-10 Khmer at KVLC
Facilitating all classes at Srayang Learning Center
TO OUR INTERNATIONAL VOLUNTEERS
…whether you have helped us here on the ground in Cambodia, or completed a multitude of tasks from afar, we would quite simply not be able to do our work without your continued support & friendship.
Sharon can be called on at any time to research problems, suss out answers and give practical advice on workflows and reporting. She keeps us legal. She will sit on the phone for hours trying to get in touch with someone at the IRS or some other unreasonable US entity to get questions answered and help us stay out of trouble. Sharon is also the premier PLF “Mule” and has, every year for untold years, schlepped hundreds, maybe thousands of pounds of things to Cambodia in her now-famous expandable rolling bags.
Pat is a retired teacher who visits every year to help us build training systems for Librarians and Kindergarten teachers. She doesn’t fear staying in rough quarters for days on end to be near our teachers in remote areas and has given her lifetime of experience to the most forgotten teachers on planet earth. Our whole team has gained much from her ongoing (and very patient) support. After spending thousands of dollars to come over, she never lets us pay for any part of it, including production of the amazing resources she designs for teachers.
The absolute worst job at PLF belongs to “the person who has to check the PO Box in Austin and sort the mail, deposit any checks at the bank and scan and forward any other mail we need to see”. Without any staff in America and without someone to do this for us, we’d be absolutely lost. Shelly spends a good deal of her own time on this very important task, doing it happily for years and years. We’d be in a complete fix without this quiet yet herculean effort.
Glynis is a retired teacher and has supported the organization for more than a decade. First, through directly teaching English to our students and then later, training their teachers. She’s slogged through stacks of English books to curate quizzes and exams for upper-level English students. This effort will serve our students and their teachers for years to come. Glynis never stops looking for ways to connect us to people in her network who can potentially fund us.
Barbara helped lift what is now a very robust hygiene program, starting with hand-washing, moving into tooth-brushing and then first aid. She brought to bear a lifetime of “mommy medicine”, and changed the habits of hundreds and hundreds of young children regarding their personal hygiene. The wheels she set in motion during countless visits to work with teachers and students are still turning today and have improved the health of thousands of children.
Doug helped create our website and taught us a lot about complicated matters like setting up domains, understanding Google Analytics, keeping spam at bay, and other things we had no idea about. We can always go to him with problems or ridiculous questions and he’s always right there to lend a hand, give advice and tell us what we’re doing wrong. Our website would have probably self-destructed years ago without his unending help.
Lucy has been coming to volunteer with PLF for more than a decade. She’s personally responsible for launching our first music programs and has done more arts and crafts than anyone ever. Her solidarity with teachers and students is unmatched and we owe her a debt of gratitude for always putting our students first and bringing everything she has to the programs she helped us to develop.
Gina came to Cambodia to help our Arts and Crafts teachers curate a handbook of all the most-loved creative activities that volunteers have done with students over the years, with an eye on those that support STEM training with our youngest students, and transforming “play-time” into “learning time”. From afar, she has also joined Glynis in the work of curating pop quizzes from existing English curricula.
Geoffrey is the father of our accountant and he spent months and months sending handwritten notes to donors thanking them for their support. The job of thanking people, in the end, got so enormous (thank you!) that we had to move to electronic methods, but during the time that he did it, it was an invaluable service. This job took a lot of time not to mention untold dollars on stamps which we never got a bill for.
Before we had an actual Communications Officer, Leisha built all our marketing materials. She designed our logo way back in 2006, and did all the branding that we still abide by today. She has remained on hand to steer marketing campaigns and if we call her and say “we need a whatever” she adds more work to her already busy day and happily helps out.
Caroline built our very successful Peer-to-Peer Birthday Club fundraising campaign and is now helping us understand and utilize the extremely complicated and frustrating Google Ads. There’s marketing and then there’s performance marketing and Caroline spends untold hours helping us find and retain our presence on the interwebs.
Has your computer gone to meet its maker? Call Ryan. Can you not get your VPN to stream Prime? Call Ryan. Can’t get your printer to respond? Call Ryan. Do you need anything obscure researched? Call Ryan. Do you need to know what’s going to happen, before it actually does? Call Ryan. You get the idea … We never want to imagine our world without Ryan in it!
Our ‘book guru’ Natasha is an English teacher with many years experience of bringing the language alive for Cambodian students of all ages and backgrounds. Knowing how integral reading is to the learning of any foreign language, she is passionate about finding just the right books for the right levels – a feat that is not always so easy to achieve here. We asked her for assistance in bringing graded readers in to our libraries, and she enthusiastically rose to the challenge. Reading at an appropriate level really rewards students and builds confidence in their ability. Or as Natasha simply puts it: “Graded readers are the BOMB!”