There are three branches of Education in Cambodia: • Public (Government) Schools • Private Schools • Community (Non-Formal) Schools. For the most part, all three types of schools are in existence to make money. Students must pay a daily fee to attend public school and must pay an annual fee (tuition) to attend a private school. Many community schools also charge a daily fee or require non-indigenous religious commitments. Many poor and impoverished families can not afford to send their children to public school. It is estimated over 80% of Cambodians can not afford to send their children to school.
Without an education, these kids basically never have a chance at a better life. They end up on the streets begging, prostituting themselves or in the garbage dumps working to provide for their families.
Aogaah Foundation's® Village 15 School is in an impoverished "squatter" area of the Toul Kork District of Phnom Penh and offers an alternative to public school. This alternative is certified by the Cambodian government and is referred to as Non-Formal Education. In Cambodia, many alternatives to public schooling are money making institutions. But Aogaah Foundation® school is completely FREE to the families. Books, pencils, notebooks and all learning materials are provided. Children stream in by the dozens, eager to learn and improve their quality of life. Community elders encourage families to send their children.
The entire school’s annual budget, for all students, comes to less than what most states in America spend to educate just one student for a year. Aogaah Village 15 School educates over 140 students for this same amount.
All funding for Aogaah Foundation® is from individual donations. Donations from people like you. 100% of all donations go to the operation of the schools. The only paid salaries are to the Khmer (Cambodian) teaching staff. All Aogaah Foundation® administration, fund raising, marketing and building maintenance is done by volunteers.
The mission of Aogaah is to prepare students for meaningful employment by teaching them to read, write and perform simple mathematical calculations.
Instead of giving people fish for today, we teach them to fish for their lifetime.
- All school is free to students and their families
- We do not teach religion
- We provide equal opportunity for girls and boys
Download: Who's Who in the Aogaah Foundation (.pdf)
Who's Who in Poor Kids Need Help Cambodia (.pdf)
Kindergarten Pocket Guide (.pdf)
2020/2021 School Year Calendar (.pdf)
Aogaah Foundation's Educational Program (.pdf)
Aogaah Foundation® was started in 2003 by Rick Meyer, a retired Mesa, Arizona Community College math professor who on a trip to Phnom Penh was asked to tutor math at school near his hotel, but ended up being referred to a school in the squatter village of Railway B in Toul Kork to help teach English. In his own words "....they (the kids) had completely stolen my heart!" The school eventually closed do to lack of funding and Rick self funded a reopening and established the Aogaah Foundation®.
Currently Rick lives in Mesa and is aided by expats from around the world living in Phnom Penh. This includes his good friend Photographer Ian Kydd Miller of the UK who's pictures help spread the word of Aogaah Foundation®, little schools and most importantly, the children. All pictures within this site are real, and actual pictures of the location and works of Aogaah Foundation®
To read an article (.pdf) published in the Arizona Republic Newspaper about Rick Meyer and the Aogaah Foundation® - click here. For more pictures visit Ian Kydd Miller's blog - Click here