September News

A word from our Chair


Greetings to all of our wonderful CKC supporters!

It’s been a while between newsletters but things have certainly been busy!

With year-end exams taking place in August, all of our year 12 students were very diligently studying- each striving to perform their absolute best to pave the way for a bright future. 

I am very excited to share that all eight of our Year 12 students have passed! They are all thrilled!

It goes without saying that your continued support for these young women is paying off! Your ongoing commitment has enabled them to successfully complete their secondary schooling and pursue their dreams at university. 

At Mekhala Learning Centre, another 55 students have graduated from our 13th six-month course. Since the Learning Centre opened in 2009, we have enabled over 650 students from disadvantaged backgrounds to complete a free course in English, Internet and Computer. We are thrilled to have been able to provide such opportunities for the broader Prey Veng community and again, we have you to thank!

Please enjoy the below update and as always, thank you for all that you do!


A MASSIVE congratulations to our Year 12 students

Our very proud Mekhala House Year 12 students!

Our very proud Mekhala House Year 12 students!

These young women from Mekhala House embraced the opportunity to excel in their final year of schooling, showing an unwavering commitment to their studies. In fact, for one of the girls- a bout of dengue fever didn’t even get in her way. She left the hospital with medical staff by her side to sit her exams and finished in the top 20% of students across the country, along with two of our other girls. 

And the good news doesn’t stop there!

One young woman has successfully applied for a scholarship to Passerelles Numeriques Cambodia, the pre-eminent computer training institution in Phnom Penh.

The 100% Year 12 pass rate at Mekhala House has again far exceeded the national Year 12 pass rate of 67%. With students in large cities continuing to outperform those living in poorer, rural areas- the outcomes of our programs speak for themselves- and we couldn’t do it without you!

As always, Cambodian Kids Can will continue to support these young women for the duration of their studies and we are inviting you to be part of their future! We are currently seeking sponsors for each of our eight girls, ensuring they can focus on their studies to set them up for life beyond Cambodian Kids Can.

To find out more about becoming a university sponsor, please get in touch with us. 

A HUGE thank you to Melani

Melani enjoying a meal with some of the young women she has supported

Melani enjoying a meal with some of the young women she has supported

It is with very heavy hearts that we share that Melani Daruis, our longest serving board member, has made the difficult decision to step off the Cambodian Kids Can Board.

Melani’s involvement with CKC dates back to 2005, when the organisation was founded. After helping set up the Australian entity, she joined the Board soon after and visited Prey Veng for the first time in 2006, when just 12 young women were living at Mekhala House.

Melani fast became an integral part of the organisation, working tirelessly to ensure young women in Prey Veng had opportunities to change their futures. From visiting the programs every year, to rallying her friends, family and colleagues, to hosting board meetings- Melani’s dedication over 14 years has been unwavering. The organisation simply wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for Melani. 

On behalf of the young women in Prey Veng, their families and their communities- we’d like to thank Melani from the bottom of our hearts for her overwhelming contribution throughout CKC’s history. We wish Melani all of the very best for her new business venture and look forward to seeing her at our events in future.

While the Cambodian Kids Can Board are very sad to see Melani leave the team, she will always be a member of the CKC family. 

A very BUSY calendar of events

Board members at the IWD networking breakfast

Board members at the IWD networking breakfast

International Women’s Day

This year, we celebrated International Women’s Day with not one, but THREE events including a networking women’s breakfast hosted by Cooper Investors with a key note from the fabulous Suparna Bhasin, an IWD themed trivia night with 100 enthusiastic supporters and a cocktail hour at Slack! 

Supporters enjoying a game of Heads or Tails at our IWD Trivia

Supporters enjoying a game of Heads or Tails at our IWD Trivia

The theme for International Women's Day this year was Balance for Better. In Australia, while we have seen such progress towards a gender balance in society, in Cambodia there is still a long road ahead. From a young age, males are offered greater opportunities. When families have the choice, young boys will stay in school while young women are forced out of school and into work.

Thank you to everyone that supported us to strive for greater balance in Prey Veng. 

Annual Gala Dinner

In July, 100 supporters braved a wintery Melbourne evening and joined us at Greenfields, Albert Park for the biggest event on the Cambodian Kids Can calendar! Thanks to our event sponsors, Cooper Investors and to everyone who donated a prize, bought a lucky envelope, bid at auction, signed up to be a regular donor and spent the evening celebrating with us. We’re already looking forward to next year!

A full house at Greenfields, Albert Park

A full house at Greenfields, Albert Park

Fundraising Event at Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club

Patrick sharing the CKC story at the Kooyong fundraising event

Patrick sharing the CKC story at the Kooyong fundraising event

One of our loyal supporters, Sineth Sar from RST Consulting, recently held a fundraising event at the famous Kooyong Lawn Tennis Club in support of Save Cambodian Children Fund Australia, Advanced Centre for Empowerment and Cambodian Kids Can.

Ex- professional footballer, Chris Johnson who now dedicates his spare time to enabling young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to gain access to education shared his story and drew parallels to the plight of the young people we work with in Prey Veng.

A big thank you to Sineth for holding this joint event again this year!

Stay tuned for details of our annual end of year celebrations!