Global Student Outreach, Inc

Organization Description: 

Global Student Outreach is a non-profit organization dedicated to the support of children and families in rural Cambodia. Goals of Global Student Outreach are to provide:

Improved education
High quality care for abandoned and orphaned children
Vocational training to develop economic self-sufficiency
Support to families to improve the health and well-being of their children.

Why Rural Cambodia?

40% of Cambodia's population lives below the international poverty line of US $1.25 per day (World Bank in UNICEF Statistics 1992-2007). 90% of these poor live in rural areas. Two thirds of the country's 1.6 million rural households face seasonal food shortages each year (IFID Rural Poverty Portal).

Cambodia's social and health indicators are among the worst in Asia. Almost one in ten children dies within the first five years of life (USAID Cambodia: Annual Report 2008). Malnutrition is common. An estimated 42% of children under five suffer from moderate or severe stunting and 9% suffer from wasting (UNICEF 2003-2008). 45% of children ages 5-14 are involved in child labor (UNICEF 1999-2008).

Cambodia has an exceptionally high rate of child abandonment, and it is not uncommon for parents to move to seek economic opportunities and leave children with relatives, in orphanages or to live on their own. Children of women who remarry are not generally welcome in the new family and are at especially high risk for abandonment.
Children learning in a classroom

Cambodian children attend school for four or less hours a day. 91% of boys and 87% of girls are enrolled in Primary School, but only 55% of these reach grade 7. (UNICEF Institute for Statistics 2008).

Fewer children attend school in rural areas than in cities. This disparity increases following primary school, which ends at grade 6. 88% of boys and 81% of girls in urban areas are enrolled in Lower Secondary School (middle school) in urban areas compared to 50% of boys and 45% of girls in rural areas. In Upper Secondary School (high school), 46% of boys and 40% of girls in urban areas are enrolled compared to 13% of boys and 7% of girls in rural areas (EMIS, 2006).

The educational and economic systems make life especially difficult for females. In a recent report from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Cambodia ranked 92nd out of 113 countries in providing education for females and 110th out of 113 in business environment for women, a measure of access to capital.
History of Global Student Outreach

Global Student Outreach was formed by a group of people who had previously volunteered at the CPCDO Orphanage outside of Battambang. In spring 2010, CPCDO's donor announced that it was terminating funding for the orphanage due to CPCDO's mismanagement and issued a final semi-annual check. CPCDO planned to close the orphanage, leaving the 50 children living there homeless.

In March, Global Student Outreach was formed and incorporated as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization in the U.S. to assume responsibility for the orphanage. Global Student Outreach is also in the process of becoming registered as an NGO in Cambodia. This should be complete in August 2010.
Service Development

Global Student Outreach has purchased land and work has begun to move the orphanage and develop an expanded facility in the village of Kampoung Shlong, an approximately 35 minute drive from Battambang.

Children not enrolled in a Global Student Outreach program come to our facility and be referred to visiting foreign physicians daily to receive treatment for malnutrition, poor hygiene, dysentery, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and other potentially lethal diseases at no cost to the families.

Kampoung Shlong was selected for several reasons. This is an impoverished rural village of approximately 150 adults and 200 children. Well over 10% of these children have no apparent guardians.

As with most of rural Cambodia, few services reach Kampoung Shlong. The majority of families generate income through subsidence vegetable farming. Medical care is almost non-existent. The village has a Primary School and Lower Secondary School, although relatively few students are enrolled. An Upper Secondary School (high school) is located approximately five miles away but no children in the village attend.

Global Student Outreach will support both children of the orphanage and children and families of the village of Kampoung Shlong through four major programs:
Children next to backhoe
Orphanage Program

An expanded and upgraded orphanage facility will support up to 70 orphaned and abandoned children.

The current CPCDO orphanage facility, in the village of Prey Touch, lacks plumbing and basic sanitation facilities. Electricity is provided by a generator for two hours per day, water is drawn from a well, cooking is done in open fire pits and dishes are washed in vats of collected rain water. Children sleep in two one-room open dormitories, sometimes with two children sharing a singe bed.

The new facility will provide running water, sanitation facilities including biodegradable toilets, burners for cooking, smaller dormitories and recreational space. Electricity will be generated through solar panels, making the facility energy self-sufficient. The orphanage will provide regular vaccinations, well-child checks, dental care, and improved staff-to-student ratios.
Supplementary School

A Supplementary School will provide four additional hours of school per day, including classes in English, Khmer, History, and Health. The school will be open to students in the village at no charge.

Meals provided in a school setting decrease malnutrition and improve grades, concentration and attendance. The school will serve as a feeding center through provision of school meals. Meals will be cooked on site.

Parental attitudes towards education and involvement in their children's school have been shown to be important determinants affecting the likelihood of rural Cambodian children staying in school (Keng, International Education Journal, 2004). The Supplementary School will host regular family gatherings. Adult education classes will also be offered including improved farming techniques, English and Khmer literacy. Small incentives or meals may be provided for attendance.
Vocational Center

A Vocational Center will provide skills training for older students to enable them to be economically self-sufficient when they leave the program. Options for self-support are especially important for girls, who have few economic prospects and may be forced by economic necessity or by their families into marriage or prostitution.

The vocational center will provide skills for and be linked to a variety of micro-businesses that will support Global Student Outreach programs and provide transitional support and jobs for students when they leave (see Sustainability section below).
Health and Education Incentive Program

Modeled on the very successful Opportunidas program in Mexico, small incentive payments will be offered for children attending school and receiving regular medical and dental care. Incentives for attending school will increase as children's ages increase to encourage completion of school at higher grades. Amounts will be higher for girls to correspond with the disproportionate numbers of girls who do not continue past early primary grades.

In the Opportunidas model, payments were made directly to mothers. Since many children in the village do not have guardians, and many others are loosely cared for by relatives, Global Student Outreach Payments will work to develop a model which will most realistically support families in the village in educating and obtaining health care for their children. One possible model would be an account in the child's name, with Global Student Outreach serving as banker.

Global Student Outreach currently operates International Community Service experiences for high school and college students as well as adults. This is an important source of volunteers to provide socialization and stimulation for children at the orphanage and support building and other projects. Proceeds from trips support Global Student Outreach Services. In this first year, GSO will host approximately 10 community service trips. By year 3, GSO expects to host a minimum of 40 trips per year.

A second business, which will provide generate revenue and provide vocational experience and potential jobs for graduating students is earthmoving. Backhoes and dump trucks are in high demand and it is expected that an initial capital outlay of approximately $30,000 would generate at least $20,000 per year.

GSO will grow vegetables and corn on the new facility land, providing food for the orphanage and the feeding program. Although rice cannot be grown on this property, rice fields can be purchased within ten miles of the facility. It is a common arrangement to own a rice field and have a local family cultivate it. Rice produced is split 50/50. An investment of $3000 in land would produce enough rice for the orphanage throughout the year and make a substantial contribution to the school feeding program.

A number of microbusinesses will provide income, vocational experience for students. GSO has planted over 40 fruit trees on the property and an inexpensive dehydrator can produce dried fruit, dried beef and other products which can be sold in GSO stall at the local market, as well as candles, book bags and other products which can be produced at the vocational center. Global Student Outreach may also affiliate with a local restaurant to provide training for students, and may open a small internet caf© available to members of the village which would provide experience for both girls and boys. Wedding venues can be difficult to find in Cambodia and one additional possibility would be buying land, providing space rental, food and associated services.

Box 171 3300 NW 185th
Portland, OR 97229
Mission Statement: 

Global Student Outreach is dedicated to serving the children of rural Cambodia, one child at a time. Beginning with the Battambang Orphanage, and the village of Kampoung Shlong, Global Student Outreach is building a network of support for impoverished children and families.

Sophear, age 11, was found in a garbage can in front of a temple hours after being born. Vanlyda was sent to us to escape molestation at the hands of her abusive step father. Tola's mother abandoned him. They and fifty other children have a safe home at our Battambang facility.

Unlike traditional orphanages, Global Student Outreach's services also support families to provide for their children in their homes. Through improved educational opportunities for every child in the village, helping families to obtain medical care and providing vocational training for young adults, GSO aims to help impoverished children in the best place for them to grow up–their own community.

Join in the work of Global Student Outreach through amazing community service opportunities, supporting the development of our new facility in Kampoung Shlong or following our us through our newsletters. It's amazing how easy it is to make a difference in the life of a child.

Do You Require Formal Orientation Training for Volunteers?: 
Are more than one-third of the participants in your organization/programs low income (below 150% of the poverty level)?: 
Primary Types of Volunteer Opportunities: 
International Volunteers: 
City/Metropolitan Area: 
Program Types: 
Organization Membership Type: 
NTEE Major Category: 
International, Foreign Affairs, and National Security
NTEE Code: 
NTEE Minor Category: 
International Development, Relief Services
Assets Bucket: 
Income Bucket: 
Form 990 Revenue Amount: