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Photo by Sampor Burke, Mekong Semester.

PEPY: Empowering Youth

Today, our group visited a Cambodian led NGO, PEPY: Empowering Youth. PEPY’s goal is to close the education gap within Cambodia. Rural Cambodian farmers make an average of one dollar per day, a year at University, including living expenses, is roughly four thousand dollars. PEPY brings in students from rural communities, ninety percent of the students parents are rice farmers making that one dollar a day. This organization gives these underprivileged students the abilities to make a life for themselves. Instead of being forced to farm and barely get by, these students now have the ability to to be policemen, accountants, teachers, and engineers.

At PEPY, we spent an hour or so learning about how the NGO wants to fulfill its mission of working with young Cambodians to connect them with the skills, opportunities, and inspirations needed to reach their potential.

-The DREAM project aims to provide Cambodians with a forum to discuss their ambitions by providing career resources, mentorship, and group workshop.
-The English Project aims to improve English language skills of young Cambodians while also keeping them knowledgeable on current events and developing critical thinking skills. Speaking English and understanding its uses is vital for Cambodians in the job market. Any Cambodian who speaks English can easily find work in the service industry or engage in working in management. 100% of PEPY grads are employed or in higher education.
-PEPY’s ICT class provides students with social media and modern tech skills. Absolutely paramount to securing a high-paying job.
In 2017, PEPY will provide 118 young, rural Cambodians with scholarships to receive classes at PEPY and/or at University.

As a group, we were inspired by PEPY’s efforts to increase the standard of living of poor Cambodians by providing them access to education and jobs. PEPY’s dedication to their mission is apparent in all aspects of the program: from the outstanding staff to the hardworking and dedicated students. Because our experience at PEPY was so special, as a group, we wish to raise awareness for the organization. For just 4,000 USD, a PEPY student can earn their bachelors degree, changing the life of not just that student, but the student’s entire family. Right now, PEPY is having a special fundraiser because of an anonymous donor, who is willing to match any donation up to 5,000 USD. We urge anyone who is interested and willing to help this amazing cause to check out PEPY’s website and consider donating. Donating even a small amount can go very far in securing educational opportunities and financial security for even the poorest Cambodians. You can contact PEPY at [email protected] or donate at