Paving the road for a better future
First and foremost New Dream of Cambodian Children is the vision and the work of one man: Kimlean Voeun.
Kimlean is one of those rare people in the world whose light brightens up the lives of others. Kimlean is a tuk-tuk driver in Siem Reap. This is his story.
Kimlean was born a peasant but ran away from home at the age of 13 determined to change his life. He walked for three days without water or food before reaching Siem Reap.
Local Buddhist monks gave him sanctuary. He stayed three years in a monastery and learned English. Then, he took his first job in a restaurant and when receiving his first salary sent half of it to his family. It was the first time in three years his parents heard from him…
Kimlean kept saving money to buy his first motorbike and started a business as a taxi. A few years later he bought a tuk-tuk and then set up and ran an English school for poor village kids.
In 2014, he opened a free English school for children from poor backgrounds which is funded entirely by himself. It is extremely popular in the local community. He also supports 45 local families with rice donations which he acquires from his own pocket, every month.
He works seven days a week, from 7 am to 1 am. He is married and has four lovely daughters.
Kimlean is a true inspiration for all of us at the New Dream of Cambodian Children Organisation.
In February 2018, Paul Bane Smith, on a trip to Angkor Wat, met Kimlean and visited the school. Inspired by Kimlean’s story and touched by the kids eagerness to learn, Paul felt he couldn’t just go back home without doing something.
So he decided to stay around in order to help the school. Right away, he started a fundraising campaign. The support we received has been amazing.
In April 2018, thanks to the donation, we bought the charity license ($2,500) in order to register the school as a Non Governmental Organisation.
In May 2018 we managed to buy the land ($20,000) to build a brand new full-time school for 150 Cambodian children. This was a major step to any sustainable future for the school.
Today, New Dream of Cambodian Children provides free English lessons, five days a week, to 85 kids ranging from 6-16 years old. A daily on-site nutritious meal is also provided to students, providing vital nourishment as a safety net for poor families and helping keep children in school.