Background


Chumkriel Language School (CLS) was started in 2005 to give the children of the Chumkriel community (near Kampot in southern Cambodia), access to life-changing skills through education, and to improve the living standards of the Community;

Families here are desperately poor. They typically earn less than US$100/month in the salt fields, the rice paddies, and on construction projects. Most do not have access to clean or reliable water; their homes don’t have toilets; and many have no transport – their children walking for as much as an hour each day to get to and from school.

CLS started in a dilapidated classroom in 2005, when the founder, Nget Sokonthy (Mr. Thy), began teaching English to 100 children. Today, under the direction of Mr Thy, it has its own dedicated Learning Centre and adjoining sporting field and vegetable garden. It’s teaching program is integrated with that of the neighbouring government primary and high school.

During the day, CLS provides basic education in Khmer subjects and English for up to 120 primary school children and computing classes for high school students. In the evenings, it offers English language classes for over 500 students of all ages.

CLS also has a community outreach program, providing housing, toilets, water supplies and bicycles for needy families in the neighbouring community.

Its philosophy is to help people to help themselves by integrating the basic needs of students and their families with the school’s education program.  And it achieves this on a budget of less than US$100,000 per year!


CLS is a grass root Cambodian organisation. The founder and Director, Mr Thy, is a Khmer teacher and his staff are Khmers from the local community. All are dedicated to assisting and uplifting the children and community they serve.

The staff are supported by selected western volunteers. These include experienced teachers who spend periods of 1 month or more in the school assisting and training the Khmer teachers.

100% of all money donated to Chumkriel Supporters goes directly to financing CLS which receives no government support and is entirely dependent on donations for its operations.

Chumkriel Supporters is a registered charity with federal government Australian Charities and Not-For Profit Commission, and Victoria. All accounts and activity are reported to ACNC and Victorian Consumer Affairs annually.  These reports are publicly available. 

CLS has an established and rigorous Australian accounting system.  This ensures every dollar received and spent is accurately tracked and accounted for. Volunteers receive no remuneration, while salaries paid to Khmer staff are in line with Cambodian standards, ranging from $450/month for the Director to $150-$250/month for teachers.