One man’s incredible story leads to better education in Cambodia

11th Dec, 2019   Feature story:

The attendees at a recent Navitas Education Trust (NET) and Classroom of Hope event were privileged to hear guest speaker Bunrith Thy (Racky) tell his inspirational story.

With great emotion, Racky recounted his experience of incredible suffering as a child in Cambodia in the 1970s. His remarkable story of survival against all odds, opened everyone’s eyes to how much the Cambodian people endured under the Khmer Rouge regime. But Racky’s story is about more than his personal journey of suffering and survival, it is also about his determination to make a difference for his country; and his incredible achievements in helping make education accessible to children in remote areas of Cambodia.

Despite the adversity of his circumstances, Racky went on to finish his own education and set up a school in regional Cambodia. It grew quickly but Racky wanted to do more – he wanted to help more children and more communities across Cambodia. A chance meeting in Cambodia brought Classroom of Hope founder Duncan Ward and Racky together, and having heard about Racky’s vision, Duncan promised to help him. Classroom of Hope was born soon after and has worked closely with Racky’s organisation Childens’ Action for Development, ever since.

With the help of Navitas Education Trust funding, Classroom of Hope has gone on to build many schools and provide numerous scholarships for the children of Cambodia. These schools provide positive spaces, allowing for students to find joy in learning. The two organisations have also provided teacher training and their efforts have resulted in a huge increase in the number of children attending school in the region of Battambang. Together, Racky and Duncan have achieved truly great things.

Everyone who attended the event will forever be touched by this remarkable man.

Classroom of Hope is an Australian non-profit organisation working to provide access to quality education for children in developing countries. Our longest-running NET partner; since 2013 NET has been funding their ‘Building for Education’ project in Cambodia which supports children and youth in accessing education by building educational infrastructure.

The NET was established to support education projects that closely align with our purpose of transforming lives through education. The trust allows Navitas to extend our reach to more people in more places. Since launching, the NET has made grants of more than $2.3million to help numerous not-for-profit organisations deliver positive educational outcomes to communities around the world.

Funding has been used to build schools, create local language reading books, connect business mentors with at-risk high-school students, increase the number of women in the STEM field, and increase the accessibility of education to disadvantaged communities around the world. We’ve funded projects in Nepal, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Australia.

To learn more about the Classroom of Hope, as well as our other NET partners, please visit the Community section on the Corporate Responsibility page our website.