A good problem to have
Extraordinary academic success poses challenges to Scholarship Fund
Thirteen years ago, we welcomed our very first group of kids to the Asia's Hope Children's Home in Battambang, Cambodia. We promised them more than just a place to stay. We promised them a family. We also promised them that, if they finished high school, we would pay for them to attend university.
In a country where only 18% of the most recent generation of Cambodians have graduated from High School, we could never have predicted that 87% of Asia's Hope students could be expected to graduate, and that more than 90% of our graduates in Cambodia would seek post-secondary education. These extraordinary outcomes hold across our entire organization. We couldn't have known that in 2016, we would have nearly 800 children in our care across all of our projects — with 90 of them enrolled in 4 year university programs.
As our executive director has observed, "It's a good problem to have. But it's a problem nonetheless…
As we neared the end of 2015, we needed to raise an additional $37,000 in order to meet the expenses of our university students. This was a daunting challenge, but by the end of the school year, we had raised the necessary funds to keep all of our young scholars enrolled, making good on our promises to these hardworking kids.
In 2016, giving for the scholarship fund was up by 31%. This includes both unrestricted scholarship funds (money to be used for any student in any of our homes) and in restricted funds (money to be used only for a specific home’s current or future scholarship needs). This growth in scholarship giving represents an encouraging trend. But we need to continue this trend, significantly increasing our educational funding in order to meet the needs of the next generation of students that will be graduating from high school across Asia’s Hope’s 32 children’s homes.
By 2020, we could have more than 225 children enrolled in university each year. This means that over the next 15 years, we need to generate $5.3 million in contributions to our scholarship fund, raising an average of $380,000 per year.
In 2017, we are looking to establish new church, corporate and individual funding partnerships, and we're praying that existing partners will increase their contributions to the scholarship fund.
If you know of an organization or individual who understands the transformative role of education in the lives of under-resourced communities, please let us know about them, and let them know about the bright, hard-working kids at Asia's Hope.