Innovation in Education
September 20, 2019

Meet Tammy Durand
Tammy runs an innovative school called ABCs and Rice educating street kids in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Nine years ago Tammy visited Cambodia. Saw the challenges village kids faced. Vowed to do something about it.
Nine years later she is still there, living in Cambodia, doing something about it.
One of our favorite places
to support.

Here’s the Story

Government school in Cambodia is provided only for one-half day. We all know that is not enough. So, Tammy runs a free “auxiliary school” for the other half-day. She has skilled Khmer teachers, clean, organized classrooms, and an excellent library – all dedicated to providing these kids with a quality education in a loving, caring environment.

That certainly meets a pressing need. But there is more to the story. Yes, school is “free” in Cambodia, but many children cannot attend classes because their parents are unable to afford the cost of uniforms, transportation, books, and school supplies. Moreover, parents often pull their kids out of school so they can work to “help support the family”. Tammy makes a BIG difference there and has an answer for that issue.

For the 240 kids in her school, they each earn eight kilograms (17-1/2 lbs). of rice (an important staple for the family) if they have perfect attendance for two full weeks. Miss a day – lose one kilo of rice! Needless to say, her kids have a pretty darned good attendance record. Rice Day is an important event at ABCs and Rice

Tammy is also innovative in helping herself and her school. (We love helping people who help themselves.) With some previous funding from our Foundation, Tammy now has a 50% partnership with a local restaurateur operating a highly-rated pizza restaurant in the heart of the city. This provides a steady flow of income to offset the approximately $8,000 monthly expenses for running this school. But that restaurant revenue is not enough. Tammy still needs help.

Her most recent project is a “community store”. Each Sunday her kids and their parents come to a “store” (stocked with donations from local merchants) and “buy” (with scrip provided to the students by ABCs and Rice) food, clothing, and household supplies.

Tammy is a role model of innovation and creativity in providing critically important education to those most in need.

Education breaks the cycle of poverty. We know that. Please join us in helping Tammy (and other schools like this we sponsor in Cambodia) to keep lifting these kids up and out from a life of poverty.

Every single penny you donate to our Foundation goes directly to the field. Nothing is used for administration, overhead, and fund-raising. We cover those costs personally.