Highlights of Gratitude, Partnership, Needs & Giving

Highlight of Gratitude: Nisa Sokun

While the Spitler School Foundation does not fundraise for a dedicated scholarship program, some of the Spitler School Foundation donors have asked over the years how they can continue to support our students’ education once they graduate from our schools. SSF assisted these donors in creating a scholarship program, and SSF provides logistics and oversight to connect these donors with students who succeed through the application process.

We’d love to highlight one of the scholarship recipients: Nisa Sokun. Nisa recently graduated from Nokor Thom High School, a sister school of Stephan Mazujian Middle School. After having successfully passed her high school diploma’s examination, Nisa was awarded a four-year-university scholarship from the Narayanan Family, an SSF donor. Nisa is currently studying mathematics at the University of South-East Asia, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Achieving a degree in mathematics at a university has always been Nisa’s dream, and as a high school student, she excelled. But the cost to attend a university is difficult to imagine for many of our students from the rural surrounding villages. Nisa was extremely excited and grateful for Spitler School Foundation’s scholarship, and has decided to volunteer as an admin assistant for our schools. Her duties include writing and distributing correspondence memos, letters, and forms; developing and maintaining filing system; attending and taking detailed minutes; and some other tasks assigned by the director of administration. With her deep passion about office work and friendly personality, Nisa has become a valued asset for the local Spitler School Foundation staff.

Highlight of Partnership: Charlie Crawford

SSF would like to welcome Charlie Crawford as the new Kids Play International (KPI) Program Manager in Cambodia. He carries on in the footsteps of Katey Lippitt, who established a strong foundation of programs within and outside of our schools to promote gender equality through sport. Charlie, a graduate of Haverford College with a BA in Philosophy, has spent over 10 years working with a global NGO using Play and Sport to address local social issues. During this time, he partnered closely with over 100 Sport for Development organizations around the world as a consultant, and a curriculum and play based education specialist.

We are continuously amazed and blessed by our partnership with KPI and the lasting, positive impact they have made with the students and community.

Highlight of Needs: Operating Costs

We continue to focus on our finances as funding levels make all fiscal and operational decisions challenging. Unfortunately, we are currently forecasting a $18,000 shortfall in our operating costs for the remainder of 2023. While constant communication with our school staff provides insight on the most critical financial needs and allows us to quickly reallocate funds, we are now dipping into our limited reserves to maintain daily operations. We truly appreciate your generosity and donations–without you the Spitler School would not be possible. But as we are quickly approaching the end of the calendar year and the beginning of tax season, we urge you to consider making a separate donation to our general operation fund in order to maintain current required operating funds.

Highlight of Giving: Mint.com and more…

We invite you to join us in creative and fun ways to raise money for our schools. If you are starting to plan for your holiday cards, Mint.com has partnered with SSF to give you a promo code for 20% off and they will donate 15% back to SSF. Just use the promo code: FUNDRAISESPITLER. You can also use Facebook to start a fundraiser for SSF. We are also a listed charity and can receive donations through Every.org.

Other creative ways to raise money: Run/Hike/Bike for a Cause; Collect items and hold a virtual silent auction; Ask a local business to sponsor a profit share for a few hours; Garage/Yard Sale for a Cause; etc. Is there anything better than having fun for a good cause?

The Passing of Phalla

This past month, we lost one of our brightest and most personable young graduates from 2011. Phalla Oudom Teav was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident on a wet highway while traveling home to visit his family. His loss is especially painful to the SSF community—not only are our former staff and volunteers mourning his passing, but Phalla was one of the few SSF students who continued to be sponsored by a donor beyond their time with SSF. Phalla attended a rigorous international school (grades 7 through 12) where he learned to speak fluent English and excelled academically. He then attended Stamford University in Bangkok, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He was in the early stages of a promising career with a real estate development firm in Phnom Penh. We are reaching out to Phalla’s family, whose home is near the Spitler School, to provide whatever help we can offer during this difficult time. Visit our website to learn more about Phalla through a touching tribute written by Jim Latt, a long-time volunteer and advisor to our schools.

>> Phalla’s Tribute <<

Donation Spotlight: An Upgrade from Our Well-Loved Computers

Thomas Lackner, Senior Vice President, Europe, at Apellis Pharmaceuticals, along with his wife Daniela, have been longtime supporters of the Spitler School Foundation and its computer literacy program. Thomas, along with Petro Dragoumanos, Jeff Russo, and Mike McGrawth at Apellis, recently donated over 85 laptops for our schools’ computer labs. This extremely generous gift came at a critical time, as our computers were well-loved by our students and thus reaching the end of their life. Computer literacy is not part of the required curriculum in Cambodia, so SSF relies solely on our donors to provide this essential skill to our students.

We are fortunate to have generous donors like Thomas, Petro, Jeff, and Mike, who volunteer their time, energy, support, and resources to SSF.

Ongoing expenses for SSF include the monthly salaries for computer teachers at both Spitler School and our middle school. We also provide internet access for both schools. We invite you to join our friends at Apellis Pharmaceuticals and help us continue to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children.