The Keeley brothers deeply believe that disparity in education is a global problem that is widening the already unsustainable and unjust opportunity gap. Too many promising youth are being left behind because the education they need is inaccessible. They vowed to help narrow this disparity, even in a small way. In particular, they wanted to assist young, ambitious students who were willing to work for a future of greater possibilities but could not.
For the past six years, brothers Julian and Calum Keeley, with the valued support of their family and friends, have volunteered time to teach English and help students think about new career paths in Chanleas Dai, near Krong Siem Leap. Many of the children in the PEPY program are eager to learn and keen to contribute to their country’s continuing recovery from decades of repression under the Pol Pot regime. Unfortunately, however, these aspirations too often hit a dead end; the PEPY program only extends through high school. More training was needed. This insight and concern led the Keeley brothers to found this Collegium.
Cambodia Collegium’s goal is to help Cambodian students in their efforts to seek a better tomorrow for themselves, their families and their county. The Collegium offers guidance, training and funding for college scholarships to Khmer students in collaboration with PEPY Empowering Youth.
One year’s college tuition in Cambodia is roughly $800. Through multiple fundraising initiatives – including selling hot chocolate during the Macy’s Day Parade in NYC – the Keeley brothers have helped support a number of scholarships. Recipients of these scholarships have gone on to complete their studies in fields like computer programming and foreign languages. This effort coupled with the brothers’ annual teaching visit each summer have given them a hands-on experience in philanthropy.