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Scholarships for Girls in Cambodia

In 2021/22 the Rotary Club of Gawler Light applied to Rotary District 9510 and was approved for a Grant to assist in funding the further education of three (3) scholarships for students to study functional English at the Australian Centre for Education (ACE) in Siem Reap over a one-year period.


ACE is highly rated in the country and well respected by other further education providers and employers, providing quality education in the English language. A minimum of three modules are required to test the students’ resilience and capacity to study while providing them with an academic platform to show their abilities.


The scholarships are available to all graduating Year 12 students with a specific target of female students most in need from impoverished and vulnerable family backgrounds, showing the greatest commitment and motivation to successfully complete their studies.

Students considered for the program are from remote rural communities in Cambodia where there is a high level of under-development after completing education. COVID had made this a problem due to only having online learning.


Limited exposure to the world outside their communities make them less prepared for further education and work than a student from amore privileged background.


Attending classes at ACE will upskill their English while also preparing them for future work and study.


The local Khnao Poh High School Principal and English teacher will work with Dana Asia Ltd and the Rotary Club of Gawler Light to facilitate the selection of the neediest students for their scholarship.


The project addresses two key sustainable development goals:

  • Quality Education - Access to education for the most impoverished students in Cambodia is not always easy. Whether it is due to financial or physical barriers with schools being too far away, poor students often do not complete high school education. This means they are destined to follow in their parents’ footsteps, working unskilled jobs for minimal income, stuck in the cycle of poverty. Removing the financial barrier to give these impoverished students an opportunity to access further education is an opportunity for them to escape this cycle.


  • Gender Equality - In a patriarchal society like Cambodia, male children are given priority when it comes to work and education opportunities. For poor families with several children, the girls are often unlikely to complete school and will instead go to work, marry young, and have children. Dana Asia is trying to address this balance by ensuring female students have equal access to opportunities in further education. Removing a financial barrier and changing mindsets about the woman’s role in society and the family will mean parents do not have to choose between their sons and daughters.


Rotary Involvement & Sustainability

  • The Rotary Club of Gawler Light has worked with Dana Asia in previous projects in Cambodia and Rotarians at the club are aware of needs right now. Given Covid 19’s devastating effects on the lives and education of young girls in particular, the Club has been keen to find the most effective way to provide a solution to help secure the lives of the most vulnerable, to enable them to have the skills to complete their education that will provide a job to sustain their family in the future.

  • The Rotary Club of Gawler Light will develop this as a personalised program and will be given a list of female applicants from which the three most needy students will be chosen by the Club.

  • The objective of sustainability in the lives of vulnerable students will be monitored and measured for the Club by Dana Asia Ltd whom will provide regular reports and at the end of the course provide mentoring advice in either researching further education opportunity or by helping the student to find a job with English language skill in the opening-up Tourism market.

  • The students long term progress in life will be monitored.


Dana Asia Ltd is a registered DGR Australian Charity with advanced experience of operating projects at grass-root level in Cambodia ( The Australian Centre for Education is the most professional English Language Institute in Cambodia (

Total cost of project (sponsorship of 3 students for 1 year) = AU$2,145

Update - April 2024

This academic year, the Rotary Club of Gawler Light is supporting two scholars to study in the General English program at the Australian Centre for Education in Siem Reap. Both students started at Level 1 in January and have recently taken their end of module exams. Both passed with very good marks and will progress onto Level 2 in the next module. 

The three scholars supported at ACE by Rotary in the 2022 academic year are all studying at university in Siem Reap - studying Accounting, English as a Foreign Language and Khmer Literature. 

Rotary Club of Gawler Light contributions received: AU$5,000

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