We're sure you've heard the term 'turning lemons into lemonade'....


Well, that was the case in 2009 when Steph decided to join her high school's project to volunteer to build houses in rural Cambodia. For personal reasons she submitted her application past the deadline and her school principal, determined that the lesson for Steph was, that if you fail to submit your paper work on time in life, you'll miss out... While we agreed, we also thought otherwise - when a 14 year-old wants to give of her self and her time to volunteer in an impoverished country she's never heard of, to us the lesson was one of unconditional open-hearted giving......


So we thought we would turn the volunteering in Cambodia into a family mission - and in the internet age, that took very little time. Two months later, 6 of us left Melbourne Australia and arrived in Siem Reap Cambodia to spend two weeks volunteering at a rural school and orphanage - two weeks that changed our lives.....

We travelled back to Cambodia several times over the next two years, volunteering and supporting various projects and NGOs. While some of the organisations we assisted were run by well organised, responsible and accountable people, others appeared to be a front to enrich the NGO's directors at the expense of the kids.

So in 2011 we decided to set-up out own NGO - the Cambodia Rural School Trust (CRST). This enabled us to provide the most assistance possible to the most needy,

as well as be fully accountable and transparent with where our funds are going. Today our projects include students in Primary School, High School and University, daily volunteering and community school and a vocational training centre to name just a few... In mid 2018 we changed the name of CRST to represent the students, and we are now Cambodia Rural Students Trust


We are excited to now own and operate multiple Social Enterprise projects including Project Y Frozen Yogurt (2015), Project G Empowering Girls (2018), Project R Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle Plastic Education program (2019), Project B Bicycles for Education (2019), Project W Water for Education (2021) as well as Project V which is the ultimate Volunteer Experience! To find out more about our Projects click here!! 

Cambodia Rural Students Foundation is an Australian Government registered Tax Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and the Cambodia Rural Students Foundation Inc is a US Government registered public charity under IRS code 501(c)(c3)

Our financial books are audited on a pro-bono (free) basis, by an external accounting firm, confirming that 100% of our funds are spent enriching the lives of some of the poorest people on the planet....

About us

Why we are unique...

Our NGO sponsors our students’ education, health and dental care, life-skill courses and monthly living allowances

Our students receive the best education possible and in return, contribute back to society

We teach our students that EDUCATION is the key to them breaking their poverty cycle – through EDUCATION they will improve their lives, as well as help their families, community and country....

We have no overheads and 100% of funds are used for education and community projects

 Our NGO is managed on the ground in Cambodia by our senior students, who are mentored by a group of Australian business volunteers


Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Melbourne, Australia

© 2021 by Cambodia Rural Students Trust