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Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Melbourne, Australia

© 2019 by Cambodia Rural Students Trust

About Us...

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 our Social Enterprise store - Project Y Frozen Yogurt!! Our shop opened in Night Market Street in August 2015. Our University students manage and run the store with all profits further funding our NGO education and community projects, making this a self sustaining project while allowing our students to have hands on experience running a business.

In December 2016 the Australian entity, Cambodia Rural Students Foundation received the Deductible

Gift Recipient (DGR) tax-deductible status and has been recognised as Public Benevolent Institution (PBI).

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....

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