About Our Community
Our Sunshine Community is made up of...
Meet the Sunshine Children
The Sunshine community is made up of around 300 children from 200 different families. Many of the older children used to work on the city streets - searching through garbage, looking for recyclable material to sell; begging around the market or tourist areas; or selling postcards, snacks or trinkets. In this environment they were highly vulnerable to abuse and the many dangers of street life. They were also unable to access their basic human right to an education and thereby were denied the opportunity to break free of the poverty cycle.
Today, the children:
- Range in age from 6 - 20 years old (those who had late starts with school).
- Come from a background of hardship and deprivation, with little or no prior education.
- Are enormously grateful for the opportunity Sunshine gives them! They still have many challenges but can now face those obstacles with hope in their hearts and the love, support and encouragement of Sunshine staff.
- Are beautiful and we love them!
- Live in very basic conditions, usually a rented one room dwelling made of wood or brick with a tin roof. Most have running water and electricity but limited bathing facilities
- Often are broken families, single parents with single incomes supporting several children
- Have low and irregular income. Mostly the parents are unskilled labourers, working as vegetable pickers, sellers in the market, car washers, construction workers, and motorbike taxi drivers.
- Sickness and poor health affect a parent's ability to earn an income and are a drain on meagre resources.
- Have little or no education.
- Have been unable to educate their children because of the costs associated with public education.
- Like their children, are very appreciative of the support and hope Sunshine brings to their lives.
"If not for Sunshine, my family would be in a terrible situation. Sunshine provides a safe place, good discipline and character development for my kids beside education."Mith Narin, aged 45, sells river snails as a snack food, and had 4 kids at Sunshine.
"My kid has changed a lot since he started to study at Sunshine. The way he behaves to me. He says thanks when I give something to him. He wakes me early in the morning to bring him to Sunshine. He now respects adults. Sunshine is a safe, warm and loving place for my kids to learn."Van That, aged 30, construction worker and motorcycle taxi driver
Nop Channy, Director
Channy comes from a poor farming family in Prey Veng province and is one of six children. Like many poor school children, he earnt money by selling cakes and vegetables and caught fish in his free time. During high school, he lived at a pagoda for 3 years to relieve the financial burden on his family. Channy is one of the few people from his town to study at university in Phnom Penh. While studying, he also worked as a motor-taxi driver, guard, cleaner and taught both English and Khmer. It was a real juggling act! He feels so blessed that it was during this difficult year that he came to know Jesus and accepted Him as his Savior. Over the next four years Channy lived in a Christian dormitory where he continued to grow in his faith.
In 2002 Channy earned an Economics degree, majoring in Management and went on to achieve a Diploma in English. In 2011, he graduated with an MBA from the National University of Management. Channy continues to develop professionally through various courses, workshops and conferences. He has also taught courses in English, Khmer, communications and project management and gained work experience in administration, HR management and finance for various organizations, schools, universities and a factory.
Channy started at Sunshine in 2008 as Operations Manager and displayed strong management and leadership skills, as well as his heart to serve Christ and the poor. In March 2010 he was made Sunshine’s very first Cambodian Director. Channy is currently the Steering Committee chair of Chab Dai Coalition and a board member of Prison Fellowship Cambodia.
Channy is married to Sreyneth with 2 daughters, Hannah (7) and Vanilla (3).
"I will try my best to serve God’s mission through Sunshine Cambodia and will use Sunshine’s funds with effectiveness, integrity, and transparency. Thank you very much for your kind support.”
LONG Samnang, Program Manager for Child and Family Development Programs
Samnang was also born into a poor family in Prey Veng province. He is married Pharourn and has two daughters, Rebekah (8) and Alyza (5). He has a bachelor degree in Khmer Literature from the Royal University of Phnom Penh (2001) and a Masters Degree of Christian Studies from Seminary Theology, Malaysia (2011). He has served as a pastor for more than six years, as Executive Director for six years for the NGO, Cambodia Development Student Organization and World Development, two years as Ministry Team Project Manager with Samaritan’s Purse International Relief, and also as a lecturer for two years with Chamroeun University of Poly-Technology.
Samnang desires to become an instrument of God, and help build a strong and mature team for Sunshine Cambodia which, in turn, is able to help the poor grow physically and spiritually. He leads Sunshine’s Child and Family Development Program staff and also provides pastoral care for the wider staff.
“Whatever we do, whoever we serve and wherever we go, must be always in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Only in His name will each family we work with be restored. We work and serve not by any other name, but only in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
KY Sovanndeth, Child & Youth Development Facilitator
Deth was born in Kompong Cham province but has lived in Phnom Penh since 1980. Because he grew up during times of war and civil unrest, he was only able to study to grade 4. Nevertheless, he had a strong heart to serve people and develop himself. He has worked as a fisherman, farmer, driver, security guard, house manager and now community worker.
Deth has done courses in Child Holistic Development, Child Rights, Protection and Abuse, Drug Addiction, Case Management, Practical Social Works, 7 Habits, Micro Enterprise Development, Training of Trainer, Knowing My Self and Effective Communication, Boy Abuse, First Aid and Reproductive Health, and Savings and Credit Association.
Deth joined Sunshine in 2008 and has worked as Sponsorship Coordinator, School Liaison Officer, Child Development Coordinator, and now Child & Youth Development Facilitator.
Deth is married to Savat with 3 adult children and 4 grandchildren.
“I serve God by serving the people, especially poor children who lack opportunity and I want them to have a chance to develop their lives unlike me, because when I was young it was the war time and I had no options. I am happy to be a part of this work.”
SENG Sreyta, Child Development Facilitator
Sreyta comes from a poor family in Phnom Penh and is the elder of 2 sisters. After her father died, the family struggled to get by and after school, she would help sell cakes and snacks made by her grandmother. Later they received support from a Christian organization. After finishing high school, she worked in a factory for 3 months but then received sponsorship to study for a degree in finance and banking. At the same time, she worked as a preschool Teacher at a local church and found she had a gift for teaching children. Her love for children led her to volunteer as a Children’s Club Teacher at Sunshine Cambodia and after 6 months, she became a full time staff member.
Sreyta recently got married to Theara.
“Even though I have a finance and banking degree, I work as teacher of children rather than as a bank teller or accountant because I love children. I think that God’s plan is sometimes different from what we are thinking!”
PI Sambath, Child Development Facilitator
Sambath comes from Kampong Thom. Her parents are farmers and had 4 children. In June 2015 she graduated with a Bachelor of Sociology from the Royal University of Phnom and continues to study for a degree in English. She has worked as a receptionist, voluntary teacher, and research data collector with local NGOs.
“I am very interested in my job. I want to see all children and families saved by Jesus. Sunshine Cambodia is a wonderful place because all the staff are kind and willing to help one another to improve and grow in experience.”
SOU Kimthuon, Case Manager
Kimthuon comes from a poor family in Phnom Penh and is married to Sophors with one baby daughter, Vechra. He has a diploma in Christian Ministry and a Bachelor in Accounting. He has attended many courses on Peace Building, Child Protection, Minimum Standards for Protection of the Rights of Victims of Human Trafficking, Counseling, Trauma and PTSD, and Project Cycle Management.
He has worked as pastor’s assistant for 6 years, with World Relief Cambodia as a Teacher for 2 years, as an Assistant School Director for 1 year and with Prison Fellowship Cambodia as a Project Officer for about six years.
“I am very pleased and delighted to be part of Sunshine Cambodia, I hope that the work I do will help people who truly need it.”
KEN Chaova, Family Development Facilitator
Chaova is from Prey Veng, the second of six children. When he was in high school, he raised chickens so he could buy clothes and school uniforms. His parents could not afford to pay for university so Chaova went to Phnom Penh and worked over the years as a construction worker, guard, dish collector, coffee deliverer and waiter in a restaurant but he still could not afford to study at university.
In 2005, by the grace of God, he had a chance to study at a Christian NGO in a 2-year multi-skills program, majoring in English and computer networking. He also did courses in Human Resource Management, Secretary and Administration, Teaching Pedagogy, Practical Social Works, Project Management, Conflict Resolution, and Microenterprise Development, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, Dealing with Trauma and Secondary Trauma, Reproductive Health, and Parenting skills. He also has experience in various organizations as an English trainer and Centre Manager for about three years and as a real estate agent for one year.
He got married to Leakhena in 2015.
“As I got my higher education from Christian organizations, I want to serve Christ in Christian organizations particularly to help to poor people to improve their lives as I know about poverty from personal experience.”
OU Chanthet, Family Development Facilitator
Chanthet is from Battambang and is one of 4 children from a poor family. She first worked for Sunshine as a cook, over 10 years ago! She shopped and cooked for about 100 people a day and was well-known for her clean and tidy kitchen and delicious food.
Being keen to learn and improve herself, Chanthet started teaching half-time from October 2007 and 2 years later she was a full time grade 1 teacher. She studied English, Admin & Accounting, and became responsible for Petty Cash. However, in 2012, due to Sunshine’s restructuring for the new model, Chanthet’s contract was not renewed. She easily found a job as a primary teacher with another Christian NGO. When Sunshine had an opening for community staff in 2014, Chanthet applied and is now a Family Development Facilitator.
Chanthet is married to Lavin with 2 children, Leakhena (15) and Rattanak (11).
“I am very pleased and delighted to be part of Sunshine Cambodia and I enjoy working to help poor families and children. I'm also happy to learn a lot of new things and I get a lot of support from the team which is like one family. I'm so glad to be able to serve God here!”
PAN Leaksmey, Admin and Account Coordinator
Leaksmey is from Battambang and has one younger brother. She came to Phnom Penh in 2009 to study accounting and stayed in a Christian dormitory, “Pillars”, for nearly 4 years where she grew in her faith. She worked as a cashier and bookkeeper for another Christian organisation before joining Sunshine in 2013.
“Everything is just a step in life but those steps push me to the next level. I love working with Sunshine Cambodia. I want to help those who need help. This is my dream since I was young.”
OEM Phary, Admin and Account Assistant
Phary comes from Takeo province and is one of 4 children. In 2010 she finished high school, but her parents could not afford to pay for university. Phary prayed to God even though she didn’t yet believe in Jesus. One month later her brother said he could save some money for her. She was able to enrol at university and lived in a girl’s dormitory run by a church for two years. This helped her faith grow and she served God by helping with Sunday school, youth activities, and Sunday services.
Phary has a degree in Finance and Banking and finished a two-year course in English and Computer Networking. She worked as an Admin Assistant for the church before joining Sunshine in 2014.
“I like working with Sunshine Cambodia very much as all the staff are friendly and helpful and we have good friendships.”
HY Kimhon, Child and Family Development Facilitator
Kimhon, 36 years old, comes from Kandal Province and is the firstborn of 4 children from a poor farming family. He became a Christian in 2003, and started working as a volunteer children’s English teacher, as well as with Evangelism for New Life Fellowship, Krang Yov. He has attended short courses on Christian School Ministry such as Church Planting and is currently studying at university and will graduate in 2017 with a Bachelor of Business of Administration, majoring in Management.
Before starting with Sunshine Cambodia, Kimhon worked as a Church Planter for New Life Fellowship Phnom Penh and as an Adult Development Facilitator for 8 years with World Relief Cambodia.
Kimhon's younger sister worked for Sunshine Cambodia but sadly passed away in 2016. During this sad time, Kimhon saw the care and support of the Sunshine Cambodia director and staff which impressed him, and he applied to join the organisation in April 2016 as a Child and Family Development Facilitator.
Married to Chan in 2013, they have 2 children, Chanpanharoth (20 months) and Chanpanhaboth (8 months).
“I’m so glad that God chose me to be a part of Sunshine Cambodia to help poor families and to grow together…..!”
PRAK Sovan Chenda, Volunteer Child and Family Development Facilitator
Chenda is 24 years old, is from Svay Rieng province and has one older brother. Chenda came to Phnom Penh in 2004 from a poor family who were unable to support her desire to study.
Chenda learned of Sunshine Cambodia, and with their support, she was able to attend school even though she was a little older than the other children in her class. In 2014 she finished high school and completed English language courses at BELTEI International Institute in 2015. She was one of Sunshine Cambodia’s first children to attend university, completing her foundation year (Year 1) at Royal University of Phnom Penh, majoring in Sociology. Due to her family situation, she has needed to postpone her second year at uni in order to support her family.
Chenda came to faith in Jesus in 2011 through the Agape Salom Center Church.
She has worked as a Receptionist with Glow Cambodia, as a private English teacher for local children as well as a Khmer language teacher for foreign children.
Chenda started work with Sunshine Cambodia in May 2016 as a volunteer/substitute Child and Family Development Facilitator during the maternity leave of another staff member.
“I love working with Sunshine Cambodia because I want to help and encourage all children to be strong even though we are from poor families. This is my dream since I was a sponsored student of Sunshine Cambodia.”
LIM Pheara, Child and Family Facilitator
Pheara, 23 years old, was born in Phnom Penh and has a brother. Her father is a state school primary school teacher and her mother is a housewife. She graduated in 2015 from Royal University of Phnom Penh with a Bachelor of Psychology. Pheara has volunteered with a number of NGOs, working in poor areas as a teacher's assistant, counselor and caregiver.
In April 2016, Pheara started work full time with Sunshine Cambodia as a Child and Family Development Facilitator. It is her first official full time job.
“I really enjoy working with Sunshine Cambodia because it is a Christian NGO and I can be involved in helping poor children and their families and I can serve God through this organization. I want to see the families that we are working with believing in God, and their children gaining knowledge to improve their living like other privileged people. I’m so thankful to God that He chose me to serve Him through Sunshine Cambodia. This is a great opportunity to serve others, especially the families who need God’s love and hope in their lives. Every child is so special in God’s eyes!” "In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish." (Matthew 18:14)
Sunshine Governing Board
Sunshine has a Board of Directors (expatriate and Khmer) based in Cambodia, which meets on a regular basis to provide governance and guidance.
The Director is responsible and accountable to the Board and, in turn, the Board is accountable and responsible to Christian Care for Cambodia, Global Development Group (providing tax deductibility in Australia), donors and the Royal Government of Cambodia.
LY Tech, Board Chair
Tech is from Kompong Thom province and has a Bachelor in Geography and a Masters in Educational Science. He has been involved with local churches for 18 years as Sunday School Teacher, Pastor, and Steering Committee Member, and has worked for over 12 years with Cambodia Campus Crusade for Christ as a volunteer, field staff, Director of Campus Ministry and New Staff Training Coordinator, and Leadership Team Member. Since 2006 he has worked with World Vision and is currently Technical Officer in the Learning for Transformation Unit.
Tech has been on the Sunshine board since 2010 and from September 2013 has been the chair of the board.
Tech is married to Kunthea and they have two sons, Isaac (17) and Evandis (14) and a daughter, Villa (4).
“I want to assist Sunshine to help poor children and as a board member/chair, I can be a part of SC’s leadership and help them work more effectively with poor children and families.”
Margaret Posnett, Board Member (ex-chair)
Margaret is from UK but has lived in Cambodia for 10 years. As a certified midwife and Registered General Nurse, Margaret has many years of experience with Cambodian and International organizations since 1986. Her fields of expertise and experience are Healthcare, Family Development, Child Protection, Project Evaluation, Leadership, Research, Consultancy, and Strategic Management. She is also a board member for 3 other organizations.
Margaret was the chair for Sunshine Cambodia’s Governing Board from December 2006 to September 2013 and was delighted when Sunshine became a local NGO with a Cambodian chair. Margaret is currently on a leave of absence from the board for a year as she works directly with the community staff in case management.
Margaret is married to Tony and they have 2 sons, George (18) and John (14) and a daughter, Aine (16).
Bonnie Lepelaar, Board Secretary
Bonnie is from Australia and first came to Cambodia in 1995. Bonnie has an Associate Diploma in Divinity & Mission and many years of work experience in office and administration, as well as ESL teaching. She worked as an ESL teacher for 6 years then after a 4 year break, returned to Cambodia under Church Missionary Society-Australia. She became involved with Sunshine Cambodia in 2006 and was Director for 3½ years, before handing over to Nop Channy. She has been a part of Sunshine’s board since August 2006.
Bonnie now works as International Communications Officer for the Bible Society in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos.
Bonnie is married to Rolf and they have 2 children, Jasmine (17) and Samuel (15).
CHAN Sambo, Board Treasurer
Sambo is from Kompong Speu province, married to Sopheap with 3 children Vireakpha (19), Vireakvotey (14), and Vireaksotheary (3).
Sambo has degrees in Law and Accounting and has many years of experience in these fields. He has been on the Sunshine board since November 2013.
Emily J. Scott, Board Member
Emily has a Bachelor of Arts, Social Work and Christian Ministries. She has worked as Social Worker and Outreach Worker for several organizations in Cambodia and the U.S.A. She now works as the Communications Officer and Director’s Assistant with an NGO, Mother’s Heart.
Emily grew up in Cambodia and speaks Khmer fluently. She joined the Sunshine board in September 2015.
LY Pisey, Board Member
Mr Pisey is 36 years old and is married with one daughter. He graduated with a Bachelor of Accounting and Computer Science and is currently the Director of Pioneering Partner in Cambodia (PPC), an NGO working with poor children, youth and families. He is also a freelance consultant and business owner for printing services, a travel agency, and a construction company. From 2004 to 2010, he worked for International Cooperation Cambodia as the Income Generation Project Facilitator, for the Fine Art Association as Finance and Admin Coordinator, and for the Neutral Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Election in Cambodia as Assistant to Finance and Admin Coordinator.
For a number of years, his organization, PPC, was the official partner with Sunshine Cambodia, providing technical training on Micro Enterprise Development, Saving Scheme and Training of Trainers.
Mr. Pisey joined the Sunshine Cambodia Governing Board in September 2016.
“From our time of partnership, I knew of Sunshine Cambodia’s works and I really support this organization. As a board member, I want to contribute my expertise and experience to govern this organization to achieve better effectiveness and efficiency.”
Sunshine Cambodia is proud to partner with several internationally-recognised organisations to strengthen our programs. Read about each below.
The Chab Dai Coalition addresses human trafficking and exploitation through coalition building, advocacy and research. Sunshine has benefited greatly from Chab Dai's training and resources.
Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehalibitation
Sunshine Cambodia has signed a Project Agreement with the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehalibitation (MoSVY), Royal Government of Cambodia as its official partner.
The Cambodian NGO Committee on CEDAW (NGO CEDAW)
CEDAW is the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. Sunshine Cambodia is a member of NGO CEDAW which comprises a coalition of more than 70 NGOs and has significant networks dedicated to the advancement of women.
Sunshine is a not-for-profit organisation. Without the kindness and generosity of our donors and sponsors this work would not continue. You are an integral part of our Sunshine Community! THANK YOU...
- Equitas Group
- CMS Australia
- Riverview Children's Foundation
- Chab Dai Coalition
- Global Development Group
- Global Giving
- St Matthew's Anglican Church, West Pymble
- Kingsford Church of Christ
- Rouse Hill Anglican College
- North Ringwood Uniting Church
- Temple Christian College
- Tyndale Christian School
- Arden Anglican School
- Ascent Foundation
- Children's Hunger Relief Fund
- Equitas Group