Study centers, private education, a scholarship home, a women’s center, extra support through grades 10 -12 (BLESS program), music and a popular soccer program are some of the ways that BrightStart assists with the learning and social needs of children in Cambodia.
Our students remain enrolled in the Cambodian public school system while attending educational offerings at BrightStart Study Centers. The Chomneak Study Center, shown above, is one of BrightStart's 10 sites. Classes are provided to students free of charge, six days per week, from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Classes are provided in the Khmer language for subjects such as Math, Biology, Physics, Chemistry and Computer Skills. Several of our centers offer multiple levels of English instruction.
BrightStart provides scholarships for outstanding students to attend the Dewey International Schools in Battambang and the ABC123 International School in Phnom Penh.
The Mary Blackwell Scholarship Home opened in October of 2016, housing young women from rural areas where educational opportunities become limited at the Grade 9 level. These girls have the opportunity to further their studies in a safe Christian environment while supervised by a full-time student residence director.
Women’s Learning & Wellness Center
Girls in Cambodia are often pressured to quit school at an early age, either to help provide for their family or to start one of their own. The needs of these young women for long-term education and skills training often remain unaddressed.
Our Women’s Learning & Wellness Center provides educational opportunities for young women who are considering dropping out of school or have already done so. We also minister to the emotional and physical needs of these vulnerable young women and their families, thereby giving them the opportunity to thrive. We are committed to value the individual within the context of her family.
We are confident that providing a safe, sacred space for these women to learn, cultivating relationships with their families, and teaching them holistic health concepts will lead them to know and experience the love of God. This BrightStart center is also known as “Niri Clahan” (Courageous Woman), which conveys our loving, growth and healing objectives. This initiative is a tangible effort supporting the United Nation’s framework to eradicate world poverty with quality education and lifelong learning as the cornerstones (“Education 2030”).
BLESS – standing for BrightStart Learning Education Success Stories – helps our students prepare for their next chapter of life after high school. BrightStart’s Grade 10 – 12 students attend a series of workshops, grooming them for success in university and careers. All of our BrightStart Grade 12 students are BLESSed with personal guidance counseling before and after they take the annual Grade 12 National Examination in August. They also are eligible for financial assistance to transition from high school to university, vocational training or a job.
Pictured are three BrightStart graduates who were awarded fully funded scholarships to continue their studies to become nurses at the Battambang Regional Training Center Medical School.
Since 2014, BrightStart's soccer program has brought a lot of fun and purpose into the lives of children in the Battambang area. Our boys’ and girls’ teams are trained in soccer skills and prepared for league play while they’re taught about Christian values, commitment and the importance of respect for themselves, the other players on the team and their coaches.
Our BrightStart students receive instruction in guitar, drums, keyboard and vocals from our valued partner Cambodia Christian Hope Ministry. Music - as well as the musicians - was essentially decimated during the late-1970s by Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime and it has been slow to re-emerge as a practiced, creative art form. BrightStart is bringing music back into their students’ lives for worship, recreation or as a professional consideration.
Several of BrightStart’s regular weekly study centers become fun-filled Sunday schools on the weekend. We have a Sunday school at BrightStart’s Svay Sa study center and at a partnering school site, Association for Knowledge Development. Our staff transitions from instructors to disciples by coaching a growing number of children to seek Jesus and His Gospel of hope, joy, unity and personal relationship.