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Giving Back

Founded in 2011 by the Palti family from Melbourne, Australia, the Cambodia Rural Students Trust (CRST) is a Non-Government Organisation (NGO) registered with the Cambodian Interior Ministry. CRST sponsors our students’ education, health and dental care, life-skill courses and monthly living allowances. Being sponsored to study also means being part of the NGO family, a support system and hands-on learning experience in itself.

This unique NGO currently sponsors the high school and university education of 104 bright students from poor rural families. CRST is unique for two key reasons – firstly there are zero overheads, so every dollar in donations is used for education and community projects; secondly, CRST is managed entirely by the students of the NGO, who receive daily mentoring on managing an organisation. Additionally, all our students volunteer regularly in the community – essentially they are taught that they are Cambodia’s future leaders and they can start helping society now, they don’t have to wait until they graduate and earn money.

The CRST students also lead and manage several educational social enterprise projects, each focused on social challenges in rural Cambodia and designed to support and empower rural students and communities –

  • Project B – Bicycles for Education, provides bicycles to students who walk long distances to school each day. The Mobile Bike Mechanic program also repairs hundreds of bicycles for rural students annually.


  • Project G – Empowering Girls, educates high school students about the reproductive system and distributes reusable feminine hygiene Kits to rural high school girls.


  • Project L – Light for Education, provides solar study lights and study supplies to remote rural students living in energy poverty.


  • Project T – Trees for Life, is planting thousands of trees around Siem Reap.


  • Project V – The Volunteer Experience, provides overseas guests with a hands-on, sustainable volunteer experiences.


  • Project W – WASH for Education, installs clean drinking water, toilets and rubbish incinerators in rural schools, accompanied by WASH educational workshops.

Our students are taught that education leads to empowerment and as Cambodia’s future leaders, it’s their responsibility to empower themselves so they can inspire other rural students to follow in their footsteps and stay at school, so they too can help break their families’ poverty cycles.


The 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 section 501(c)(c3).


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