Want to Help Educate Kids in Cambodia?

Today Jeff and I received an email from a friend of ours from college. Maryann was my roommate during the summer I interned in DC, and throughout college we spent many afternoons together watching Rice baseball. Since graduation, she’s been doing amazing things–teaching English in Japan as part of the JET program, working as staff abroad the Peace Boat, and most recently dedicating herself to PEPY, an organization in Cambodia that merges voluntourism with a mission to improve the lives of young people through education. Maryann is a dynamic person—the kind of person who doesn’t just talk about things but gets them done—and PEPY is a fabulous organization. (I’ll personally vouch for it’s credibility, but go ahead and check out their website and look it up for yourself if you want).

Anyhow, Maryann’s email, which I’m going to share below, is a request for help. PEPY is trying to raise money to expand their programs, and if you donate through this link— http://www.networkforgood.org/pca/Badge.aspx?BadgeId=109979 —by the end of January, you can help PEPY not only through your donation but also by upping PEPY’s chances of winning an additional $50,000 dollars. Imagine how much $50,000 can do in Cambodia. Imagine how much your donation can do.

I’m not usually one to pass on things like this or solicit people for donations, but I think this is a worthwhile project, and I believe some of you may be interested in helping out. (If you can’t give by the end of January, I’m sure they’d be happy for donations any time. Also, be sure to check out their voluntourism programs and consider joining them for what promises to be an amazing trip.) As Jeff and I are especially interested in organizations doing good work in areas which we plan to travel to, we will certainly be making a donation to PEPY.

The email:
Dear friends and family,

Your 10 dollar donation might be able to earn PEPY Programs $50,000…. can you help? No, this is not a Cambodian magic trick, but a contest for whoever can get the highest NUMBER (not amount) of online donations ($10 or more) before the end of the month. The donations have to come through this link to count


I hope you know its not my style nor PEPY’s to bug people for funding. BUT, we really think we can do this and we need your help!

If you have $10 to spare, please help us out right now by going to the above link and shooting your credit card numbers into cyberspace! This contest only lasts 8 more days so it has to be soon!

If you can’t donate right now, you can still be a huge help for us by sending this message to 5-10 of your friends and asking them to donate as well. We need to get a few hundred more donations to be in the running for this, and if half the people on this list can donate $10 and get a few friends to as well, it’s very possible.

Plus, the $10 or more that you donate through this Network For Good link will go to support PEPY’s educational programs in Cambodia, so no matter what, your efforts will be doing good! Just a little catch-up for those who aren’t in the PEPY know. Besides being my new life/job in Cambodia (yes, along with grad school still, don’t worry), its also experiencing some fabulous growing pains at the moment. So many new exciting ideas and programs in our heads! We are in the midst of planning meetings this week for our one, three and five year plans, and to give you some heads up on bigger projects in the pipeline, we have been discussing:

– purchasing land in Chanleas Dai near original PEPY Ride School in order to set up a community based development organization. The office housed there would have PEPY Program Managers working on community and parent education, school educational programs, environmental and health initiatives (designed by RDIC.org), and income generating training programs. They would also work with an extensive team of community leaders hired to disseminate this work into each village. (you are the first to hear this! we have been discussing this week – more to follow!)

– working with RDIC to bring their Sesame Street-esque educational series to 100+ schools across Cambodia. By working with RDIC as they hire and train local educators to visit schools monthly, equipping them with projectors and solar powered batteries with which to show each classroom of students we will help bring social, health, environmental, and literacy issues to light for communities around Cambodia. Each of the 27 minute episodes in the 13 part series (there will be a new series produced each year), also includes an educational workbook and the students are able to do lessons and activities both before and after seeing the shows.

– we are also trying to help RDIC get the $7000 per episode raised to get this first series on TV. We are confident that once these high quality animated/puppet shows are on the air, sponsors will be knocking each other over to get their name and commercial into the allotted 3 minutes of commercial time as, as already proven in testing these videos at schools and communities including The PEPY Ride School, these videos are very popular among kids and parents alike as there is NOTHING like this in Khmer.

….. and more. These are all still on the drawing board, but keep up with us over the next few months as, with our new Cambodian Country Manager, Aline Meas, who brings seven years of experience as the Executive Director of a local NGO, we are on a great path and lots of developments are in the works!

Thank you for supporting our work and please remember to donate $10 through this link, or pass it on to friends if you can!


Many thanks for your belief in me, in PEPY, and in our team and big hugs to all,


Maryann Bylander
Interim Executive Director

maryann (at) pepyride (dot) org

Phone (US): 914-458-4262
Office (Cambodia):023-222-804
Cell (Cambodia): 012 189 2120