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The Cambodian Village Fund is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. Its purpose is to support the families and enhance the educational opportunities of the children living in rural villages in Cambodia. The fund was organized in August 2006 by Bill and Nancy Bamberger.

Cambodia was destabilized during the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s. As American troops pulled out of Vietnam in the mid-1970s, the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, took control of Cambodia, and the era we now call the "Killing Fields" began. An estimated 2 million Cambodians were killed by this brutal regime. The country was devastated. When Bill and Nancy first visited Cambodia in 2002 they were shocked by the dilapidated infrastructure, the poverty, the disease and the number of injuries caused by land mines. But they were heartened by the spirit of the people, the wonderful history and culture of Cambodia, and by Angkor Wat, one of the most impressive ancient ruins they had seen. When the idea to help a village in Cambodia arose, they thought that Cambodia is a place that needs and deserves any help they can provide.

cambodia map

How the Fund Was Started

In 2006 Nancy's hairdresser, Chanra Chheum, told Nancy that she had purchased a bicycle for the village where her sister lives. Most of the villagers have no transportation - no cars or motorbikes or even bicycles. A bike, shared by the village, is valuable to go to markets, clinics, or schools. That single bike Chanra bought cost only $40, but had a huge impact on the village. At the time, Bill and Nancy were about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. Nancy got to thinking, "40 dollars, 40 years, why not buy a bike for the village as an anniversary gift to each other." When they mentioned this to their friends they wanted to help and the Cambodian Village Fund was born.

Chanra and Nancy
Chanra and Nancy
Who's Who?  

Bill and Nancy Bamberger founded the Cambodian Village Fund. They have traveled extensively, but keep returning to Southeast Asia since their first trip there in 2000. You can learn more about their travels at Travels with Bill and Nancy. Before he retired in 2000, Bill was in charge of developing the Geographic Information System for the City and County of San Diego. Nancy, who has a Masters in Communications from San Diego State University, worked as a TV producer, instructional designer and technical trainer. Nancy retired in 2002. Bill and Nancy, who work without compensation, are responsible for the administration of the fund, website, accounting, publicity. They also lead annual trips to Cambodia.

Nancy and Bill

Vy Sovechea, a monk from Battambang, manages the on-the-ground operations of the Cambodian Village Fund. Working with local officials, Sovechea identifies priorities, negotiates and manages contracts, supervises the Reach for the Sky scholarship program, and is an inspiration for everything the Fund does. One of Sovechea's important functions is to be a "life coach" for the students in the Reach for the Sky Scholarship program. He does all this without compensation from the Fund.

In addition to his work with the Cambodian Village fund, The Venereable Sovechea's main job is President of Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University in Battambang. He also travels extensively and is part of the interfaith peace movement.

Sonia Lunceford
Cameron Siskowic is President of Marketing. Cameron, a former NFL football player, is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. He has dedicated his life to philanthropy and has personally made large donations to the Cambodian Village Fund. Cameron's efforts have accounted for a large portion of our revenue from other donors. Cameron has visited Cambodia many times (at his own expense), frequently bringing family and friends along. Inspired by his father, Dan Siskowic, who passed away when Cameron was in high school, Cameron says, “My only goal in life is to sacrifice and give to this world as my father did to make it a better place.” Cameron Siskowic
Nem Vanna has been an important member of the Cambodian Village Fund team from the beginning. Vanna lives in Kaun Khlong Village and is the Secretary of the Primary School. He helps with the Reach for the Sky scholarship program, disbursing money to the girls in the village and purchasing books and school uniforms at the beginning of each semester. He helps manage our school and road building projects. He also manages the tuk-tuk used to transport people to hospitals and clinics. When we take groups on tours of Cambodia, one of the highlights of each tour is a delicious lunch at Vanna's house, prepared by Vanna's talented wife, Kosal

Financial Information

The Fund keeps detailed financial records. All administrative work is done by volunteers. The directors receive no compensation and handle all the project management, website development and graphic design at no cost to the Fund. The “on-the-ground” Cambodian team receives small compensation for the long hours they spend on our various projects.

Click here to see our income and expense statement.

Bylaws of the Fund

The fund's bylaws outline the principles under which the fund operates. To download the bylaws, click here.

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