In 2014, a local guide named Mr. Ta, who spent much of his childhood at Phnom Kulen trying to survive the wars and occupation, brought Gordon Elliott and his wife, Claire Handleman to the Phnom Kulen area. Gordon and Claire experienced the difficult situation facing Kulen Mountain and much of rural, Northern Cambodia. Still reeling from years of hardship, the opportunity for education was almost non-existent at Kulen Mountain. Gordon returned to New York and quickly partnered with his friend Philip Mactaggart to make sure the communities had what they needed to rebuild their schools and future.
Our story is centered around the beautiful and sacred mountain region of Phnom Kulen in Northern Cambodia. Once the center of the great Khmer Empire, it also experienced many tumultuous years of civil war and occupation serving as jungle covered battlegrounds for many fighting factions in the latter part of the 20th century.
Views of the Phnom Kulen area
So what’s our mission?
Kulen Outreach’s mission is to provide the children from the rural region of Phnom Kulen and Northern Regions of Cambodia with the opportunity to be a part of Cambodia’s future growth and development.
How do we accomplish our mission?
Kulen Outreach achieves its goals by providing these children with high quality education and by exposing them to the myriad of opportunities from rural primary schools, learning centers, enrichment programs and access to higher education at our urban campus and dormitory.
Gordon and Claire visited the communities of Phnom Kulen with Mr. Ta. Within a few months, Kulen Outreach was formed and a plan was formed.
Primary Schools Open
Kulen Outreach opens two primary schools in the communities of Popel and Khla Khmum. 180 students arrived, ready to learn. Within a year that number jumped to 250 students.
Basic Needs Delivered
School supplies, school uniforms, shoes, computers, solar panels, internet, kitchen supplies, hygiene facilities and the list goes on delivered to our primary schools.
First Tomato War Fundraiser
As our team grows, so does our creative fundraising.Philip Mactaggart and the Millbrook Community, north of New York City hosted the first Tomato fundraiser to help Kulen Outreach build its program.
Siem Reap Campus and Dormitory Opens
Realizing the need to get our primary students from the rural countryside access a higher level of education, our program locates a space and opens a campus and dormitory in urban Siem Reap.
As our campus in Siem Reap proves successful and grows in population, we quickly realize it’s time to buy land and build a larger campus. We purchased land 1.5 km from the centre of Siem Reap, large enough to accommodate a large campus for 100 students.
New Campus Design
Atelier Cole and Building Trust Cambodia design the new campus.
New Campus Opens
Groundbreaking starts in 2019 and we finish the first phase of our Siem Reap Campus.
Third Primary School Opens
With our campus in Siem Reap working, Kulen Outeach teams up with Building Trust International to design and build another primary school in the Varin district north of Phnom Kulen. 85 students show up for school on day one. Within a year, that number jumped to 111 students.
Campus Extension Completed
As our campus swells in population size to 50 students, construction begins on the 2nd phase of our school bringing our capacity to house and teach 100 students.
Where We Work
Secondary Education & Dormitory
Siem Reap Campus