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Allen & Overy supports SeeBeyondBorders to help Cambodian education

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Allen & Overy is supporting SeeBeyondBorders, a charity dedicated to improving the quality of teaching and learning at schools in Cambodia, by providing funds and pro bono legal advice across a number of areas.

In Cambodia, even before the pandemic, the education system ranked among the weakest in the world. Less than three percent of 15 year olds are achieving minimum proficiency levels in Maths, Literacy or Science, and the mean years of schooling in Cambodia is just 4.8 years. SeeBeyondBorders was founded in 2008 in response to the lack of qualified and educated teachers and extremely poor learning outcomes in Cambodian primary schools. The charity, which is endorsed by Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, has contributed to the National Education Strategic Plan and improved the teaching quality of over 500 teachers and positively impacted the learning of over 27,000 children.

Allen & Overy’s funding will support the SeeBeyondBorders Educational Changemakers project that aims over two years to provide five Cambodian female graduates (the Changemakers),  with a training programme designed to equip them with the high-level skills and knowledge required to be educational leaders who can positively influence the development of the Cambodian education system. The project’s goal is to give access to quality teaching and learning not just for a small community over the duration of the project but as a ‘starter kit’ for longer-term educational change for a generation of Cambodian children.

Sarah Wilson, Partner in our Bangkok office who is leading our pro bono efforts with SeeBeyondBorders, commented: “Supporting access to education, social mobility and female leadership are key priorities for our pro bono efforts. We are excited to be working on this project with SeeBeyondBorders in supporting them to change the future of education in Cambodia, particularly as Covid-19 has caused substantial learning losses for children due to school closures. The project is an innovative approach to encouraging ambitious young women to enter the education sector and advocate for positive change for the future generation of children.” 

CEO of SeeBeyondBorders Edward Shuttleworth added: “We are delighted that the Global Grants Committee at Allen & Overy has chosen to fund our fledgling Educational Changemakers project in 2022. Change is led by people and organisations with vision and we look forward to working together with the team at Allen & Overy to inspire promising young Khmers and broaden their horizons. It is this next generation of young Cambodians who will be the ones to lead their communities and secure a quality education for the development of their own country.”

As a result of the Educational Changemakers project:

  • 300 children will have improved educational provision
  • Technology will be introduced to rural schools in a contextually appropriate manner by the Changemakers
  • The delivery of community initiatives by the Changemakers will bring longer-term educational and social benefits to rural communities
  • There will be potential for systemic and sustainable change to the educational system of the entire country