Home>Give>Pili February Appeal

“Without a scholarship I wouldn’t have been able to continue studying or go to high school. I probably would have gotten married young like my mother and sister.” Pili (seated left), 31, is now an inspiring leader in Cambodia. Pili has used her education to break free from poverty, and is now uplifting others in her family and community.

Cambodia’s education system is broken. But thanks to people like you, vulnerable young women and men are getting the education they need to become powerful forces for change.

As Australian students joyfully head back to school and university, it is hard to reconcile that only one in ten students from rural Cambodia will finish high school. 

It’s a statistic that almost guarantees another generation will remain trapped in poverty, while Cambodia struggles with the shortage of educated people it so desperately needs to develop the country.  

While the current situation seems dire, thanks to the extraordinary kindness of our Jesuit Mission family, there is a path forward. 

With the help of people like you, the Battambang Education Project, run by our Jesuit partner Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang, is providing the most disadvantaged young people in Cambodia with life-changing education, so they can support and lead their own communities, and help Cambodia flourish. 

In 2024, we need your kind support to help open a world of new opportunity for vulnerable and excluded people, such as students from rural areas who are missing out on an education. 


For Pili, her scholarship was life-changing. 

Like 90% of Cambodians who live with the burden of poverty, Pili grew up in a rural area. Her parents worked hard as farmers to enable her to go to school, but by Grade 5 it was becoming difficult to continue her education. 

Thanks to the generosity of people like you, Pili received a scholarship to attend the Jesuit-supported Taehen Student Centre, one of the six student centres in Northwest Cambodia run by the Battambang Education Project in partnership with Jesuit Mission Australia. 

Seeking out the most vulnerable young people in the region, the Battambang Education Project supports students with education scholarships, accommodation and the holistic care they need to learn, develop and fulfil their unique potential. 

The quality education provided by the Battambang Education Project is helping young Cambodians beat the odds and get the education they deserve. 

Since her father passed away two years ago, Pili is now the primary income earner in her family. She takes care of her bedridden mother, pays for the education of two of her younger sisters, and cares for her niece and nephew who now live with her so they too can get a quality education.

Will you help fund our life-changing work that’s breaking the cycle of poverty for people like Pili? 


“When I lived at home, I didn’t have the confidence to talk or share my ideas with others. Living at the centre I grew in confidence. I enjoyed staying and studying with my friends. I felt the centre was my second home.”

Dedicated to her education and her community, Pili completed tertiary studies in Phnom Penh then returned to take a paid role working in the office of Apostolic Prefecture of Battambang.

She also began volunteering at the Taehen Student Centre, sharing her knowledge and skills with the next generation of students .

“I am happy that I have a chance to help my community,” she says. “I can help them through my teaching and my knowledge.”

Pili then went on to earn a Bachelor of Accounting and Finance, and in 2023 completed a leadership course. Coming full circle, she recently started a new job as Project Manager of the Battambang Education Project. It’s a role she absolutely loves, and she’s proud to be a leader at the very program that transformed her life.  

Now the primary breadwinner for her family, Pili’s story is a clear example of how the support of people like you can transform a young person’s life and help them become a powerful force for change in their family, community and country. 

Donate today to help more young people like Pili receive the transformational education they need to break free from poverty.