The FFF is a co-founder of The Ruit Foundation alongside the world renowned eye surgeon, Dr. Sanduk Ruit. It is also a supporter of the globally recognized Tilganga Eye Hospital in Kathmandu. The Foundation has developed a Community Eye Hospital model and we are helping export it to locations in Asia and Africa. Not only will these hospitals restore the vision of thousands of patients per year, but each one will be self-sustainable within approximately 4-6 years.
We can think of no other health intervention which has such a huge impact on reducing poverty, by restoring not only individuals’ independence but also that of their careers who can return to work or school.
The FFF and the Ruit Foundation are currently exploring other locations in Southeast Asia to train doctors to perform eye surgery.
In Cambodia, we partner with Kampuchean Action for Primary Education (KAPE) to build, develop and scale a New Generation Schools (NGS) programme. This is the leading educational project in Cambodia and is now uniquely supported financially by the Cambodian government. The basic premise of NGS schools is to work with the government, within the existing education system, to develop academically excellent schools that are available to children from any socio-economic background.
In most schools in Cambodia, children learn by rote and teachers are often corrupt, undertrained and sometimes inept. However, by paying additional salaries to teachers, banning teacher moonlighting, improving governance structures, building libraries and IT rooms, upgrading the school environment and changing the children and indeed parent culture, New Generation Schools not only enable vast improvements in students’ education, and attitudes towards school, but also serve as a pioneering model of how collaborative work between government and NGOs can result in fundamental change.
For both KAPE and FFF, this is not a numbers game, but a quality one. This is about getting children with real potential into good schools. In two High Schools, the first generation of students to have completed the entirety of their secondary schooling within an NGS institution sat the Bac 2 exam in summer 2018 and achieved results that far exceeded the national average with respectively 89% and 75% pass rate. The results are not only outstanding, but KAPE’s teachers are both dedicated and innovative. This immediate success and exceptional value for money have won NGS unprecedented political support. The NGS programme is a key component of the National Education Reform Program. In 2014, the Prime Minister awarded a prize to one school as the 2nd best school in Cambodia. NGS currently counts 10 schools in the whole kingdom the Cambodian government is now fully funding a multi-million expansion for 2018/2019.
The FFF and KAPE are currently developing a dedicated Teacher Training College in partnership with the Government to ensure NGS has the supply of high quality teachers needed for the expansion.
The FFF is increasing its focus on advocacy, promoting NGS style solutions [link to NGS website] to educational reform agendas in developing Asia and beyond.
The FFF is a joint funder and has been involve in shaping the strategy of the Lake Clinic (TLC) which is the sole provider of medical and health services to circa 50,000 people on the Tonle Sap Lake. The communities on the lake live in incredibly harsh circumstances with limited access to clean water or electricity, and very restricted or no access to healthcare services.
The Lake Clinic operates on boat and goes from one village to another to not only help people, but also prevent illness with early diagnosis and prevention treatments. The medical team, provides vaccinations, eye care services, antenatal care, and referral to hospitals, but also health education, which includes nutrition programmes.
In supporting TLC, the FFF is helping to provide these communities with access to key healthcare services. The Foundation is also working with TLC to provide expectant and young mothers with the nutritional and educational support they need to raise healthy children.