Bright Futures Education Fund
"Poverty is not just a lack of money; it is not having the capability to realise one's full potential as a human being" - Amartyr Sen
We view investment into higher education as a fundamental driver of poverty alleviation. Improving access to higher education has a significant impact on earning potential and job attainment but more than this, it increases the substantive freedoms and capabilities that enable poor individuals to properly flourish (1).
Without a government support system in place like in many developed countries, the high costs of university tuition block all but a wealthy minority from attaining a higher education. Little by little, The Bodia Group tries to fill this void.
Our Bright Futures Education Fund is a scholarship program that invests in bright but poor high school students to complete an undergraduate bachelor's degree at a local institution. Each student pays back 50% of the course fees once their monthly earnings equal the average regional, monthly salary. Student repayments are then used to fund even more promising bu disadvantaged students.
This 'pay it forward' system is an income-contingent loan scheme that allows multiple cohorts of students to graduate using a single upfront capital investment. The Bodia Group does not profit whatsoever; it raises the money, sponsors the students and keeps up the cyclical, sustainable financing model.
This is Hong Sokphea, she is 22 years old bright student who lost both her parents at a very young age. After being cared for her whole life by her brother and Em Piseth (the directors of SCCDO), Hong finished high school with no money and no hope to continue her studies.
We met Hong in 2014 and have since funded her nursing degree which she is finalizing in 2018. Over the coming years, The Bodia Group is preparing to fund the tertiary studies of Hong's peers at SCCDO. Many have shown proficiency in high school and hope to start careers in teaching, engineering and the tourism sector.
(1) Humphreys, John (2016). Education in Cambodia: Rate of return and personal equity finance. PhD Thesis, School of Economics, The University of Queensland