Second batch of Smart’s 1 million USD COVID 19 relief fund granted to five local institutions

Smart Axiata announced on Sunday that five new recipients have been selected for the second round of funding from its 1 million USD Covid 19 Fund, including Save the Children, East Meets West Foundation, Bayon Education and Development, Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia and Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

“This group of beneficiaries were primarily chosen after taking heed of various calls to support rural society who may not be able to fully leverage the online education initiatives by the Royal Government, and also the much-needed targeted support for the startup community as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) which are greatly impacted from this crisis,” Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata said.

Covid-19 Relief Fund EN (2)

So far, more than half of the Fund has been committed to 9 initiatives which focus on support in ICT for education, social distancing, crisis management and personal hygiene.

The second batch of the initiatives that were approved by the multi-stakeholder Evaluation Committee included:

1. Guided virtual learning program targeting school children at 15 remote communities in Kampong Cham by Save the Children;

2. Personal hygiene awareness program including ‘mobile tap solutions’ at 5 provinces by East Meets West Foundation;

3. Online vocational training for vulnerable dropouts at Siem Reap by Bayon Education and Development;

4. Access to Finance Program for MSMEs by Young Entrepreneurs Association of Cambodia; and

5. Online Startup Resiliency awareness program by Impact Hub Phnom Penh.

Since the government delayed a plan to re-open school until November, the Fund will play a crucial role in a remote education initiative led by Save the Children, where the NGO implements virtual learning programs for children in remote communities in Kampong Cham.

Mr. Hundt added “We hope to discover more high impact projects that address Cambodia’s urgent needs although we have observed a tapered trend in COVID-19 cases here. None of us knows when the crisis will end, but we can in solidarity help rebuild our economy and get through this together!”