Archive for the ‘Partners’ Category

Have Triple the Impact on Giving Tuesday!

Saturday, November 28th, 2015

CEF_GivingTuesday_Instagram_2015At CEF, we’re excited to announce that this Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1) we are focusing on the Smart Kids Rural School Sponsorship Program in Cambodia.

This inspiring program, run by Kids International Development Society helps youth receive an education and work towards a better future. It includes educational programs, school supplies, uniforms, and English tutoring.

Many of the youth enrolled in the program work and live in brick factories and cannot afford to go to school. Without an education to obtain better paying jobs, the brick factories are often their future. When CEF Board members visited Cambodia this year we were so impressed with the program and the children, that we knew we had to help support it.

That is why we are directing all Giving Tuesday donations to this program. Not only that, but CEF and generous committed sponsors will match each dollar up to $3,000!

Learn more about the program and our visit to Cambodia here, or watch this short video about one of the youth in the program.

If you are as inspired by this program as we are, please consider making a donation for Giving Tuesday. Every dollar you donate multiplies, having an even greater impact on these children’s lives!

Click here to view our Giving Tuesday campaign page.

Smart Kids

Helping to Break the Cycle of Poverty in Cambodia

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Leah Lockhart, Communications Chair

Education is one of the keys to escaping poverty but, unfortunately for many children, poverty is the biggest barrier to attending school.

During the CEF visit to Cambodia in January, we met with a group of students in a program run by our partner, Kids International Development Society (K.I.D.S.). The program, called Smart Kids, supports children who otherwise would not be able to receive an education.

In Cambodia, especially in rural areas, parents often cannot afford the costs associated with school and require their children to work or help with household chores. Many children work to help support their families and are unable to go to class.

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The children put on a play explaining the importance of clean drinking water.

We met with students at the school where Compassionate Eye was funding a clean water project. Although it was the weekend, the entire school, teachers, and parents came out to greet us. The students in the Smart Kids program performed a fabulous play demonstrating the importance of clean water and how children often miss class because they are ill from drinking unclean water.

Later that afternoon, we visited some of the students in their homes to help us better understand why they were enrolled in the Smart Kids program. Families in that area have very low incomes, mostly derived from fishing and labour – in this case, primarily brick factories. The children, ages six and up, work in the factories alongside their parents, in poor working conditions, often operating dangerous machinery or stacking bricks in kilns.

A kiln in one of the brick factories.

Sadly, many of the children also call these factories home. The stark contrast of these smiling faces in crisp school uniforms sitting at their desks, followed by seeing them in their day clothes surrounded by the dusty, grim factory grounds was unsettling. Many of the families living on the brick factory property cannot leave because they don’t own land and can’t afford to rent or buy a house. One girl’s mother had moved to the factory when she was 15 – her daughter’s age – and had been there ever since. The mother desperately wanted a different future for her daughter, but her options were very limited.

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One of the families that work and live in a brick factory. The girl in the middle is part of the Smart Kids program, which enables her to go to school.

This is where Smart Kids comes in. The program helps break these vicious cycles of poverty by supporting one child from each family by providing education-related expenses like uniforms, school supplies, and a bicycle to commute between home and school. The program also covers Cambodian school costs and English classes.  An education, and especially English lessons, is a ticket out of the difficult situations many of these children endure. The children work hard, often going to school in the morning, then to work in the afternoons, and take English classes in the evening.

At the time of the visit 23 children were enrolled in the program. Upon our return, we decided that CEF would help others have the opportunity, and are delighted to say that we are now supporting an additional 11 children to go to school through the Smart Kids program.

The new group of Smart Kids supported by Compassionate Eye Foundation.

To learn more about the program and some of the children we met on our visit, hop over to our partner K.I.D.S.’ blog here or check out this great video by K.I.D.S. that follows one of the students we met, Pisu, as he goes about his day from the brick factory to school and back.

A Day In The Life Of Pisu from KIDS on Vimeo.

This video is about Pisu

Adopt a Village Program in Kenya

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015


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We’re thrilled to announce that we have partnered with Free the Children to implement the holistic, sustainable, Adopt a Village programming in a Kenyan community.

The program helps empower community members with the resources and knowledge to break the cycle of poverty in their village. This program is located in the community of Esinoni (in the Nkori Nkori region of the South Narok district in Kenya) and will be supported by the local government through construction of school rooms and teacher’s accommodations. New infrastructure to promote hygiene and sanitation will be installed including water stations, hand washing stations, and latrines.

The community is incredibly excited for this new partnership and we just received this beautiful photo of the ground breaking ceremony in Esinoni. Stay tuned for more updates and photos as this project gets underway!

Photo of the Week: Aloha from the Eco-Holiday photoshoot

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Mia Wesley, Social Media Coordinator 

On March 22, Compassionate Eye Foundation celebrated World Water Day at the Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm in Puna, Hawaii! At this unique location the photographer and founder of CEF, Robert Kent, was joined by photographer Attila Pohlmann and the shoot producer Zoe Eisenberg collaborating together for a family themed Eco-Holiday photoshoot. Below is a behind-the-scenes shot from the day featuring three of our fantastic volunteers and photographer Robert Kent.

Unsure of what an eco-holiday is? Look no further! Eco-holidays, also known as ecotourism, are a responsible form of travel to natural areas that help to conserve the most pristine areas of our environment. This form of travel is much more sustainable than traditional mass tourism. Ecotourism is not only a more environmentally sustainable form of travel but it also helps to educate the local and global communities about the importance of environmental preservation.

The Hawaiian Islands have some of the worlds most complex ecosystems and consequently the islands are at a very high risk as climate change continues to threaten the ecosystems. There is so much to learn and explore throughout the various ecosystems of the Hawaiian Islands and eco-holidays are one of the best ways to do it. The Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm is an absolutely breathtaking facility which provides “the lower Puna community with purified, blessed and structured water.” Please visit the Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm’s website to learn more about their environmentally sustainable and innovative approach to the most sacred source of life: water.


Photo of the Week: World Water Day

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Mia Wesley, Social Media Coordinator

Did you know that more than one billion people around the world lack access to clean water? This Sunday, March 22nd, is World Water Day and in recognition of this day we’d like to share a photograph from one of our clean water projects in Cambodia taken by Vancouver based photographer, Steven Ericco. The newly developed wells funded by the Compassionate Eye Foundation benefits students as well as the residents of the Kauk Chrey and Mook Pen communities of rural Cambodia. With these projects we hope to not only improve the access to clean water but to also advocate healthier and brighter futures to the individuals within these rural communities. Clean water projects are one of the most fundamentally important projects organized by the Compassionate Eye Foundation, therefore the promotion of this day is very close to our hearts.


Dan Rogers: Hope in Cambodia

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Dan Rogers, Board Chair

Several Compassionate Eye Foundation board members and a photographer spent late December and early January traveling in Cambodia, the site of many of our health and education projects. Dan Rogers, board chair, shares his thoughts on the journey:

One of the great joys of being on the Board of Directors of Compassionate Eye Foundation is having the opportunity to travel to other countries and see how projects we have funded are making a difference. This year’s trip was to Cambodia.









Cambodia is a complicated country. Thirty years of war, bombings, and a horrific genocide have had a terrible impact on the country and the people who live there. In some ways, Cambodia is in recovery mode and in other ways it is still struggling. It’s hard to not become aware of the large scale corruption and inequity in the country when looking at projects and programs to potentially fund. The government is filled with millionaires and billionaires while most people can’t afford basic health care and students pay 25 cents a day to go to school because the administrative staff and teachers are so poorly paid (an average $80-$100 a month). However, good news exists in the hard work and generosity of many ordinary Khmer, and the work being done by so many organizations like Kids International Development Society (KIDS), supported by groups like Compassionate Eye.

If you only go to Siem Reap in Cambodia (and many visitors do, simply to stay in a foreign owned hotel and visit Angkor Wat) it is a bit like going to Las Vegas to understand America. The surface of Siem Reap is not real but right below the surface it’s all there: the poverty and lack of any social safety net except for what NGOs provide; the children selling t-shirts or working in rice fields instead of going to school.

But there are great stories to share and there are the smiles of people who seemingly have little reason to. The kids who go to school love it! It is an escape from the toil of planting a rice field or working in the brutal brick yards. It is a chance for students to learn, do art, sing, and maybe a chance to change their future. Literacy is so important to making a better life and getting a better job, which in turn enables an individual to help a sister or nephew, and so on.

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One day we visited children in a program called Smart Kids, funded by KIDS. These children receive uniforms and bicycles so they can travel the 13 kilometres to high school each day. One girl we spoke with lived with her disabled father and her three younger siblings (her mother had died) in a shack on the side of the road. Another lived with her mother in the corner of a brick factory. This program enables these children and gives them a chance. We hope to help KIDS expand this program.

As its name implies, KIDS focuses on kids. We met so many wonderful children in schools and got to know a group at a girls’ home. Such lovely kids with often very difficult backgrounds, but now with a lot of hope because they are in a safe place and go to school. And there are tens and hundreds and thousands more that need the same chance. Groups like KIDS are giving some that chance. Compassionate Eye Foundation is proud to support them–and as a Compassionate Eye supporter, you should be proud too!

You can view more photos from the journey on Facebook or by following us on Instagram!

CAUSE Kids Peer Literacy Program

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Leah Yee, Social Media Manager

Three days until Giving Tuesday! Compassionate Eye Foundation is committed to finding creative ways to support global development and this year we have chosen to raise funds for CAUSE Kids’ Peer Literacy Program in the Koinadugu District of Sierra Leone.


The program trains 60 secondary school girls to teach younger students how to read. Studying under a full-time literacy coordinator, they will develop the teaching and leadership skills needed to teach phonics and reading. After completing a year of training, they will graduate as peer literacy tutors and teach 2,880 students at nine schools during after-school classes. The high school students receive funds to pay for the necessary school fees, uniforms, and supplies so that they can continue their education. Every one of the students who participate in this program will have a higher chance of continuing their education.

However, the formal education system in Sierra Leone has been severely disrupted by the Ebola outbreak. As a preventative measure, the government has determined that there should not be gatherings of more than 15 people, resulting in school and markets closures. Continuing its focus on education no matter what the challenges, CAUSE Kids has come up with a unique workaround by airing lessons on the radio and holding small group home lessons. The Peer Tutors are working with the classroom teachers to provide small groups of children education.


Celebrate this Giving Tuesday by giving the gift of education and make a donation now. Every dollar donated will be matched by CEF and a sponsor – your contribution will triple in impact!

Join the #GivingTuesdayCA movement and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

#CEFxHeroImages – What’s the Buzz?

Friday, September 12th, 2014

Jenn Laidlaw, Blog Manager


You may have noticed the #CEFxHeroImages countdown on our social media channels this month. Perhaps you are seeing #CEFxHeroImages for the first time and wondering if it’s an algebra equation. Either way, you are likely asking yourself what does it all mean? Now is the time to find out as we are only 1 day away!

On September 13, photographers from Hero Images, who are based out of Calgary, will be invading Vancouver. But not to worry – this is a friendly invasion, their name does contain the word “hero” after all! They will descend on the city with 4 camera bodies, 12 lenses, 4 laptops, and as many lights, stands, and props as they can fit into their suitcases! These photographers are taking part in their first Compassionate Eye Foundation photoshoot as part of our summer Focus on Change 2014 Photoshoot Tour and we can’t wait to see them in action.

The location: The beautiful Perkins + Will office in downtown Vancouver.

Be a part of the excitement! Bookmark this page and make sure you check back to see the outcome of this exciting photoshoot! If you like what you see, please share it with your social communities and help us increase the buzz about CEF and our partners.Use the hashtag #CEFxHeroImages when posting and sharing online and make sure you are following us on Instagram + Twitter Facebook

New Funding Partner: Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Dan Rogers, Board Chair


Compassionate Eye Foundation is very pleased and excited to announce a new funding partnership, with a historical twist. Earlier this year CEF entered into an agreement with the Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm in Puna, Hawaii wherein the Waterfarm would donate 25% of all sales to CEF’s global projects. Waterfarm is a community organization which provides locals in the lower Puna area with blessed and structured water through monthly co-op memberships.

But why? One of the founders of the Waterfarm is our founder, Robert Kent. Robert continues to make a difference in the world on so many levels.  Below is an excerpt from the Seaview Water Farm website:

25% of all Seaview Eco-Epicurean Waterfarm water sales will be donated directly to CEF’s work around the world. This amount will also be matched by CEF. For every $5 you donate for your water, we will donate $1.25 to CEF, which will be matched 1:1, resulting in $2.50 of impact in developing nations. The primary focus of these projects will be on clean water programs.

You can learn more about Seaview here!

Here’s to fresh, pure water around the world.  Many thanks to Robert and all involved in the Farm!

Get (more) connected with your community: Timeraiser 2014

Monday, May 5th, 2014

John Grant, CEF Contributor

Timeraiser banner

This week we encourage you to get more connected and aware of the volunteer organizations in your community by checking out a local Timeraiser event if you’re in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Montreal, or St. John’s

Not familiar with the initiative? If you’re interested in art and in volunteering then this is the perfect event for you! Bid time (instead of money) on original local art. The time you bid then goes towards a volunteer non-profit organization who needs some help. Once your bid (hours) are fulfilled then you walk away with a beautiful new piece of art – and one that has a pretty cool story behind it when your friends and family ask about it! 

Read about one of our volunteers’ experience with Timeraiser here!