eBrands was engaged by social enterprise SeeBeyondBorders to assist with producing a short story telling film about their assistance programs in Cambodia. We were more than pleased to help, and we facilitated the engagement on a partial pro bono basis as a way of contributing.

You can view a short version of the end result below; but before you get there, I encourage you to read the following questions answered by Ed Shuttleworth – a founder of SeeBeyondBorders. Ed’s thoughts about Cambodia also resonate with our Creative Director Mark Aitken, who has twice visited Cambodia as part of charitable efforts (with another organisation). There are many ways to contribute and I hope that this blog post might inspire someone to become involved, which you can do by visiting the SeeBeyondBorders web site to find out more.

What is See Beyond Borders?

Founded in 2009 in Australia, SeeBeyondBorders is a not-for-profit social enterprise helping children in Cambodia by improving teaching and learning.  Our vision is to empower poor communities by improving the quality of education and access to schools.  We run three programmes – Teach the Teachers, Better Schools and Getting to School.

What issues drive the people involved in the organisation?

The underlying issue that drive us is the level of inequality so plainly in view which we cannot simply walk away from.  What to do about it is an extraordinarily difficult question, but one clear way to have an impact is through education, which is so manifestly woeful in Cambodia.  This of itself is complex and the choices we have are hard – we cannot solve everything and need to focus our efforts.  How to make our contribution most effectively and how to involve others are the immediate issues that most concern us.

What success have you achieved so far?

We have developed a teach the teacher programme that now runs in 50 schools with workshops and resources having now been provided to over 300 teachers.  We have had over 50 Australians, many of them teachers, come on programmes in Cambodia and another 30 are coming in the next 2 months.  We are registered as an accredited provider of professional development for Australian teachers through the NSW Institute of Teachers.  We have funded the construction of 2 new schools and 2 new school buildings, renovated 7 mini schools, built  toilet blocks and wells and supported 268 families in various aspects of getting their children to school.  We have two staff and have signed agreements with three partners in Cambodia.

How can people help?

We would particularly like people to come with us to see the situation in Cambodia and what can be done about it, for themselves, whether they be teachers or non-teachers.  However, we recognise that is not always possible and so there are many skills we lack and would welcome support with, in our office in Australia.  We would appreciate getting some of your time.  More than that, things don’t get done without money and while money goes a long way in Cambodia we need people to help raise it and to give it to our programmes.  So individuals can sponsor us through events like the City to Surf or develop new sponsorships and fundraisers.  Businesses can get behind what we are doing through their Corporate Social Responsibility programmes.  Donations are essential and money enables us to run and include more people onto our programmes.

What are you hoping for with the production of the video?

We hope this video sparks a connection with people.  We want to send a simple message that Cambodia needs our support.  The problems are certainly quite complex, but a small amount of help makes a huge difference and forming a personal connection can be hugely rewarding.  We want to show that being able to do something meaningful is uplifting and empowering for all.

On behalf of eBrands, I’d like to thank Ed and his team for the opportunity to do this, and for their work. Internally, well done Richard Pender-Brookes and Mark MacWhite. Please give the quick video a watch.


Comments? Thoughts?