‘Our Story’: Inclusive and Collaborative Fundraising
On the evening of December 15th, 2019, PEPY held its first music and art exhibition at Bambu Stage to raise funds for our Youth Empowerment Project. The event, entitled “Our Story,” saw PEPY artists participating with Music for Everyone School’s performing artists and Genevieve’s Fair Trade Village’s artisans and painters.
PEPY students, Chantuo, an aspiring fashion designer, and Chhunly, a painter and wedding floral designer, donated some of their work. Soury, PEPY’s English teacher, hosted the event and contributed several poems. Ousa, a PEPY scholarship student, wrote a poem for the event, and, Rattana, PEPY’s Scholarship Officer, also contributed four poems and sketches that visualized two of his poems. PEPY team members Kim Ann (singer) and Chhunnay (guitarist) played for a half hour set. Genevieve’s artists included Nareth (artisan), Tut (carver), and Ly Kim (painter). Music for Everyone School brought in an all girl’s band, Kombrok Touch, guitarist and performing artist Ran Saron, and the school’s Director, Shila Ponlok, also showcased his musicianship. Lastly, the incredible music composer and singer Brak Sophanna, volunteered his services for the event.
Following the opening night, the art pieces were displayed at Tribe Art Gallery through Christmas.
While the organizations’ collaboration alone was a positive outcome of the event, the PEPY Fundraising Team views the event’s planning and preparation as a victory for PEPY’s staff and students’ engagement and skills development. Two months prior to the event, a dedicated team of alumni students worked alongside the Fundraising Team during the weekends to outline how the event would run, to work on obtaining partnerships and sponsors, and to design decorations and volunteer schedule set up. This allowed many alumni to reconnect with PEPY, meet new staff members, and contribute their skills to a fun and uplifting event.
PEPY staff, students, and alumni remarked that the event gave them a lot of confidence in event planning, displaying their own talents, and made them feel motivated to participate in fundraisers in the future. Many alumni and staff members sought sponsors on behalf of PEPY and were initially scared to approach business and professional connections. Some took the approach of asking for large sponsorships while others simply asked for small donations. Both methods worked well and were ultimately what made the event such a success. Through this experience, staff members and alumni are already approaching the Fundraising Team with new ideas to help support other projects at PEPY (like other Learning Center projects and the Scholarship for Higher Education Project), and are hoping to be a part of events in the future. Furthermore, the students whose art was featured at the event, whether through decorations or as part of the showcase, were amazed and proud of the compliments and recognition that they received for their work. They also hope to contribute their art and talent to more PEPY events.
So while getting funds for the Youth Empowerment Project was undoubtedly a high motivation for putting together the ”Our Story” event, an unintended consequence was that the event, in of itself, serves as a representation of our story at PEPY, a community that seeks to empower and inspire youth through personal and professional development. By involving the PEPY team and students, the event was able to remain low cost to attendees, bilingual, and truly reflects the hopes, dreams, and passions of the PEPY community.
Looking to the future, we hope to develop a strong team of alumni and staff interested in developing fundraising and networking skills through operating PEPY events. For now, we celebrate that our story has reached more organizations and people in Siem Reap through our efforts.
For more information on the participating artists (Chantuo and Chhunly are currently being sponsored by PEPY) we strongly encourage you to follow their pages or reach out to us if you are interested in purchasing some of their work!
Chantuo: can be reached through us at [email protected] or reach her on Instagram: @chan2design
Chhunly: can be reached through us at [email protected]
Nareth, Tut, Ly Kim: Can be reached through Genevieve’s Fair Trade Village’s Facebook
Ran Saron, Kombrok Touch Girl’s Band, and Shila Ponlok can be reached through their Facebook page.
Brok Sophanna can be reached through his Facebook