ABOUTAsia Schools founder Andrew Booth grew up on a farm in rural Gloucestershire, England. As a student at the local comprehensive school, he won his school’s first place at Oxford University, where he proceeded to earn an honors degree in Physics (atomic and solid state). From there he traveled to London and spent 15 years working in finance, ultimately founding and directing a highly successful specialist-trading team for a large investment bank. He left the bank in October 2002 to travel extensively.
An accomplished athlete, Andy rowed at international level and was named British National Champion in 1994. His travels eventually led him to Cambodia where he felt an immediate connection with its people and land. Andy subsequently established ABOUTAsia Travel to increase area commerce and provide jobs for the community. He now reinvests 100% of the profits from ABOUTAsia Travel back into the community and works as a full-time volunteer. He is dedicated to developing ABOUTAsia Travel and advancing the work of ABOUTAsia Schools.
Community Learning Center Program Manager: Voeurn Sorm
Sorm joined ABOUTAsia Schools as Project Assistant in November 2011. Born in Siem Reap, Sorm spent his first 19 years witnessing the rapid changes taking place within the town. In 2006 he was awarded a scholarship to Phranakhon Rajabhat University in Thailand, where he majored in Community Development.
In March 2012, he was promoted to be School Supplies Program Coordinator. During this time, his job with ABOUTAsia Schools involved frequent travel across the province, including visits to many rural areas with poor access, to deliver school supplies to the village students. In February 2014, he was promoted again to Community Learning Center Program Manager. In this position, Sorm now creates, manages and monitors all activities in both Community Learning Centers in order to encourage children to take an interest in reading and to have fun with a range of activities; while developing good relationships with the communities.
English Program Manager: Sik Sejane
Sejane joined the ABOUTAsia Schools team in 2016. As an English Program Manager, his role is to support ABOUTAsia Schools’ English teachers, most of whom teach in the rural areas of Siem Reap, by sharing ideas on how they can improve their English knowledge, sharing experiences on teaching methodology and helping motivate them in their jobs.
At the young age of 22, Sejane was already teaching for an incredible 8 years. He began to work for ABOUTAsia Schools as a volunteer, where his talents in the classroom were quickly recognized, leading to his promotion as an English teacher and a facilitating teacher in quick succession. His openness to trying new techniques has made him a real key player in ABOUTAsia Schools’ Training Academy Sessions, and has seen himself selected as one of the future teacher trainers.
A university graduate, Sejane vales education dearly. He loves teaching and wants all his students to have a good education for their future. He has a strong commitment to help poor people in his countryside and to expand their knowledge base so that they have a chance to break the circle of poverty as they grow up.
Honorary President: Chris Smith
Chris came to Cambodia several years ago following one-year stints teaching in Thailand and Vietnam, and immediately fell in love with the warmth of the region.
Having met Founder Andrew Booth quite soon after his arrival and discovering their common passion for education, they agreed to expand the ABOUTAsia Schools programme from the one initial school in Prey Chrouk. Today, ABOUTAsia Schools is working with 110 schools, and has supported the education of more than 53,000 students, largely thanks to Chris’ early work.