Providing education...and hope.

We're glad you're here! We are a 501c3 educational charity operating a school in rural Cambodia for more than 300 students in grades 1 through 9.


The school was founded in April, 2004 by Foster City, CA Rotarians Hans Eide and John Barrett. Both men had been working on a separate Rotary project to deliver wheelchairs to the region and were touched by the genuine kindness of the locals. Mindful of the widespread poverty and the scars that still exist in the aftermath of the Vietnam War and Khmer Rouge era, they believed that education was the surest way to help deserving children break out of the cycle of poverty they were born into.

Over the past 15 years, the school has grown and thrived thanks to worldwide support from Rotary clubs and individual donors who share the vision that education is the key to success.

Meet The Team

The Cambodia Academy at Mongkol Borei was founded in April 2004 by Rotarian Hans Eide. After having been both touched by the genuine kindness of the locals, Hans led efforts to turn an underutilized building into a thriving school in a region where education in neither compulsory nor affordable for the poorest families. Hans passed away in March, 2016, and the board is committed to keeping his legacy alive and thriving for the children of Cambodia. Read more about Hans' life.

Hans Eide (1934-2016), founder

John joined the Rotary Club of San Mateo, California  in 1995 and is a founding member of The Cambodia Academy. He has served as Sergeant of Arms for the Club and has been active on the Club’s World Community Service Committee, primarily working on Rotary International projects. While assisting Hans Eide with the distribution of a container of wheelchairs in the town of Mongkol Borei in 2004, they conceived the idea of the school and founded it shortly thereafter. John is based in northern California and leads legal, corporate and financial affairs for the charity.

John Barrett, founder

After a visit to Cambodia in 2008 and being changed by the experience, Rich was looking opportunities to get involved with an education project for Cambodian children. He didn't look long: he met Hans through a mutual acquaintance shortly thereafter and knew the school was a perfect fit. Rich focuses on payment processing, marketing and fundraising, and assists with web, IT and branding projects. Rich is currently the VP of sales and marketing for central banks for Giesecke+Devrient in Sterling, Virginia and is based in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Richard A. Howell

Brian and his wife Traci have been student sponsors since 2016 and made their first trip to campus in 2018. Brian is VP of Strategic Partners for Avantor and as a veteran of the pharmaceutical industry brings a strong background in corporate management and strategic planning. Brian's focus is corporate strategy and expanding our donor network as well as seeking new funding avenues. He is based in Weston, MA.

Brian Howell

A former university lecturer, Gunvor is an artist, author and volunteer who lives in Finland. She met Hans and got involved with the school during a 2010 trip to Cambodia with The Women's Bank, which supports women's sustainable businesses in developing countries. She taught at the school for two months in 2015. As a native Swedish speaker who also speaks Finnish, English, German and French, Gunvor is a tireless advocate of the school and leads our fundraising efforts in northern Europe. 

Gunvor Sarelin-Sjöblom

Michael has served on the board since 2015. As an owner of the Sanae Beach Club in Hua Hin Thailand, he brings expertise and practical know-how in business and financial operations. He is a member of Rotary Club of Royal Hua Hin, Thailand and is currently based outside Vienna, Austria.

Michael Ruess

With more than 20 years of experience in payment processing and fintech, Jill is a student sponsor and is the board lead in maintaining our donor management platform and ensuring the integrity of our student rosters. Jill leads our efforts to integrate student data with our donor management platform, and under her leadership, the charity rapidly achieved a 100% student sponsor rate.

Jill Noska

Soviet began his career as an English teacher at his alma mater, Mongkol Borei High School, before moving to a teaching position at The Cambodia Academy in 2010. He was promoted to principal in 2017. After attending Mongkol Borei High School, Soviet attended the University of Management and Economics in Battambang. Currently, he is enrolled in a Master’s Degree program at the University of Battambang, studying English teaching and related academic issues. Soviet's wife is a teacher at Mongkol Borei High School and he has one daughter, age 10 and a son, aged 6.   

Soviet Miech, principal


Many photographs on this site are courtesy of our sponsors Hank Henley Headshots and
Lyn Avery Photography.

Contact Us

Tel: 650-346-7425



1534 Plaza Lane #320 Burlingame, CA 94010

EIN 27-2168959

© 2019 by The Cambodia Academy.