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When Zeynep Roberts first travelled to Cambodia with the Cambodian Children’s Trust (CCT) in March 2012, it was the first step on her journey to founding the Step2Foundation. During her trip, she was assisted by Soviet Ty, a local tour guide who invited Zeynep to visit his village’s small school.

The school building in Svaychey, a small village on the edge of Siem Reap, was in poor repair. There were no books, pencils or pens available for students, desks were damaged and there was little fresh water, the school had no electricity. Zeynep immediately provided pencils and writing materials, and she returned to Sydney committed to helping the village further.

Five years on, Zeynep has built the Step2 Foundation around that commitment, with four financial board members and registered charity status. The village has a school with eight classrooms, toilets and a library; four students have gone on to further education so that they can return to the school as assistant teachers; the school has electricity and a self-sustaining, clean water supply. Life continues to improve for everyone in Svaychey!

Consultation and collaboration with the local community is central to every project undertaken by Step2Foundation, which is a lifelong commitment for Zeynep and her fellow directors. They set out with an open heart and hard work to create a reality where the value of education changes lives.

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