Board of Directors
KCDI is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors who oversee the finances, approve policies and guide the direction of the organization.
Mrs. Tong Sam An - Cultural Advisor
Is a very well known Cambodian ballet dancer, daughter of the legendary Madame Em Teay.
Sam An graduated from the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh as a ballerina. Surviving the Khmer Rouge regime, she helped with the revival of the arts after their near destruction and was one of the principal artists to reconstruct the ballet department after 1980.
She has had a successful career as both dancer and teacher, often performing abroad on tour and within Cambodia in the Royal Palace and National Theatre.
Today she teaches classical ballet and is the vice-director of the Performing Arts Section of the National Theatre in Phnom Penh.
Dr Peter Carey - Chair
Dr Peter Carey was born in Rangoon, Burma to British parents. He was educated in the UK and graduated from Trinity College, Oxford with first class honours in modern history. He then went on to study Southeast Asian studies at Cornell University in the USA.
He was Laithwaite Fellow in Modern History at Trinity College , Oxford , from 1979 to 2008 and University Lecturer in History – specialising on the history of Southeast Asia.
Dr Carey was a member of the OXFAM Asia Committee from 1986-1991. During that time he also co-founded the Cambodia Trust, which became a leading UK charity for the disabled. The Cambodia Trust (post-2014, Exceed) was a world leader in international training for orthotics and prosthetics training. He was a member of the Cambodia Trust’s Board of Trustees from 1989 to 2008, serving as Chair from 1990 to 1996. He helped oversee the setting up of the Cambodia Trust in Cambodia from 1990 onwards and pioneered the organization’s presence in East Timor in 2003-5 , establishing ASSERT (Association of the Raising up of the Disabled Timor) and the National Centre for Physical Rehabilitation in the capital , Dili.
He resigned from the Board in August 2008 to take up the position as Country Director of the Cambodia Trust in Indonesia (2008-11), subsequently serving as Research and Development Director (2011-12).
He is currently Adjunct Professor in History at the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Indonesia , Jakarta and Fellow Emeritus of Trinity College, Oxford , UK.
He has published widely on the history and politics of Indonesia , and has also written on East Timor and Burma ( Myanmar ). In June 2010, he was awarded an MBE in Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday honours list for services to the disabled of Southeast Asia and the following year received the Prix du Jury Award for Individual Philanthropy from the Bank BNP-Paribas.
Mr. Mao Chhuon - Board Treasurer
Mr. Mao CHHUON was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. He holds a bachelor of Accounting and a Bachelor of Fisheries. He has extensive experience for more than 19 years in the field of Finance, Accounting, Administration and Procurement. He has local and international experience. He has been worked for Mekong River Commission Secretariat (MRCS) based in Bangkok and the United Nation Development Program (UNDP) based in Jakarta. In Cambodia, he has worked for various donor financed-project such as The World Bank, and Asian Development Bank.
Mrs. Catherine Geach - Founder
Mrs. Catherine Louise Geach was born in England and began playing the violin at the age of 4, performing her first concert a year later. When she was 15 she won a scholarship to study violin at the Royal Academy of Music in London. She first visited Cambodia in 1990 at the age of 18. Graduating from the Royal Academy the following year, she returned to Cambodia first as violin teacher at the University of Fine Arts, but later working on a project for the Conservation and Support of Traditional Cambodian music students at the University.
She established KCDI in 1993 and the Kampot Traditional Music School for Orphaned and Disabled Children was completed in 1994 and began accepting vulnerable children at this time. She lived in Kampot and worked as a volunteer as the school’s director until 2005. Today she is on the Board of Directors as a permanent board member and actively remains in contact with the school, making regular visits. She lives in Italy with her son. She is a professional violinist and soprano and gives concerts in Italy and abroad.
Judge Juanita Rice - Board Member
Juanita Rice served in the Colorado Judicial Department from 1987 through 2009 when she retired. She was appointed by the Colorado Governor as a District Court Judge in April of 2000 and was Presiding Domestic Trial Judge for the Eighteenth Judicial District (Arapahoe, Douglas, and Elbert Counties) from 2001 through January, 2009. Prior to this she served as a District Court Magistrate in Arapahoe, Douglas and El Paso Counties. Additionally, she worked with the Cambodian Court Training Project in rural Cambodia as a Senior Legal Advisor from 1995 to 1997, maintaining a residence and office in Kampot, Cambodia. She is familiar with the Kampot Traditional Music School-Khmer Cultural Development Institute since 1995.
After being awarded a full academic scholarship upon high school graduation, Judge Rice earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree at the University of Minnesota in 1979 and her Juris Doctorate from the University Of Colorado School Of Law in 1981. After completing law school and before joining the District Court bench, she worked as a trial lawyer in Colorado Springs.
Judge Rice has regularly been invited to provide presentations to legal professionals as well as citizens at large, caseworkers, CASA volunteers and peace officers throughout Colorado, on a variety of legal topics. Her own continuing education includes certificates in conflict management and alternative dispute resolution and 45 hours of high conflict mediation training.
During the course of her legal career, Judge Rice has received recognition for her service to the legal community and the community at large in the form of awards from the Universities of Minnesota and Colorado as well as the El Paso and Arapahoe County Bar Associations, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Girl Scouts of America and Children’s Advocates. She was honoured as the Colorado State Judicial Officer of the Year in Child Support Enforcement. Judge Rice remains a life member of Girl Scouts USA and has served as a Cadette troop leader and motivational speaker for the Wagon Wheel Council of Girl Scouts. She has served on a variety of community and legal boards, task forces and committees, frequently serving as Chair.
Since retiring from the Colorado Judicial Branch Judge Rice has consulted with the Cambodian National Police concerning their Community Policing implementation, has served on the Advisory Board for the creation of the American University of Phnom Penh, was appointed to serve as the inaugural President of that new University during 2013, and has served as Mediator/Private Judge with Judicial Resolutions, Inc. in Denver, Colorado. She spends part of every year in Cambodia.
List of our Staff
Mrs Sun Saymom, Directors
Mrs Sun Saymom former professor of mathematics and high school teacher is now our school director. She has worked in the field of child education, pedagogy, nutrition and school management for most of her working life. She has many years experience working with children and was vice-director of the Mittapheap Kampuchea Japan Kampot Krong lower-secondary school. She also trained in accounting with AFID at KCDI.
Mr. Nguon Sothy, Education Adviser
Mr. Sothy has been with KCDI since 1997. He used to work as the English teacher when KCDI ran its own academic program. Currently, he serves as the Education Adviser.
“I like working for KCDI as I used to work with both education and cultural arts as well as with orphans for many years.”
Mr. Ros Samouen, Mahoir teacher
Mr. Ros Samoeun has been teaching at KCDI since 1999. He is the head teacher and he teachers Mahori music, including Plein Ka, which is the music heard at Khmer weddings.
”I wish to transfer my knowledge and skills to younger generations as through them they can continue preserving Khmer Traditional Arts and perform their work in professional ways.”
Mr. Khuon Bem, Yike teacher
Mr. Khuon Bem is a well known Master of the rare and endangered Kampot Yike art from. He has been teaching at KCDI since 2007.
”My life is working on arts and I am grateful that I had chance to involve with arts.”
Mrs. Prum Savoan, Yike teacher
Mrs. Prum Savorn is a Yike master who has been teaching at KCDI since 2007. She has an incredibly powerful and beautiful voice and was recorded by the students of Sibelius Academy in 2013.
”I am in love with Yike and the children and I want them to take my roles to their future performing.”
Mr. Uon Sambo, Pin Peat teacher
Mr. Uon Sambo has been teaching Pin Peat at KCDI since 2008. He grew up at KCDI and studied at the Royal University of Fine Arts.
”I like working with children as well as preserving and develop Khmer Cultural arts.”
Ms. Math Tiyer, cleaner and housemother
“It is my role and responsibility as I love them as my children and I want them to be good son or daughter, good friend and good student.”
Mr. Khiev Nouy, Driver and Guard
Mr. Khiev Nouy has been with KCDI for many years. He is not only the driver and head guard, but he also takes care of all the school plants and school grounds.
“I work with the children and love them like our children.”