Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development (CVCD) was established on the 25th of December 1992 by a group of local Khmer students who were studying English at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Mr. Peter Pond and his foster Khmer-American son, Mr. Arn Chorn-Pond, supported these local youths and established an organization to educate and empower poor people while encouraging them to become active volunteers in their communities.
The students named the organization “Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development” (CVCD).
Generous individual donors and the King of Cambodia provided the initial funding for the startup of CVCD. King Prah Bath Norodom Sihanouk recognized and supported CVCD on the 22nd of September 1993. CVCD was registered with The Ministry of Interior on 17th of May 1996.
Founder, Arn Chorn-Pond
Arn Chorn-Pond was born in Cambodia in 1966 into a Battambang family of performers and musicians. When the Khmer Rouge came to power in 1975, Chorn-Pond and hundreds of other children were sent to Wat Ek, a Buddhist temple converted into a prison camp, where he survived by playing the flute and keeping the soldiers entertained.
When the Vietnamese invaded Cambodia in 1978, Chorn-Pond was handed a gun and forced to fight.
Eventually, he escaped into the jungle where he survived for months by himself. In late 1980 he crossed the border into Thailand and a Thai Soldier took him to the Sa Kaeo Refugee Camp. There he met the Reverend Peter L. Pond.
Reverend Pond took Arn to Jefferson, New Hampshire and formally adopted him in 1984.
Chorn-Pond attended Brown University for two years before withdrawing to co-found Children of War, an organization dedicated to helping young people overcome suffering from war and other traumas, such as child abuse, poverty, racism and divorce. In 1992, Chorn-Pond received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Providence College and in 2007 the school awarded him an honorary Doctorate of Humanitarian Service .
Chorn-Pond was also one of the few surviving Cambodians to return to the refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border. While attending college in Rhode Island, Arn devoted his summers from 1986 through 1988 to teaching and assisting those still displaced by war.
In 1993 he returned to Cambodia and founded the Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development.
Today, Arn Chorn-Pond is an internationally recognized human rights leader and speaker, the recipient of the Reebok Human Rights Award, the Anne Frank Memorial Award, and the Kohl Foundation International Peace Prize. He is also the subject of the Emmy-nominated documentary, The Flute Player.
More about Arn:
Letter from the Executive Director
What are you looking for from this page? Whether you come to our website because you have questions about – When & how was CVCD started? Who created this organization? Who fund this organization? What do we do and what are the impacts? CVCD has all of this information and so much more!Welcome and thank you for visiting Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development’s website. Your interest in, and support of, CVCD is greatly appreciated and essential to our ongoing effort to promote and protect the right to education; provide economic empowerment, build and promote sustainable livelihoods in Cambodia.
I started working as Executive Director at CVCD in early December 2016 because I strongly believe in CVCD’s vision and mission. I am very excited to join CVCD team and I am moved by their positive energy and commitment to the work they are doing for the communities.
I am deeply proud of what CVCD has become over its twenty-year history. It has made an enormous difference in so many lives and, above all, has stayed true to its values and mission.
CVCD is a great non-profit organization that stands out in its field. The organization has an incredibly sound structure of governance dedicated to the utmost levels of transparency, honesty, and responsible decision-making. It has developed a comprehensive, integrated approach to fulfilling its mission of equipping disadvantaged communities with the tools necessary to help themselves lead better lives.
My vision for CVCD is for it to be a sustainable, highly reputable organization with a rapidly expanding global network. Going forward, I would like to improve CVCD’s financial independence so that one hundred percent of donations can go directly to program activities instead of covering administration costs. I look to grow CVCD’s global community of donors, partners, and volunteers to increase awareness of the challenges Cambodia faces and invite others to join in helping. I also seek to provide high-quality training to the staff so they can reach their full potential and continue to expand all of CVCD’s programs in innovative new directions. With the staff and capacities CVCD has in place, the next five years should prove to be a very exciting time for the organization.
Being part of the CVCD community has brought me great happiness. I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to all our committed staff, volunteers, donors, and partners for their generosity, enthusiasm, and on-going commitments to support the work of CVCD.
Mr. Nhim Saveun