Phare Ponleu Selpak is a Cambodian non profit founded by refugees from the 1970s genocide to restore the country's culture and education system after both were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge and most teachers and artists were murdered. Phare provides 800 economically disadvantaged children with core education, and trains hundreds more in arts, music, dance and performance.
Having spent years reducing its dependency on individual givers by creating a successful circus social enterprise, COVID devastated Phare: all performances were closed for over nine months and Phare lost 60% of its income. Staff took huge pay cuts, programmes were cut to the bone and reserves used but still Phare needed $250,000 to survive 2021.
Phare needed a creative fundraising event which would also improve staff morale, bring in a new wave of motivated supporters globally and locally, and, crucially, raise enough money to keep its programs alive for the first half of 2021.
It set its sights high - setting a Guinness World Record by performing a 24 hour circus show, with two virtual gala events to raise money. The result was a triumphant 24 hour performance, almost a million views of its event and a fundraising target smashed.
Phare Ponleu Selpak - event lead and manager.
Jaime Gill - concept and creative lead.
Lindsay Brown - project manager.
Enjoy Productions - gala hosts and managers.
Cellcard - partners and sponsors.
The artists of Phare Ponleu Selpak and Phare Social Enterprise - record-breaking performances.