Our Social Mission


Phare Performing Social Enterprise has three complimentary social missions: Provide gainful employment to Cambodian youth from difficult social and economic backgrounds, financially sustain our parent organization Phare Ponleu Selpak NGO school thereby contributing to the rebirth of Cambodian modern art.

Phare social mission

© Quinn Ryan Mattingly

All performers in Phare The Cambodian Circus learn their skills through Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS), an Association providing arts education in Battambang, Cambodia. Young people from the streets, orphanages and struggling families in the community come to PPS to learn, express and heal themselves through the arts.

PPS formed 20 years ago by 9 children and their art teacher when they returned home from a refugee camp after the fall of the Khmer Rouge. As survivors of the war, empowered by the creative self-expression learned through their art-making, the group wanted to share this gift of the arts with the underprivileged children of Battambang.

They founded an art school and a public school quickly followed to offer free education. A music school and theatre school were next, and finally, the circus school. Today more than 1,200 pupils attend the public school daily and 500 attend the alternative schools.

In 2013 Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) was founded in Siem Reap to offer visitors and locals alike Phare The Cambodian Circus. This offers PPS students and graduates somewhere to hone their skills and a place to earn a living wage. Operating in Siem Reap for over a year now, we hope to soon be making enough money to increase our artist’s compensation and generate real revenue to support ongoing PPS social and educational programming. Our 3 goals are to:

  1. Create a gainful career opportunity for our artists.
  2. Financially sustain our business and our parent organization, Phare Ponleu Selpak.
  3. Develop the artistic culture of Cambodia.

We envision the arts as an instrument for human development and social change. Through international recognition for Cambodian arts, we at Phare can secure a brighter future for our community.

Our Social Investors :

social investment fund

Phare Performing Social Enterprise is a social business.  It means that the organisation is designed and operated as a company but is guided by the social-benefit principle. PPSE is a Cambodian Private Limited Company owned in majority by its mother organisation PPSA, by The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation and by private investors.

As a social investor, The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation facilitates the emergence of Social Business projects like ours and assists them in their development, alongside with other partners: http://www.grameen-credit-agricole.org/en. The projects supported by thLogo_GrameenCAe Foundation enhance access by the poorest to essential goods and services (nutrition, energy, health care, financial services)

For us, the Foundation is an important financial as well as strategic partner because it owns 16,1% of Phare Performing Social Enterprise and  is represented in the Board. The difference with a “classic investor” is that a Social Investor doesn’t try to maximise its on profits: the dividends gained from the investment in the social business go toward a social purpose. All PPSE shareholders, including Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation committed themselves to allocate 100% of their dividends to a social project or organization.

Social Enterprise

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