Welcome to the homepage of the School Om Radsady's Legacy Built! "The Trapeang Kdar School"

Located in Trapeang Kdar village, Thma Edth commune, Kompong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang province and inaugurated on 19 February 2005, two years and one day to the anniversary of Om Radsady's passing.

Five-room school built to honor Om Radsady

Board Member CHAN Sophal makes a speech

Speech from students

CHAN Sophal cutting ribbon

Board Member Sophal EAR cutting the ribbon

English Language signboard

Khmer-language signboard

Students receive notebooks and pens

by Sophal Ear (sophal "at" alumni.princeton.edu)
The official opening of the Trapeang Kdar School dedicated to the late Om Radsady in Trapeang Kdar village, Thma Edth commune, Kompong Tralach
district, Kampong Chhnang province took place as scheduled (and described in earlier e-mails vis-à-vis agenda) on 19 February 2005. It was well attended
by ten donors and supporters who were warmly welcomed with flowers and garlands. Three out of five Board Members were present, and donors took
turns cutting the ribbon. Furthermore, 170 notebook care packages were distributed (more students than the 148 registered student showed-up). All
three teachers were given 40,000 riels each ($10) to help motivate them in their work. A further $100 was given to local school authorities to help
defray the cost of the event.
Your support made this momentous event possible. A list containing the names of all donors (except where anonymity was requested) was given to the
school, a copy of which donors can request by e-mail. As you know, we would like to continue to support the school, but can only do so with your
continued financial help.
Board Member CHAN Sophal delivered the following speech in Khmer.
Speech on the Occasion of the Official Opening of the Trapeang Kdar School dedicated to Om Radsady
Today is a remarkable day. Two years ago, Om Radsady a former Member of Parliament, died in Phnom Penh. He was respected and liked around the world.
So much so that today, his friends, family, and supporters were able to raise enough money to help build this school.
The school was built with donations from more than 80 individuals in Australia, Cambodia, Canada, East Timor, France, Japan, Korea, New Zealand,
South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America with co-financing from the Asian Development Bank.
Remember, despite the fact that we put in a lot of money, 48 million riels (or $12,000) to the NGO American Assistance for Cambodia (whose
representative is with us today, Mr. Narith), the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, received 44 million riels (or $11,000), the Royal
Government of Cambodia had to borrow an additional 93 million riels (or $23,000) to complete this school. This is the money of all the children here
today, money they will have to repay in the next decades.
The Royal Government of Cambodia has issued a one-page sub-decree (anukret) and a gold medal in acknowledgement of this contribution to the nation. We
are giving a copy of the sub-decree as well as a list of donors to the School principal to place in the school today, and I hope you will take the
opportunity to recognize the generosity of these 80+ donors representing the Om Radsady Memorial Fund for Democracy.
This school is a lasting symbol of his ideals, he believed in democracy and he believed in the promise of children. And today, we have more than 300
children in our presence. He would be happy. Om Radsady passionately helped and believed in children. He always had time for children, after speaking to
children selling flowers at a restaurant, he remarked to a friend: "They are our future". Om Radsady's meager and honestly earned resources were shared
daily with the less fortunate, he rented a small apartment and lived very modestly.
The school is named after your village "Trapeang Kdar" because we know that Om Radsady would not have liked us naming the school after him. He didn't
like to put names of people, politicians especially, on school. Out of respect for Om Radsady's known dislike for schools named after donors, we
have followed his wish.
He was non-partisan, and excelled at building bridges among political parties. Om Radsady was a good man, a decent man, but above all, he was one
of a rare breed in Cambodia, a man who understood democracy and practiced it.
Biography of Om Radsady
Om Radsady was born in Phnom Penh on 16 June 1952 and began his education in Cambodia. In 1968, at the age of 16, he traveled to France to continue his
studies, and graduated as a Chemical Engineer from the University of Marseilles. After teaching for a period at a Lycée in France he went to
Bouaké in the Ivory Coast where he taught for six years.
Returning to Paris he began work as a chemical engineer. He was also responsible for Khmer Radio broadcasts from Paris, from 1990 to 1992, during
the final negotiations of the Paris Peace Accord on Cambodia. In 1991 he attended a Moral Re-Armament (MRA) conference in Caux, Switzerland, and at
the end of the year he resigned his well paid job in France and returned to Cambodia to work for reconciliation and reconstruction without pay. He spent
much of his time teaching the principles of democracy to students of the then University of Phnom Penh (now the Royal University of Phnom Penh) and
eventually stood for election, winning a seat in Phnom Penh to the National Assembly in 1993.
Om Radsady served as a Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation & Media Committee of the National
Assembly (1993-1998). In 1994, as Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Om Radsady visited Japan, the Philippines, Australia, France, USA and
Britain. In London he visited the Houses of Parliament where Sir Jim Lester introduced him to the work of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee.
In 1999, Om Radsady headed to East Timor to monitor the election for independence, as a United Nations Volunteer, serving for four months. The
events following the referendum soon had him sitting in Darwin, Australia for over a month during which time he grew restless thinking about Cambodia.
He was indefatigably curious and open-minded. He was a Member of the Board of Directors of the Cambodian Institute for Cooperation and Peace (starting
in 1994) and the Cambodia Development Resource Institute (starting in 2000). He was an astute observer of Cambodian politics. Om Radsady once remarked:
"Cambodia is like a play with too few actors, all of whom have to play several roles."
At the time of his death, Om Radsady was an Adviser to the President of the National Assembly, Prince Norodom Ranariddh.
Om Radsady was gunned down in broad daylight as he left a restaurant in the Psah Kab Ko area of Phnom Penh on 18 February 2003. He was declared dead the
same day at about 5PM at Calmette Hospital, Phnom Penh.
***To donate, please e-mail Sophal Ear (sophal "at" alumni.princeton.edu). Contributions are tax deductible in the US and
Japan.*** For more visit on the School Om Radsady's Legacy Built, please click here.