About KEAP & Our Current Projects
Woman Harvesting Paddy Rice, 1995, by Svay Ken
Khmer-Buddhist Education Project (KEAP) was founded in 1988 to assist in the challenges of Buddhist renewal in Cambodia following decades of war and social upheaval, including the near-destruction of Buddhism and all forms of religious and spiritual life in the country during the Khmer Rouge era of the 1970s.
Initially we worked with the Buddhist wats (the traditional pagoda or temple) in the Khmer refugee camps along the Thai-Cambodian border that were established in the early 1980s by our honorary founding patron, the late Ven. Maha Ghosananda. Among other activities, we organized training workshops for the displaced Khmer in preparation for their repatriation and carried this rehabilitation work to provinces in northwestern Cambodia at the time of the 1992-93 repatriation. We also donating more than 16,000 Dharma texts and audio-visual materials to wats, educational organizations, and individuals in many parts of the country.
Today, KEAP is an international humanitarian organization assisting with the education and learning needs of Cambodian monks, nuns, and laypersons and primarily providing scholarships in higher education in Buddhist studies to young men and women. We are devoted to helping create a culture of peace, reconciliation, and people-centered development in Cambodia. KEAP serves as a bridge between Buddhist and non-Buddhist donors abroad and selected local Buddhist educational initiatives Cambodia.
Please explore this website to learn more about Cambodia, its beautiful people and their Khmer-Buddhist culture, and how you can become involved in helping with Cambodia's long-term process of recovery.
Maha Ghosananda Children's
Learning Center at Wat Poveal
Many primary school age children from poor families in Cambodia are unable to attend school. The nuns center at Wat Poveal in Battambang, a provincial capital in the northwestern part of the country, has set aside land in its compound to build and run a home for 40 vulnerable children allowing them to receive quality educations. The children will be cared for by the nuns with assistance from the wat community. The children will attend a nearby primary school while benefitting from a moral upbringing and skills-oriented instruction at the home. Read more...
About KEAP's Honorary Founder
Samdech Preah Maha Ghosananda
Venerable Maha Ghosananda, frequently called the "Gandhi of Cambodia", is our honorary founding patron and his teachings and life example continue to inspire us, as they first did over thirty-five years ago. Through the peace and reconcilation walks that he led, perhaps no single individual was more responsible for ending the civil war that continued to plague Cambodia from the end of the Khmer Rouge era until the late 1990s. Maha Ghosananda was also a strong voice for interfaith dialogue and respect, traveling to every part of the world to lend his voice - often only a few cogent words! - to the cause of world peace. Learn more about Maha Ghosananda.
The byline on our header above, "Step by step, every step is a prayer, for peace!", is an ofter repeated quote by Maha Ghosananda.
See Maha Ghosananda interviewed
by Ram Dass (a terrific exchange).
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The column to your left explains in detail the Khmer-Buddhist Education Assistance Project and its mission. Thank you for visiting our site.
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The paintings on this page - and the many others throughout this website - is by Svay Ken, who was an artistic visonary and pioneer of Cambodian contemporary art. Learn more about Svay Ken, our collection of his work, and how you may purchase this work to support KEAP.
A Boy During the Pol Pot Regime,
1993, Svey Ken
Cambodian & Related News
The Cambodian Daily
Off a road about 3 km north of Phnom Penh International Airport, past clothing and food stalls, where the cracked pavement turns to dirt flanked by grazing cows and duck ponds, the temple stands modestly, absent the ornate stupas that adorn most of the country's pagodas.
The temple grounds, which lie past an entry gate engraved with Chinese characters, are not hidden - a local moto-taxi driver knows it as "the Chinese pagoda" - but they are well out of sight of most residents and travelers. Read more...
Thai Female Monastics Continue to Push for Gender Equality
Thai bhikkhunis - fully ordained female monastics - are being called "rebels" as they challenge the religious status quo in Thailand with their demands for more gender equality and the full ordination of women, according to the Associated Press.
The tradition of ordained nuns or female monks - bhikkhunis in Pali or bhikkshuni in Sanskrit - goes back to the Buddha. However, because the practice lapsed, died out, or was never introduced in some countries, even Buddhist leaders who are supportive of women's full ordination such as the 17th Karmapa have been struggling with how to reintroduce it. Read more...
A Floating, Abandoned
Building Will Become a Space
for Khmer Art
Located in what was a massive floating hotel in the Kingdom of Wonder, The Boat could become a thriving center for arts and culture in Cambodia. Floating on the edge of Phnom Penh, where the Mekong meets the Tonl Sap River, the nonprofit organization plans to focus on displaying Khmer art. Dana Langlois, future artistic director of The Boat, envisions it as "a multi-disciplinary space that is creative in every aspect - where creatives and artists can have a dedicated space to work, to engage new audiences, and deepen the conversation on art practice in the region." Read more...