Empowering a New Generation of Leaders in the Developing World

Overview | Students | Program | Leadership Residents | Facilities and Hall of Great Women

Facilities and Hall of Great Women

Design and Construction

Both Harpswell Dormitory and Leadership Centers for Women were built by Dy Chhunhok (Hok) and his company Hok Associates. The facility at Boeng Trabaek is a three-floor structure, with each floor approximately 20 feet by 80 feet.  A rectangular courtyard/garden of approximately 10 feet by 80 feet occupies the portion of the lot not covered by the building.  Each floor of the building has 3 bedrooms (13 feet by 13 feet), a kitchen, and several toilets and showers. The top floor has a study room with 6 computers connected to the internet, a library, and a large screen television. Each bedroom has two bunk beds (each sleeping two people), four desks, and a clothes wardrobe.  Thus, each bedroom houses 4 women, with 12 women on each floor, and 36 women in total. The facility at Teuk Thla is three times the size of the facility at Teuk Thla. Its grounds include curving gardens, lily ponds, and a mandala in front of the office. The facility has three kitchens, a large library, an IT room, and a large conference room on its top (fourth) floor called the "Hall of Great Women."

Harpswell Dormitory and Leadership Center for Women at Boeng Trabaek

Harpswell Dormitory and Leadership Center for Women at Teuk Thla

The striking front facade of each building has a circular window on each of the three floors. Each of these unusual windows, designed by the Russian/Alaskan designer Sasha Sagan, features a Cambodian dancing girl called an Apsara. The Apsara is a symbol of Cambodian art and strong women.

Hok and Vanna Peou, the first Harpswell manager, discuss plans for the second dormitory and leadership center at Teuk Thla, December 2008

Courtyard at the Boeng Trabaek facility, looking through the front gate

Front courtyard at the Teuk Thla facility

Each bedroom houses four students and has two bunk beds, four desks, and two wardrobes

IT Room at the Teuk Thla facility, with 10 computers connected to the internet

Outdoor study table on the grounds of the Teuk Thla facility

Management and Maintenance of the Facility

Sophal, the manager of the Dormitory and Leadership Center at Boeng Trabaek, and Varony, senior manager and manager of the larger leadership center at Teuk Thla, run the day-to-day operations of the facitilies, ensure that the young women follow the rules and regulations, and care for the well-being of the young women. Sophal and Varony also help the young women develop life skills, computer skills, English language skills, and, most importantly, leadership skills. The senior manager reports almost daily to the Director via e-mail and telephone. The directorship of the HF makes at least two trips each year to Cambodia. Twenty-four hour security is provided by guards in 3 shifts per day from the company SSG. Repairs and maintenance of the facilities are made by Dychhung Hok and his associates.

Hall of Great Women

The top floor of the facility at Teuk Thla is a large conference room called the Hall of Great Women, able to seat 200 people. On its walls are poster-sized photographs of 25 outstanding women from around the world, from the arts, sciences, politics, and social activism. Accompanying each photograph is a biography, in English and Khmer. Here we hold leadership seminars twice a month, bringing all 81 of our students from both facilities together, and we also have workshops and conferences on the subject of women's empowerment and leadership. To see a list and biographies of our 25 great women, CLICK HERE.

Harpswell students attending a lecture in the new Hall of Great Women, September 2010

A corner of the Hall of Great Women. From left to right are Toni Morrison, the American novelist; Bun Rany, president of the Red Cross in Cambodia; Nadia Boulanger, the French musical composer, conductor, teacher; Yifang Wu, the Chinese biologist and university president; and Golda Meir, the first female Prime Minister of Israel

© The Harpswell Foundation 2008
last revised 9/12/16