Empowering a New Generation of Leaders in the Developing World

"Now I'm in my third year at the Royal University of Phnom Penh studying psychology. For me it's an important subject, because in my village I saw a lot of inequality between men and women- women have to stay at home all the time, and domestic violence is a problem. After I finish studying in Phnom Penh it's my ambition to study in the US for a year, then come back to my home country and work with women's organizations. Maybe I'll work for the Ministry of Women's Affairs, or even become Prime Minister!" --- Chhorn Rada, March 2011


The mission of the Harpswell Foundation is to empower a new generation of women leaders in Cambodia and the developing world.


Our strategy is to focus on a relatively small number of the brightest young people possessing leadership potential and to nourish that potential. In particular, we provide housing, education, critical thinking skills, and leadership training for young women. The Harpswell Foundation is politically neutral.


We believe that educated women with leadership ability constitute the most powerful force to bring about positive change in developing countries.

We believe in the importance of one-on-one contact between students and mentors in a closely knit community.

We believe in the importance of carefully listening to local communities articulate their needs rather than imposing our own views of their needs. We believe in respecting local cultures and local family values.

We believe that non-profit organizations should be lean and cost effective.

Inauguration of the new school in Tramung Chrum, June 2005, with American and Cambodian flags


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