Wherever you are in the world, we hope you’re having a great GivingTuesday! 

At Phare Ponleu Selpak, we’re gearing up for a big challenge: In 2024, we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary all year long with a series of special events, fundraisers, art festivals, and more. To kick the year off, we’re excited to announce the Sangker River Run: 30 km for 30 Years of Phare Ponleu Selpak happening on Saturday 20 January 2024. 

So, what’s that have to do with GivingTuesday?  

For the Sangker River Run, we have a crazy goal: Raise $300,000 USD for art and education programs at Phare Ponleu Selpak and to help launch the school into the next 30 years. Can you help us get there?

Why Phare Ponleu Selpak is organizing the Sangker River Run

If you didn’t know already, GivingTuesday is a global day of giving and generosity that happens every year in late November or early December (five days after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday). Recognized in over 75 countries worldwide, this international holiday is built on the principles of mutuality, solidarity, and reciprocity among people and organizations making the world a better place – that means you! 

So, how can you help support the Brightness of the Arts on this year’s GivingTuesday? Here are a few ways to help you get started:

#1: Support a Runner, Cyclist, or Relay Team in the Sangker River Run

Lots of runners and cyclists – from over 10 different countries – have already registered for the Sangker River Run, and they’re currently looking for financial supporters who can help them reach their individual or team fundraising goals.  

Head on over to our SimplyGiving page to find a runner, cyclist, or team to support, or if you’d like tax benefits in your local jurisdiction, contribute to the Sangker River Run on our Donate page and note “Sangker River Run” along with the individual or team name you’re supporting. 

Our runners and cyclists are challenging themselves to go the distance, so let’s all pitch in and help them get to their goal this GivingTuesday!  

The great news: All funds raised this GivingTuesday will go toward the $300,000 fundraising target for the Sangker River Run.  

Ready to support our runners and cyclists this GivingTuesday? 

#2: Run or Cycle in the Sangker River Run 

Join your fellow athletes from around Asia and across the globe for this 30-kilometer race along the picturesque Sangker River just outside of Battambang, Cambodia.  

Register for the Sangker River Run on Saturday 20 January 2024 in Battambang, Cambodia

The inaugural Sangker River Run is for dedicated solo runners, relay runners, and cyclists who want to challenge themselves along a brand new, scenic-but-intrepid route and who want to help fundraise for Phare Ponleu Selpak.  

Solo runners and cyclists should be capable of completing at least a half marathon (21 km or 13.1 miles). If you like to run or cycle long distance – or if you’re an experienced ultramarathoner looking for a light jog – this race is perfect for you. 

Not quite ready to run 30 kilometers? Put together a relay team of three runners who will each run 10 km of the total route. This is a great way to help fundraise for Phare Ponleu Selpak while working as a team and forming new friendships.  

For cyclists, the route is suitable for both road bikes and mountain bikes, following a similar trail as the runners (but a bit smoother in a few places). Bicycle transport will be provided to the starting point, but we ask that you of course provide your own bike. 

Ready to take on the challenge of the Sangker River Run?

#3: Set up a Sister Run/Cycle in Your City 

Organize a Sister Sangker River Run in your local area

Want to run or cycle for Phare but can’t travel to Cambodia this January? You can also set up a sister run or cycling event in your local area.  

Here’s how you can help make it happen.

  1. Find friends, family, colleagues, or other Phare supporters in your city or region. Contact us at [email protected] if you’d like us to spread the word to other Phare supporters in your area. 
  2. Register your team on SimplyGiving. Use that big red “Start Fundraising” to get started. 
  3. On 20 January (or another nearby date) complete your 30 km run or cycle route. Let us know how you did! Send a brief description plus pictures to [email protected]. We’ll make sure every sister run gets highlighted!  

    Want to organize a sister fundraising event? Use this guide for more information on how to set up a Sister Sangker River Run. 

    Plus, you can share this blog post or flyer to help spread the word 

    Wait, What’s GivingTuesday All about?

    On GivingTuesday 2023, learn how you can support Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang, Cambodia

    GivingTuesday is a global movement of people united in mobilizing their country or region around generosity, giving, and shared humanity. The event has an international presence in more than 75 countries with more joining every year.  

    In each jurisdiction, teams of GivingTuesday organizers work with communities, non-profit organizations, donation platforms, schools, religious institutions, and other partners to multiply giving, connection, and innovation around making the world a better place. 

    Phare Ponleu Selpak is proud to be a part of GivingTuesday by unleashing the generosity of our contributors in helping change lives through the arts in Cambodia and beyond.  

    This GivingTuesday Thank You for Making a Difference 

    Whether you’re participating in the Sangker River Run, supporting the runners and cyclists who are, or organizing your own sister event, we’re glad that you’ve joined Phare Ponleu Selpak in changing lives through the arts.  

    Your actions and your contributions – no matter how big or small – make a positive difference in the world, and that’s what GivingTuesday is all about.   

    If you’d like to have a steady impact on the lives of children and youth in Cambodia throughout the year, you can also set up a recurring contribution or sponsor a child.


    Bryce W. Merkl Sasaki at Phare Ponleu Selpak
    Bryce W. Merkl Sasaki works as the Communications & Media Manager at Phare Ponleu Selpak. He believes in the transformative power of the arts to make us fully human and fully alive. In his free time, he writes poetry and is working on a science fiction novel.