In 2010, during their visits to Phnom Penh by Ms Grace Yong, Executive Director of Character Montessori (CM) and her son, Paul, they were struck by the dire living and education conditions of children living in city slums.

Grace saw many well-meaning foreigners teaching the children but with no sustainable impact, as the volunteer teachers were there only for a few weeks. The teaching approaches varied vastly depending on the teachers, and lacked structure and consistency.  Grace immediately felt she should do something.

Carrying her passion and a new burden, Grace returned to Singapore. She shared her vision with her husband, Kok Keong Ng, Chief Executive Officer of CM and both decided they would wait for the right time to make a difference.

Meanwhile, inspired by the encounter and undaunted by what he saw by sight, Paul wrote a poem that calls for a hope and a beautiful future for the people:  

Rise from Polpot

Multitudes of wheat dance in sync,
To dreams and prayers casted from hell within;
But to many the word hell might be an irony,
Especially when those punished were without sin.

But stifled be you not my brethren,
For their smiles would beam down from the heavens.
And although the hours of dawn might be excruciatingly long;
Await the melody of the cockeroo's song.

So sharpen your sickle and hold on to that thirst,
For prosperous you can be from the upcoming harvest.

Grace’s heart has always been for children. Besides founding CM, she worked as Communications Manager with World Vision to raise funds for its charitable activities.  KK is a practicing architect and has always been actively helping in communities. He is Vice President of a student care centre (Eden Community Services) in Singapore and has served in halfway houses and prisons. He was former Executive Director of Agape Connection and Training Centre from 1991 to 1995.

Finally, with their wealth of education expertise, knowledge and experiences, EdenTouch Foundation was birthed in 2013 and started to provide services in Cambodia.