On May 17, 2004, The Global Child School opened in Phnom Penh with 11 students and several staff members. In the weeks following, they carefully selected 15 more children to reach its targeted number of 26 students: 13 boys and 13 girls.
In Cambodia, a large percentage of the population lives below the poverty line. As in many developing countries suffering the aftermath of war, unschooled and underprivileged children beg for an income of less than one dollar a day, which they bring home to their families. Under these circumstances, it is hard for parents or guardians to allow their children to go to school since it could cause the family to starve, yet the children are usually eager for an education. Thus the objective of the Global Child is to afford underprivileged street-working children the opportunity to obtain a solid schooling in two languages by subsidizing students one dollar for each day they attend school. Students are paid their subsidy weekly. Essentially a form of micro financing (only without repayment), this allows the school to instruct students on how to wisely manage their monthly funds to attain sustainable home-projects or future savings, thus learning business acumen from the start.