Knowledge is Hope

Peace is Development

Our Founder

Sedtha Long was born in Battambang, a province in north east of Cambodia. In 1968 his family migrated to Phnom Penh, the capital, for better opportunities. By 1975, when he was only a young man, the Khmer Rouge took over, and forced everyone to migrate to the rural areas and work on farms endlessly. This is where his true life story begun. To find out more about what has driven Sedtha along the path that resulted in founding BFT, watch the video Sedtha's Story. 

After torturous years, and losing many of his family members to one of the worst genocides in human history, he managed to escape to the Thai border, and start a life in the camps. During his escape he met a lot of orphaned children who he took under his care. Life was not easy in the camps, and he worked hard to feed his family and others by getting involved in whatever was on offer. This is where he met his wife, who stands by him even today as a pillar of strength.

Being one of the few educated survivors, he started development work in the camps itself. He started teaching in the camps, along with educating western volunteers about Cambodian culture & issues, something he continues to practice today. He also started liaising with Buddhist monks & nuns to help people deal with crisis issues and understand morality even in such demanding times. At one point, he even took on Thai kick-boxing to make an extra buck.

Once the civil war was over, and people were allowed to return to Cambodian cities, he realized his primary goal in life had been defined by the struggle inflicted on him. He wanted to build the Cambodian society again, empower the people with economic and intellectual tools to overcome poverty, and attain stability. He realized education was a key to achieving this goal, and all his efforts and resources were focused on this one aim. He returned to Siem Reap with all the orphaned children he has taken under his care, and continued to reach out to many more.

In the years to follow, he worked for UNTAC (United Nation Transitional Authority of Cambodia), UNESCO, UNV (United Nations Volunteer), Cambodian World Family and many other organizations that his dreams were aligned with. He managed to get university degrees in community development, political science, psychology & methodology. This allowed him to live and travel in other places like USA, Japan, Thailand where he learnt a lot about international development, and how cultures vary and merge together.

For over 10 years. he worked at the Angkor children’s hospital, Siem Reap, lived and worked in this field and area for decades, he had the right network and grounding to start an NGO, but it is his motivation, determination, and experience that truly sets this organization apart. His zeal to learn & grow, his ability to bridge the western & Cambodian cultural gaps, and his appreciation for volunteer spirit makes BFT the success it is today. before deciding to start his own NGO – Build Your Future Today. Having

Since its inception in April 2006, BFT has adopted over 8 villages on a 4 years project plan, while working in over 25 villages to improve education in schools. His home still functions as a child support and learning center, and his backyard is always full of children eager to learn in the free classes offered.