Founder and art, Japanese teacher : Tomoko Kasahara
She has a Master’s Degree in Art from Tokyo Educational University. In 1976, she started her career as an art teacher at a public high school in Tokyo. She had been an art teacher in Japan for about 31 years. It was her dream to put up ‘Small Art School’. Upon looking for a location, she visited India, Nepal, and finally decided to build the school in Siem Reap, Cambodia in 2007. She started teaching art in Cambodia at an orphanage center and also taught the neighborhood children. In ‘Small Art School’, she provides all art supplies and education for free.
Interpreter, Japanese teacher : Hea Chheav
He is from Beng Melia (one of ruin temples in Siem Reap) and has a total of 8 siblings. He grew up at the temples since he was 6 years old. When he was in a temple in Siem Reap, he heard that there was an orphanage center where he can learn Japanese so he asked the director at the orphanage center if he could stay there, and they accepted him. He was 12 years old at that time. Since then, he studied hard to be able to speak Japanese well. He won first prize at a Japanese speech contest in Phnom Penh, 2008. He started working as an interpreter for Tomoko in 2008. He graduated from the Build Bright University in Siem Reap, and is majoring in Business. View his artworks here.
Art Coordinator : Yuko Sakata
She is from Chiba, Japan and has a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Temple University in Philadelphia. She had been part of the social service sector for South East Asian refugees and immigrants and was in charge of the programs there. She moved to Siem Reap in Nov 2009 and became an art coordinator at the SAS. She is involved in the public relations, marketing, and sales in SAS.
Copywriter : Arina MIteva
Arina is from Russia where she was born and graduated as a Public Relations Specialist in 2013. Since then, she’s been working in art and marketing, including the State Russian Museum. She’s currently working in handmade and fashion industry in Bulgaria and trains ballet in her free time. In March 2016, she visited Siem Reap with her family and decided to find her own way of helping the Cambodian children by joining our volunteers team..