Scott Neeson, founder and executive director of the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF), has received an international award in Malaysia for outstanding leadership and the work of his charity.

He collected the CHT International Award 2022 at a special gala dinner celebration in Kuala Lumpur on October 22, according to Kate Ginn, executive director of communications at CCF.

Ginn said that the CHT International Awards were established in 2008 to honor individuals and institutions that excel in their field.

Neeson and CCF were selected for the International Category for work with vulnerable children and families who are living in one of the most impoverished parts of Cambodia and the Southeast Asia region.

“I am honoured to receive such an award. I am accepting this on behalf of a terrific team of people working at Cambodian Children’s Fund. The remarkable success is due to their dedication to the cause. Congratulations and thank you to all of the team at Cambodian Children’s Fund,” said Neeson.

Neeson set up CCF in 2004 after a visit to a landfill site in Phnom Penh where he saw thousands of children and adults living and working on the huge garbage dump. Prior to founding CCF, Neeson was a Hollywood producer responsible for some of the biggest films in movie history such as Braveheart and Titanic, but he left that life behind to concentrate full-time on his charity work in Cambodia.

CCF, which works directly on the ground in Phnom Penh, has since helped thousands of children and families achieve a better life. There are currently over 1,800 children in the programme from kindergarten through university, along with a medical centre, community outreach care and housing communities.

The biennial CHT awards are organised by the CHT Network, a professional network in Malaysia that helps businesses to grow, ideas to be generated and connections made.

The event recognises local and international people and organisations that have achieved excellence and have made valuable contributions to society in their country. There are three categories: International, National and Emerging.

The winners represent the best of those who have reached the pinnacles of achievement.

“Over the years, we have recognised and honoured some of the most illustrious figures and organisations in Malaysia and around the globe. Some in the CHT International Awards hall of fame include successful businesses and leaders, notable politicians, legendary artists, philanthropists and many more,” said the award’s organisers.

Neeson collected his award at a ceremony at the Sunway Resort Hotel in Malaysia’s capital city attended by 400 notable VIPs, foreign dignitaries and distinguished guests.

Previous winners of the CHT International Award from Cambodia include Ly Thuch, Senior Minister for the Cambodian government and First Vice-President of the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA) in 2020, and Rithy Sear, Founder and Chairman of the WorldBridge International Group in 2016.