Hotel School in Siem Reap

Cambodia, Charity, Foreign Travel Market 3 Comments

Well another inspiring day seeing what people do here and the Sala Bai Hotel School was no different ( .

I first went there for lunch and had a lovely two course Asian inspired meal cooked and served by students. Delicious , well presented and served with a great big Khmer smile!

I then sat down with Jean-Paul Dethomas (the School Program Director as well as meeting the training coordinator Anne and the communications manger Emmanuelle ) to hear the story of the hotel school and how it all works. I will summarise the story but it is truly great (more can be found on their website) . Basically, it is a hotel school for under privileged young people, aged between 17-22, who have not been to school for  5 years or longer ,and are from a family that earns less than $100 a year (combined for the whole family). The selection process is very strict and with inspections and interviews from social workers, candidates are checked that the information they give is true and because everything is paid for (from housing to medical assistance to teaching to uniforms) that they really want to do it . The course lasts 11 months which includes English lessons, a little French, both practical and theoretical hospitality skills in 4 major topics ( Front of House, Housekeeping, Food service and Food Preparation/Cooking ) and 2 work placements in local 5 star hotels. The students come from all over Cambodia, but 75% are from Siem Reap and 70% of the total yearly intake are female. The school also works really hard to make sure that the students get employment (and they all tend too ; there are a number of staff employed at Rosy’s  with the students often sending 50% or more of their salary back to their family (many are from orphanages and send it back to other relatives) . The money they earn once skilled can really meaningfully change their lives and provide them with a real future. This is all funded through various charitable donations, sponsors, volunteering so that these students do this on a full scholarship basis. The students train in a live environment as there is a fully functional breakfast and lunch operational kitchen and a 4 bedroom hotel where the revenue from both functions goes towards funding the students scholarships.

I think the photos below sum up a lot but if you would like more information about the story, or how you can get involved check out their website or even email me on  and am happy to explain.

All in all, I think you will agree, an amazing initiative that puts the stuff we do in the west to shame and something that I plan to get involved with, as much as possible with supporting them, along with the other charities that I have seen here, both personally and through the businesses and associations I work in. I can honestly say that where I may have given business & marketing skills one way, I have been truly humbled and inspired (and skilled if that makes sense) by the many generous people who give so much time here as volunteers,  helping those less fortunate than themselves.


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