Welcome to Sala Baï !
Created in 2002 by the French NGO Agir Pour Le Cambodge, Sala Baï is a free hotel school based in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Each year, the school, trains 100 young disadvantaged Cambodians to the four main professions of the hospitality industry: restaurant waiter/waitress, cook, receptionist & housekeeping attendants.
During 12 months, the school covers all the training fees (lessons, school supplies, books, uniforms), and daily expenses (accommodations, food, bicycle, insurance and medical expenses) for the students.
The training lasts 11 months from September to July. The 12th month, August, is dedicated to assist the students to find their first employment.
Origin of the project
In 2002, Agir Pour Le Cambodge set up Sala Baï program, due to the following reasons:
- Very low school attendance rate in a country where 60% of the population is under 20 (54% for girls and 68% for boys). Many young people leave school to contribute to the family income, thus obtaining precarious and seasonal jobs with no future.
- Few vocational training programs exist in the country, even less for those who have not reached grade 9.
- Girls mainly drop out of school younger than boys, to help at home, work or get married. Very few vocational training opportunities are offered to young women, even less when they have a low education level.
- At the same time, the number of hotels in Siem Reap, town of Angkor temples, is increasing very fast and requires more and more qualified trained workforce.
- The profits from the tourism development in the area are badly distributed, especially among the poorest (35% of the population live under the poverty level with less than US$1 per day).
Contribute to reduce poverty in Cambodia through social and professional insertion of young under-privileged Cambodians.
- Each year 100 young cambodians are trained and employed in the hospitality industry which is the fastest growing economic sector of the country (in 2011, tourism in Siem Reap jumped 23% for the year, with 1.2 million tourists visiting Angkor site).
- Priority is given to girls (70%), due to the fact that they are more vulnerable and have less training opportunities.
- To provide work skills development & capacity building to the local team for a future autonomization of the program.
- Last but not least, to contribute to the development of responsible tourism and the setting up and development of vocational training in Cambodia.
10 years: 10 intakes...
903 trained and graduate students:
- 283 restaurant waiters and waitresses
- 284 cooks
- 236 housekeepers
- 100 receptionists
68% are girls, when counting the 10 intakes. But for the last 5 years, the initial goal of 70% has been reached.
They all found employment after graduation, enabling them to achieve economic independence and improving the living conditions of their families. Thanks to these young trainees and the direct impact on their families, more than 5500 people benefited from Sala Baï.
On September 3rd, 2012, 100 young Cambodians - full of hope and dreams – joined Sala Baï to start the 11th school year.
Sala Baï’s Future Plans
Agir pour le Cambodge has been fighting poverty and human trafficking for more than 25 years. The organization has decided to be even more proactive by developing even more this hotel and restaurant school to support the poorest of the poor underprivileged Cambodians.
Each year, more and more young people apply, yet our annual capacity is 100 hundred students.
In 2011, Sala Bai interviewed and assessed 700 applicants of which 600 were rejected.
It is a heartbreaking and unbearable situation to turn down so many young people in need.
In a country where 30% of its population is living below the poverty level and where qualified employees for the hospitality industry are in such high demand, we simply have to do more.
That’s why, by 2016, our goal is to increase the annual student intake from 100 to 150.
The most sought-after and relevant training programs will be strengthened: front office, cooking and service. Additionally, a 5th department, Spa and Beauty, will be added to fulfill the growing and more specialized needs of luxury hotels.
To accomplish this level of growth and expansion, will require that Agir pour le Cambodge relocate and purchase a larger building. This new space will enable Sala Bai to increase the program’s self-financing capacity by doubling the number of available hotel rooms and increasing the restaurant’s seating capacity. It is estimated that the purchase and renovation of a new facility will cost approximately $800,000.
We encourage you to support Sala Bai’s development plans and donate now.
Become a Sala Ba´ AngelůGive wings to young Cambodians full of hope and potential by supporting their training.