In the face of the crisis, Sala Baï School is strengthening its support for students and their families and set up an emergency aid for the students of the 2018-2019 class. Throughout the crisis, Sala Baï has remained in solidarity with the students and former students who have been strongly affected by the closure of the borders and the collapse of the tourism sector.
Sala Baï students supported after the closure of the school
Sala Baï School closed its doors from March 9 to September 28, 2020. Faced with this closure and the return of all students to their families, it seemed necessary for Agir pour le Cambodge to continue its financial support to the students, especially since the health crisis has deprived many families of income and is further weakening the most disadvantaged. Consequently, the monthly allowance of US $35 has been maintained.
While the remote learning courses were set up by the teachers, the social workers continued to mobilize by ensuring regular monitoring of each student in order to follow their economic, health and psychological situation.
Agir pour le Cambodge in solidarity with former students
The situation of the students of the graduating class in July 2019 also prompted Agir pour le Cambodge to mobilize. Indeed, the students of the intake of 2018-2019 had barely entered the job market when borders have closed due to the pandemic. As a result, a vast majority of hotels and restaurants had to dismiss employees. More than 90% of the students of the class of 2018-2019 had lost their jobs by April 2020 and 50% of them had borrowed money, most often to acquire a means of transportation to get to their workplace. At that time, they did not have enough time to build up sufficient savings to meet their needs.
To support these former students during this difficult period, Agir pour le Cambodge decided to provide them with an exceptional monthly aid worth a total of US $80, containing a financial aid of US $40 and a package of essential products worth US $40. The aid aiming to enable them to partially compensate their job loss was created thanks to the support of loyal financial partners of Agir pour le Cambodge: If International Foundation, Touch Sala Baï, Friends of Sala Baï Australia, the Sala Baï Foundation and of all the donors, the Sala Baï School was able to distribue the aid. The remaining funds were used to create an emergency fund which will act as a safety net for current and former students for the future.
1st package distributed to the students of the intake 18-19 in May. Hydroalcoholic gel was added from the second package.
The Sala Baï School organized from May to July the distribution of the packages. Agir pour le Cambodge also thanks the local companies, Senteurs d’Angkor, Chao Sang Hok Superstore and Silk Screen Printing Lab for participating in the realization of these packages. This would not have been possible without the cooperation of NGO partners: Enfants du Mékong and Organization for Basic Training (OBT) who made it possible to ensure the success of this operation in favor of the most remote students of Siem Reap province. The NGOs acted as distribution centres in 7 provinces: Enfants du Mékong in Banteay Meanchey, Oddar Meanchey, Battambang, Preah Vihear, Tboung Khmum, and Phnom Penh provinces, and OBT in Kampong Cham province.
The school has now reopened its doors and the last financial aid was distributed during the month of September. Today the situation remains difficult for the students of the intake 2018-2019 but 38% of them are working again.