The period for family visits by the school’s 5 social workers began on 1 April. This is when they check the socio-economic conditions of candidates’ families so that they are able to select those whose situations are the most precarious. A multi-dimensional approach is essential for ensuring that the right candidates are selected.
20 February 2018 was the deadline for applications from young people wishing to attend the Sala Baï school in September and become part of Intake XVIII. By this date, 418 applications had been submitted.
After the Open Day held in January 2019 which attracted a record number of 23 NGOs, a large number of young people who are supported by these NGOs submitted applications. Our strong links with NGOs enables Sala Baï to provide vocational training to young people living in extreme poverty. Thanks to these partnerships, Agir pour le Cambodge was able to extend its catchment area this year. For the first time, applications were received from the province of Pursat, which is on the Thai border and heavily impacted by human trafficking. This is the result of our work with the US NGO, Sustainable Cambodia.
In order to ensure that the Sala Baï programme benefits the most vulnerable, the Sala Baï social workers are travelling across the Cambodian provinces, visiting the families of candidates between 1 April and 13 June 2019. They make sure that families meet the defined selection criteria, not only in terms of household income but also a whole range of socio-economic factors that come to light during interviews. This multi-dimensional approach is essential for defining candidates’ living conditions and the risks/difficulties to which they will be exposed. The different criteria that are considered and analysed by the team cover:
– number of people and generations living in the home,
– education level of parents and siblings,
– health of family members,
– access to drinking water,
– number and types of animals owned by the family,
– material out of which the home is constructed,
– families’ agricultural produce.
Following the family visits, the most motivated young people living in poverty are selected to interview for a place at Sala Baï where they will be trained in one of the catering and hospitality professions which will open up the possibility of a better and more stable future, both for themselves and for their families.
Given the socio-economic situation in Cambodia, Agir pour le Cambodge ensures that every year, 70% of students are girls because it is so much harder for them to access education and stable employment, and because at least 30% of them are from provinces on the Thai border which is heavily impacted by human trafficking.