Assessments performed with partner hotels on the training provided at the school have identified work on self-confidence as one of the areas for improvement. A number of workshops on social skills and theatre have been set up.

Renaud Fichet, the school director, explains: “The practical, theoretical and technical training of each department is of course the most important part of the school curriculum followed by students. However, Sala Bai also offers personal development to each of them. We bring in professionals to help with this. Students are given theatre classes which helps them to overcome shyness, to develop their self-confidence and to be able to express themselves in front of an audience with appropriate gestures. Workshops are organised by external speakers offering various activities around personal development in the form of games. Social workers also play an important role in helping students to acquire life skills. All of these “soft skills” help students to feel better in their everyday life and especially to better understand their future. Three months after arriving at school, we can already see the difference in behaviour that, for some, is obvious. Self-confidence is one of the keys to success and we are happy to see the huge progress made after these workshops.”

Because the personal development of the students is essential to help them gain autonomy and succeed in their future professions, Sala Baï has set up a comprehensive programme based on the “leadership” proposed by the agency Possibilities World. The programme includes workshops on positive thinking, emotional intelligence, critical thinking, how to meet challenges and communication practices. Since the start of the 2019 school year, students have been going to Possibilities World premises in small groups to participate in these modules, the aim being to get them out of the school setting. Young people are also involved in activities to raise awareness of environmental, safety and public health issues. Last autumn, they had the opportunity to discuss drug-related risks with the Siem Reap Police, participate in a workshop on sexual harassment with Sophanna, a social worker, and thanks to the association Project G, attended an awareness-raising workshop on sexually transmitted diseases and feminine hygiene.

This variety of themes and this multitude of workshops provide the 150 students with an opening to the world and the keys to their personal development. Sophal, a school social worker, confirms this: “These workshops are very important for students. They help them to learn more about “life-related” subjects: hygiene, health, rights, etc. They will be working with the public so they need to know how to behave when in client-facing situations. Raphaël, the theatre teacher, and Possibilities World helped us in this regard. The trainers helped make students more confident and comfortable with clients. It’s just as important for their work as for their personal lives. With all these workshops, we can see how students are changing. We’re giving them all the resources they need.”

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