Gérard Arnaud, president of Educadev, a charity which for several years has financed the school supplies and uniforms of the Sala Baï students, explains in five points why the charity is keen to work alongside Agir pour le Cambodge.

Could you introduce us to Educadev?

Set up in 1991, Educadev is a French charity that works to help underprivileged children to continue studying, because we are convinced that education is the main challenge for development in all countries. Our main work is the financing of school supplies.

The charity was set up by a group of friends who had lived together in Colombia and done community work in the poor neighborhoods of Bogota. Over the years, Educadev has set up and run programs in 11 countries in South America, Africa and Asia, by relying on local correspondents. These correspondents are trustworthy people whom we know personally, who run the programs in the field and who report back on the quality and finances of all of the actions.

The members of the Educadev are all involved in setting up and monitoring the programs.

How did you find out about Sala Baï and Agir pour le Cambodge?

My son Hugo, who’s also a member of Educadev, spent two years in Cambodia developing the organization Soieries du Mékong and got to know Sala Baï at this time.

When we came to visit him, we had the opportunity to have lunch at the school’s training restaurant, to meet the director and to appreciate the skills of Sala Baï alumni working at a hotel. We were completely won over by this project, by its ambition, its efficiency and we were very keen to involve Educadev in this program.

How does Sala Baï fit in to Educadev’s mission?

The fact that Sala Baï enables young people from extremely poor backgrounds to find qualified work quickly that is properly paid, is the concretization of what Educadev set out to do, i.e. development though education and training.

Why did Educadev decide to support Sala Baï? 

The rational reasons behind our support are obviously based on the extraordinary results of the program. But the starting point for all of the programs that we have developed and in which we participate have always been the result of a meeting with a man, a woman, children, a country.

For Sala Baï, it was the meeting between Hugo and Cambodia then with the school itself through its active members. I can assure you that when we saw the smiles, the kindness and the professionalism of these young people in the training restaurant and hotel, there was only one thing that we wanted to do, and that was to carry on supporting Sala Baï and to continue our presence in Cambodia through this wonderful program.

What does this partnership bring to Educadev and its members?

The professionalism of Sala Baï, the information that we receive, constantly feed our current and future actions.

Even Educadev donors who have been travelling in Cambodia have received a very warm welcome, and were able to appreciate the knock-on effects of their donations. We have the impression, and even the certainty, that through this partnership, we too will be able to ‘’Agir pour le Cambodge’’ (Act for Cambodia).

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