The school

Fighting poverty through vocational training




Launched in 2002, Sala Baï Hotel and Restaurant school is a program created by the French NGO Agir Pour le Cambodge (APLC), to fight poverty and human trafficking through social and professional training of young underprivileged Cambodians.

The program

The goal of the program is to train 150 young underprivileged Cambodians each year, and free of charge, in the main professions of the hospitality industry. After 18 years in operation, more than 1,850 students have been trained and found a job in one of the fastest growing economic sector of the country, enabling them to achieve economic independence and improving the living conditions of their families.

Registrations for the next intake 2020-2021 are open: APPLY HERE

The students

To join Sala Baï, candidates must meet several criteria:

  • come from disadvantaged families,
  • be between 17 and 23 years old,
  • be highly motivated,
  • have a minimum educational level of grade 6 for the Cooking, Restaurant, Beauty Therapy and Housekeeping department, have a minimum grade level of grade 10 for Front Office training.

Priority is given to girls (70%) who are more vulnerable and have less access to education and stable employment.

How are the students selected?

The student’s recruitment, run by Sala Baï social workers, is a 4-step process: application and registration, written exams to evaluate candidates’ ability to read and write in Khmer, family visits to check the social and economic family background and personal interviews with trainers to ensure the candidate’s motivation.

The training program lasts 11 months and offers 5 different disciplines: Restaurant, Cooking, Front Office, Housekeeping and Beauty Therapy since 2015.

Since December 2020 a new training course on agroecology is proposed to all students to diversify their skills and put more Sala Baï into the path for environmental protection and the fight against global warming.

The program includes theory (technical skills, English language, general education and “soft skills”) and practical experience at school or during internships at our partner hotels. The training is completely free of charge. The school covers training costs (lessons, school supplies, books, uniforms), and daily expenses (accommodation, food, bicycles, insurance and medical expenses) for all the students.

The 12th month is dedicated to job searching. Social workers help students to find their first job: 100% find a job from four to six weeks after their graduation.

Sala Baï Program Impact

The diploma awarded at the end of the training is recognized and co-signed by two Cambodian Ministries: Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training and Ministry of Tourism. The training program is also recognized as being efficient by the main local actors of the hospitality industry.

The training and the diploma are real assets when it comes to finding a job. Today, 100% of students find a job within a month after their graduation and have an entry level salary that is 3 times higher than the average income of their families. Consequently, students can support them and enable their brothers and sisters to continue their education.

In 2014, an alumni network was created. Its objective is to follow the beneficiaries of the program in the development of their professional career, to establish lasting relationships and to set up solidarity between former students and the school. In 2019, at the request of the Cambodian Interior Ministry, the SBFF was renamed Sala Baï Family Association. The SBFA is recognized by the Interior Ministry as an official Cambodian association since December 2019.

The team

The Sala Baï team is composed of 33 Cambodian collaborators and 4 people on an International Solidarity Volunteering mission (VSI). 

14 teachers and trainers:

– 9 technical trainers

– 3 English teachers and 1 English coordinator (VSI)

– 1 director of the education program

– 1 French and Mathematics teacher who also works as a Social Worker

6 social workers:

They are responsible for the selection of students, schooling follow-up, finding internships and permanent jobs. They are also in charge of soft skills workshops. They train and monitor students who are seeking employment (help them to write their CVs, mock interviews) and inform them on employment and pay conditions. One worker is dorm resident and another is in charge of the Sala Baï Family Association. 

15 support functions:

S1 School director (VSI), 1 Deputy Director & Chief Financial Officer (VSI), 1 Accounting Manager, 1 Administrative Assistant, 1 Project, Communication & Fundraising Manager, 1 Communication Officer, 2 Housemaids, 2 Laundry Attendants,  2 Cooks for the canteen, 4 Guards and 1 Maintenance Staff.

Six of them are former Sala Baï students. After several years of experience in hotels, they really wanted to come back to school to pass on what they have learnt during their careers and to help others who are young, and like them, come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

This local team can count on the management support of 4 French volunteers. The volunteers, who are on two-year contracts, give technical and management assistance to the local team. They provide training and support where it is needed. At present, this aid includes management training, pedagogy, communication, fundraising and auditing.

Thanks to its action in Cambodia, Sala Baï is helping to:


  • Set up and develop vocational training,
  • Develop responsible tourism,
  • Reduce poverty and human trafficking.

Make a donation

Your support is very important. More than 89% of Agir pour le Cambodge budget come from private donations (foundations, companies, associations, and general public).

They Support Sala Baï


(AFD) is a financial institution and the main implementing agency for France’s official development…

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Angkor W Group owns and manages 12 restaurants in Siem Reap. Since 2013, the Angkor W Group supports….

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API Restauration Group is a catering company, family owned and independent. Since 2015, API has…

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As part of its Missionary Days, the Saint Louis de Gonzague (Franklin) College, as well as the….

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The Cassiopée Foundation has helped Sala Baï by granting funds over three years for the construction…

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The McKinsey for Children charity was set up to help children in need to enjoy a better life by….

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Since November 2013, the Sisley foundation has decided to support the development of Sala Baï…

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The Friends of Sala Baï in Australia (FOSBA) was created in 2005 by three businessmen in the hotel….

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Since 2006, Jacques Hybert, head of the Grange Relay, organizes in conjunction with the…

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Association for transporting volunteers, it supports NGOs to send human resources into the field…..

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The Heritage Suites Hotel is an upscale boutique retreat in Siem Reap. Its commitment to support…

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The If International Foundation whose mission is to improve the living conditions of the most…..

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Krama Krama, a French company that sells kramas on-line (including one in Sala Baï colors)…

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Since 2006, Sainte-Anne Trades High School supports Sala Baï. The students of this establishment…..

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You can also be part of this vocational training program!

The training hotel and restaurant are places of essential learning, activity and work experience. Open to the public, guests and visitors also help to finance a part of the students’ training.

By having lunch in our restaurant or staying overnight in our hotel, you’ll experience Cambodia in another way. You’ll meet our students who prepare the food in our beautiful new restaurant. You will be welcomed to the hotel by our Front Office students. Our new hotel rooms are cared for by the Housekeeping students. You can have a massage given by our Beauty Therapy students. So book your room or lunch now and come and discover Sala Baï!

Watch Videos

We present you the program in 2 minutes

They share back

Sala Bai training restaurant in Siem Reap, Cambodia


through education and vocational training

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