The Bakery & Pastry school: a professional training dedicated to women
To consolidate its actions in favor of education, our NGO opened in 2014 a vocational training program in pastry and bakery dedicated to women.
Our objective? To promote the professional integration of young Cambodian women, and reduce the precariousness of families living in the areas surrounding the Angkor temples.
Vocational training in pastry and bakery: a women’s action
A school created for and by women. The beginning of this human adventure with a social vocation begins in 2014 with the arrival of Sokhoeurn, Khmer pastry chef, founder and today director of the Bayon Bakery and Pastry School.
Sokhoeurn was trained by the famous Paul Dubrule School in Siem Reap. At only 32 years old, she has already managed bakery and pastry teams in some of the most prestigious restaurants and hotels in Southeast Asia: the Bangkok Sofitel, Le Méridien Angkor in Siem Reap or the Sokha Beach Resort in Sihanoukville (Sokhoeurn article link).
Sokhoeurn, 32 years old
With the support of Alain Cojean (founder of the Cojean restaurants), I started the Bayon Pastry School in 2014, which welcomes and trains around twenty young underprivileged women every year. I recently went to Sirha in Lyon (the world meeting place for gastronomy professionals). I decided to surround myself with other women to lead the training. Sokly supervises and gives the technical training courses in bakery and pastry. Chhein takes care of the recruitment as well as the social and medical follow-up of the students.
Every year, more than twenty young women from disadvantaged backgrounds are trained free of charge in our bakery and pastry vocational training school.
Since its creation, more than a hundred women have found a job at the end of their training.
A practice-oriented approach and rapid access to employment
- Each student benefits from a complete training combining theory and practice in the field of bakery and pastry making with the help of our teachers :
The contribution of professional experience is at the heart of our training. Our accelerated learning approach is a real added value for students, facilitating their rapid access to employment once they graduate.
Thanks to the social team and all the local partnership established, students benefit from four months of practical internships in some of Siem Reap’s most reputable hotels.
At the end of the training, all our students find a job within 6 months. For many of them, they continue within the company in which they did their first internship.
This is the case of Kola, a student from our first intake:
When I was 9 years old I started to study at the Bayon primary school, close to the Bayon temple. Then at the age of 13 I went to the middle school and then to the high school of Hun Sen, Siem Reap. When I finished grade 12, I didn’t have enough money to go to university. Fortunately, the Bayon Bakery School helped me develop new skills: I studied baking for 11 months.
Our teacher Sokhoeurn taught me how to make cakes, decorate them, make ice cream, sorbets…
In the continuity of my training, I had the chance to do two internships: first at the Victoria Hotel for 6 weeks, then at the Angkor Residence Hotel for 10 weeks.
Now, I am working again at the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa as a baker, earning over $250 per month. Today I am able to live comfortably and help my family by sending money.
Full support for the vocational training of young women
The Bayon School offers a complete and completely free of charge care to all our students which includes :
- the training of young women for a period of one year
- their accommodation within the training center
- a monthly allowance allowing them to feed themselves
- two uniforms, a bicycle and school supplies
- a quarterly hygiene kit and care management.
Focus: intensive English courses with ACE
The Bayon School has also partnered with ACE (Australian Center For Education) in order to provide students with additional high-quality intensive English courses at a rate of 3 hours per week.
The Coffee Shop: A good cake for a good cause
In order to ensure the sustainability of this action, our association has decided to create its own Coffee Shop (redirection page coffee shop) in 2015, with the aim of contributing to the financing of the professional training of female students.
Located in the heart of Siem Reap town, it is the ideal place to recharge your batteries. Tourists, expatriates living in Cambodia and locals come to enjoy the peaceful garden, taste delicious pastries served with tasty drinks or discover a varied savoury menu.
A true haven of peace that is an integral part of the students’ training. They are put into situations and learn about the service profession.
In 5 years of existence, the proven success of our coffee shop has enabled us to self-finance nearly 50% of the students’ training.
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