Our partner organisation BSDA (Buddhism for Social Development Action) supports young people from very poor families in the region around Kampong Cham to complete an education so that they can build a better future. At BSDA, the young people complete an 18-month training course. In the first half of the year they catch up on basic education and during a further year they complete an apprenticeship in the fields of mechanics, electronics, hotel business, gastronomy or beauty care.
Va Valong is 16 years old and lives in a village with his parents and three younger siblings. His family is very poor, his father works as a day labourer on the construction site and barely earns enough to feed the family. Va Va Valong had dropped out of school to help at home.
For 5 months now he has been trained as a mechanic at BSDA. His mother encouraged him to do this training. She says: "Of course he is missing as a help at home, but I wish for a better future for him. His life should be less difficult than mine".
During the training Va Valong lives together with other young people in the "Smile Institute". They cook and eat together and spend their free time here. The young people can learn new things about the world, laugh and forget their worries from home for a while.
Va Valong is doing his apprenticeship in the "Metta Garage", a social enterprise of BSDA. Here he can gain practical experience and apply his knowledge immediately. He likes the training, the teacher is friendly and explains well.
Again and again there are theory lessons with the teacher, Chhit Mengly. His task is not easy. In teaching he has to consider the different learning levels of the young people as well as their sometimes difficult personal backgrounds. This takes time and requires patience.
Chhorn Sokheang is 16 years old and has been living at the "Smile Institute" for eleven months. In the first half of the year, she catched up on school education. She likes to read. She discusses her homework with a roommate.
At home with Chhorn Sokheang: She is the second oldest of five children. Since her parents had no money for her school fees, she had to drop out of school. Although she is missing as help at home, the parents are happy that she can live in the "Smile Institute" and that she is well taken care of.
She likes her education in beauty care very much. The owner likes her a lot. Chhorn Sokheang is proactive and helpful, she says. That's why she has already offered Chhorn Sokheang a permanent position after one month of training.
Kim Tharoath is 15 years old and has been living at the "Smile Institute" for eight months. She shares a dormitory with ten other girls. Here she learns the ABC with her friends. They help each other to learn.
Kim Tharoath has decided to study gastronomy. In the "Smile Institute" she is assigned to the kitchen service and cooks for her roommates.
She completes her practical training in the "Smile Restaurant", a social enterprise of BSDA. The "Smile Restaurant" serves as a training place for prospective cooks and service employees. Kim Tharoath can gain practical work experience in cooking and service here.
Auch Sreykeo Chron hat ihre Ausbildung bei BSDA in Gastronomie gemacht und arbeitet seit der Eröffnung des "Hanchey Bamboo Resort" im Oktober 2018 im Restaurant dieses ökologischen Zentrums. Mittlerweile ist sie Teamleiterin und hat die Verantwortung für das Service Team. Sie bildet Jugendliche aus, die für ihre Ausbildung bei BSDA im Retraitenzentrum Praxiserfahrung sammeln. Ihr Traum ist es, später einmal ein eigenes Restaurant zu eröffnen.Sreykeo Chron also completed her training with BSDA in gastronomy and has been working in the restaurant of the "Hanchey Bamboo Resort" since its opening in October 2018. In the meantime, she has become a team leader and responsible for the service team. She trains young people who gain practical experience here during their training with BSDA. Her dream is to open her own restaurant later on.
The "Hanchey Bamboo Resort" is another BSDA social enterprise. The ecological retreat center for local and international guests serves as a training location, where young people can complete an apprenticeship in gastronomy and hotel business.
The construction of the centre was ecologically and socially sustainable. Workers from the surrounding villages built the bungalow complex from bamboo and local soil and received training in this construction method.
The income from the social enterprise "Hanchey Bamboo Resort" co-finances the educational programmes of BSDA.
Vin Dina also comes from a poor family and had dropped out of school to earn money. Her father learned about BSDA and three years ago she completed a cooking apprenticeship: "I learned to cook, but also a lot about living together with others. And I noticed that the world was bigger than I had thought it was".
After her training, she gained further experience in various hotels. Today she is the proud owner of a small restaurant: "I am very satisfied, I have a lot of work, but I am my own boss. And I'm proud when my customers are satisfied."