You could also support them by enjoying a fantastic ethical journey on U2GUIDE! In order to do so, just to make sure to enter #ecoledubayon upon booking. Which ever destination you choose, U2GUIDE will pay back 5% of the amount of your transaction to L'ÉCOLE DU BAYON ! Just remember to enter their code!
By the way...L'ÉCOLE DU BAYON also offers an amazing activity on U2GUIDE: Be the first to book and try out their fresh baked pastries! looks quite yummy to me on their Bayon Pastry Facebook page... ;-)
Interview with Marion Poutrel, Project Manager at l'École du Bayon!
Marion Poutrel: Bayon School is an NGO providing education to underprivileged children and youth. We have two main programmes: primary and secondary education for children living in the Angkor Temple area and vocational training in pastry for underprivileged Cambodian girls. I am the Program manager, which means I coordinate the projects and daily running of the NGO.
Is there peculiar moment or a specific story that moved you?
This particular moment is happening now, as our first intake of students in our vocational training, The Bayon Pastry School, will be starting their final exam next week, before graduating and starting their first job. When I see how strong, skillful and independent women they’ve become, I’m so proud of them.
What are the current projects of Bayon School ?
To provide primary education, we opened a primary school within the Angkor area. All our students are selected after a family visit, according to their social level and commitment to studying. After primary school, we help them enter Public High School, and support them with pocket money every month and 2 uniforms every year. We also offer them a bicycle to go to school as the High school if often far from their home. We also offer career counselling to our oldest student to help them find the university programme or vocational training suiting best their career plan. The best and most committed students can also receive a scholarship to go to University.
Pursuing a comprehensive approach, our programme also aims at improving the living conditions and ensuring the good health and nutrition of our children and youth. Therefore our programme includes: health and hygiene awareness sessions as well as an annual medical check-up; the distribution of hygiene kits to every students; a lunch provided every school day, and a cultural exchange project with children from other countries thanks to the Angkor Academy online platform.
Our second main programme is a vocational training in pastry, The Bayon Pastry School, a free vocational training for underprivileged women of Cambodia.
The Pastry School strictly selects and trains each year, for free, around 20 underprivileged young women. The training lasts 11 months including 4 months of internships.
The students are taught pastry in a professional environment, with quality equipment. They also attend complementary classes such as English, Accounting, Stock Management, Computer and Personal Development. We finally provide them with accommodation, food and all training material. We also opened a coffee shop inside the Pastry School for the students to practice customer relations and their English, and for the NGO to get a little income.
What are the main challenges Bayon School is facing right now?
One of the biggest challenge is to reduce the school dropout and ensure the students commitment to school and education. Coming from poor families, they often need to work to bring an income to their family and don’t realise that education is key to have a better job, salary and helping even more their family on the long term. They focus on the short term and the fact that they need more money today and tomorrow without seeing the possibilities that education offer them for the future.
What made you decide to join U2GUIDE?
Joining the U2Guide community allows us to raise awareness about the situation of underprivileged children and youths in Cambodia, the consequences of the lack of education, but also to invite people to discover our amazing cakes and pastries in our coffee shop :-)