Education and a Better Future for Children in Need
In the region around Kampong Cham apprenticeships are urgently needed. BSDA (Buddhism for Social Development Action) runs its own social enterprises and provides apprenticeships in the fields of mechanics, electronics, tourism, gastronomy and beauty care.
In the “Smile Institute” live around 50 vulnerable children and youths. 11 of them are affected by HIV/AIDS affected and attend the nearby primary and secondary school. The others do not have sufficient primary education and have dropped out of school because they grew up in extremely poor and broken families. Around half of them are girls. In the first six months they attend the “preperatory school”, where they catch up on basic education. Subsequently, they complete an apprenticeship during one year.
The “Smile Restaurant” is such a social enterprise that serves as a training workplace for future cooks and service employees. Since this concept has proved its worth, the “Hanchey Bamboo Resort” was opened in 2018, an ecological retreat centre for local and international guests. Young people can complete an apprenticeship in gastronomy and hotel business here. The construction followed ecological and social standards and promoted directly the development of the surrounding villages. The “Hanchey Bamboo Resort” is ecologically and socially sustainable. The BSDA educational programmes are co-financed by the income from the social enterprises.
Particularly poor families receive scholarships so that their children can attend school. In two drop-in centres, the organisation offers tutoring and leisure activities. The dance and music courses are very successful and contribute significantly to strengthening the children’s self-confidence. English and Chinese courses are also offered at a local school and pre-school children are looked after in two kindergartens.