During her last visit, Babeth, our ambassador in Singapore had suggested to me the idea of producing the uniforms for our students by the mothers themselves. Motivated to invest myself in a project on the field, closer to our students and their families, I decided to carry this project and to make it possible within the association.


Normally purchased from an external provider, we have, many times, been disappointed by the quality of the uniforms we bought: issues with delivery, bad quality… Aside from these problems, we also felt it was the opportunity that represented this project that helped us set it up.
On the same model as the green gardens project that was installed in the families to provide food for the school canteen, the main idea was to give an extra salary to the family, and therefore improve their quality of living.
For this launch year, we decided to produce only the uniforms of the primary school and to buy the ones for the secondary school and pastry school from an external provider. The objective is, for next year, to produce all the uniforms.


The first step for this project was to recruit the “sewer” mothers. In order to accomplish this, I asked for help from the person who knows the families best: Soky, our social officer at the primary school. She helped me identify families who most needed this extra income and amongst these, 3 mothers had sewing skills: Sokheng, Mom and Mai.
Sokheng lives in a small house made of metal in a village opposite Angkor Wat with her husband and her two children. Her daughter Panha, is 6 years old and will be entering Grade 2 in October. Her son is only 4 months old, and it is very difficult for her to feed him correctly as she has no income.


Mom lives in a big house on the side of the river that goes through the temples’ enclosure. She lives with her four nephews and nieces. They are enrolled in Bayon. She is the only person in the household to have a form of income. She is therefore in charge of buying the food and to provide for the needs of her family.
Mai has 3 children: her two daughters are enrolled in Bayon primary school, Sopheak in Grade 5 and Sreyka in Grade 4, and her son, Kvan, aged 3 is for now too young to join the benches of school.
These three women all live in very precarious conditions and did not hesitate to seize the opportunity of an income. When we visited their homes to offer the chance to participate in the production of the uniforms, they all accepted without hesitation. However, their skills were insufficient, we had to ask help from Lan, a professional sewer.


The purchase of the fabric and accessories was done at the market, the cut of the fabric to the right size and especially the training of the mothers for the sewing of the pieces, Lan is an essential member of this chain of production for this first year. Also living in precarious conditions, she also benefitted from this project. Next year, we will make sure the mothers take charge of the whole chain of production.
To start the conception, we needed to invest in new equipment: a sewing machine, 3 irons, a special machine to sew the buttons… Luckily, the donators supported us!
At this date in early September, the production continues: we are finishing the uniforms for Grades 3, 4, 5, and 6 and we are going to start soon the uniforms for Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2. Objective: 490 uniforms for the 1rst of October!
Phorn, the director of the primary school and Jeanne, our fundraising officer, bring me essential help for the tracking of the production. We visit the 4 women invested in the project 2 times a week to make sure they are not missing anything and to collect the uniforms that have been produced already. It is very encouraging!
We are impatient to see the students in their uniforms produced by the mothers of Bayon.

, 25 September 2019


The AuVert’gnats, a group from the Puy-de-Dôme area in France composed of four girls and four boys, proposed a rich and detailed candidature, which motivated our choice. Coming out of a two week experience in the Alpes where they helped a cow farmer with milking and other activities linked with alpine pasture, the team started uniting through strong values of solidarity and mutual aid; values they used during their month at Bayon School.
The August 2019 summer camp took another direction because this year, we associated the scouts and the bursary students of the association. Bayon School hopes to support some students after Grade 12 by offering them a study bursary.


To start with, the two groups met up to exchange over ideas, organize themselves and build a common calendar. One week was more reserved for Khmer games and the next to French games, the other nationality discovering the specificities of entertainment in each culture.
The scouts offered games that the Khmer children did not know. Their preferences turned towards group and sportive games such as “balle au prisonnier”, chicken-viper-fox (the vipers catch the foxes, who catch the chicken who eat the vipers!) or the planets game. They alternated between the sportive activities and the creative activities (collage, decoration, painting…) in order to make small groups. Between 50 and 80 children were present each morning and afternoon. The summer camp was open for Grade 2 and older.


The scouts really appreciated having the bursary students at their side. They considered this partnership franc-Khmer as essential as it enabled them to better understand the culture and to have access to information they wouldn’t have understood otherwise. Some of the scouts visited a family and discovered the house of our students. They will remember moments full of emotions such as the songs and the dances with the children. They loved playing outside and be surprised by the rain season and even then, continuing to play outside under the rain! Their favorite moment is a swim with some of the older students (11 to 14 years old) in one of the basins of ponds of the Angkor temples…


They sometimes found the days a bit long, because animating for such a long time can be exhausting. With time, they organized themselves better and learned to know the children, their names, their personalities and rich and sincere exchanges came from it. When we ask them what was their greatest difficulty, some answered: “hunger!”. The canteen of the school serves rice and soup of vegetables/meat every lunchtime. A bit repetitive for the French appetite.
The group of scouts was very professional and courageous (20km of biking every day to go to the school). They led their activities with enthusiasm and respect. We thank they vividly for their engagement with Bayon School!
, 24 September 2019


Sokly is 34 years old and mother of 2 children. She joined the team in February 2017.
Before, she was a cook in a Khmer restaurant that she had opened herself. Even if it was small, she always loved cooking and took a great deal of pleasure from preparing traditional Cambodian dishes for her customers.


After advice from a friend, she decided to try the entry contest to get into the prestigious École d’Hôtellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule. She completed it successfully and followed the pastry training.
After graduating from Paul Dubrule in 2016, she also enrolled in a cake decoration training in Sihanoukville as well as with the Vietnamese company Cream to complete her skill set.
She was then recruited by Brown Coffee, a Coffee shop Cambodia chain famous throughout the country. She worked 7 months in one of their cafés and met a few students who were there for their internship for a school that was growing in popularity: Bayon Pastry School.
Her old pastry teacher at Paul Dubrule vividly recommended her to Sokhoeurn, our pastry school director. What was the essential quality that convinced Sokhoeurn? Her skills in the preparation of vienoisseries and breads.

Bayon School was an opportunity for her to exceed her expectations. She now teaches all the classes linked to pastry, practical and theoretical. She is very happy to be able to share her knowledge with her students who are very curious, attentive and diligent. Day after d ay, she tries to make her classes more interactive by creating a variety of activities and workshops. To successfully lead this project, she does not hesitate to ask for help from ex-teachers and her friends.
The main objective for her is that the students enjoy their training and have the platform to showcase their creativity. She is also committed to the importance of post-training recruitment for the students. It is very important for the students to find a stimulating position, that they enjoy and have a salary which permits them to live and to help their families.
Sometimes she feels like a second mother for the students who decided to study pastry far away from their homes. She listens to them, helps them and is always available. `
Like every year, the end of the year is particularly difficult for her as she has to say goodbye to the students that she guided and supported all year. Unfortunately, the transition with the following promotion of students is rarely very long.

The new academic year started at the start of September and Sokly already has many ideas of games to teach pastry in ludic way and in order to share a maximum of knowledge in the simplest fashion.
Well done Sokly and thank you for your investment!
, 17 September 2019


Following an accident 20th April 2014 in Cambodia, Elodie died at the age of 27. She was the project coordinator at Bayon School.
The project that was the most important to her was the creation of a canteen inside the school. Elodie wanted to provide lunch to the children so they benefited of at least one healthy and balanced meal per day and to avoid them going back and forth between the school and their village.
The project emerged in November 2014 under the name of “Elodie’s canteen”. In December 2014, our family created the association “Le Rêve d’Elo” with the aim of financially sustaining the good functioning of the canteen.

Today, we count 45 members (families and friends). Through this project, seven children have found godfathers.
Our association organises two events per year:
• In spring, a pedestrian walk followed by a barbecue with a sale of envelops with a prize for each, sale of backpacks and tee-shirts
This event enables the walkers to discover the commune that welcomes us, its heritage and new landscapes. (In 2019: 350 walkers and 400 meals).
• In autumn, a dinner party (300 guests) with a raffle which has great prizes offered by our partners.

The profits of these two events are increasing each year (2018: 17,000€, including 3,800€ of donations).
The city councils who welcome us offer their premises, often as a gesture and they give us technical support. We thank them dearly.
The regular attendees of our events are regularly informed of the projects of SEP Bayon and the payments we make.

We are very motivated by the memory of Elodie, for whom the joy and smile of the children was her greatest prize.
Important notice: the next dinner party will be on 19th October 2019.


“I met the families as soon as I arrived and I was instantly moved by their kindness, their generosity and particularly their strength. The work that they provide is very physical and these women often take care of their gardens alone. They are very independent, motivated by the project and always excited when we come to see them. Whether it is to create natural shampoos, remedies against dengue or other diseases, these families are always surprising and rich in knowledge. I visit them minimum twice a week with the translator and it is always a pleasure. We often get a very warm welcome! They appreciate talking to the translator as he has been following the project for a long time and is also very implicated. They are also very happy to show us the results of their labor, we do not hesitate to congratulate them, and we sometimes leave with free vegetables that they offer us to thank us. I sometimes go alone from time to time to see if everything is okay and to bring them what they need. In those circumstances, communication is a little more difficult but the laughs and are always around! The language barrier is a difficulty in this project as we are constantly in the field, so I try little by little to remember names of vegetables, numbers and important words in Khmer. These regular visits enable them to feel supported and to keep their motivation.

Every Wednesday, we have a weekly meeting where we plan the shipments of the following week. We also take the chance to pay the women for the shipments of the previous week. These meetings are attended by school director and the school cook in order for her to elaborate the menus. For the women, this meeting is essential as it is the chance for them to collect the fruit of their labor. They can share their experiences, their successes, their fears, it is really beautiful to see them all come together. Each one of them has their own story and their personality but they all have the same motivation and energy that they express differently.
At this time, families produce all kinds of vegetables: wax gourdes, luffa gourds, pumpkins, eggplant, onions, corn, morning glory, cucumber, chilies, spinach, beans, etc. The rain season does not scare them, on the contrary they are very motivated to produce a lot of vegetables for the new academic year starting in October! This summer, some of them even saw their vegetable garden double size. They realise that this agriculture activity enables them to increase their income and improve their situation. It is a big victory for Bayon that the women can improve the quality of living of their families through this project.

Our objective is now to help the families to have a steady production in order to have a steady income and help with the management of the menus for the canteen. We are trying to give them more and more non hybrid seeds that they can use again so that they can be more independente and we can more easily diversify production.
We are also hoping to welcome new families in the project. Once they will be chosen, it is important to explain the rotations they need to set up in order to keep the production stable from the start. With new families, brings along more vegetables: a partnership with a producers shop is being created. It is already ready to accept the surplus of vegetables that the families cannot sell to the canteen.
This project not only helps the students have a good nutrition, but also and more imortantly helps the families emancipate and gain in confidence through their responsabilities that we give them. Participating in the development of the Green Garden Project is a beautiful mission, human, varied and rewarding!”