On Sunday 20th February Sokhoeurn was excited to land in Paris. Our former Programme Director, along with Charlotte, Anaïs, Rodrigo, Lucie, and Augustin were at the airport to welcome her. What an emotional moment!
After a warm welcome, Sokhoeurn was quickly taken over by the shock of the temperature – the coldest she had ever felt! She also really enjoyed seeing the snow for the first time and found it “wonderful”.


After a recovery nap at Laura, a friend of Charlotte’s who kindly hosted her for a few nights, our chef went sightseeing in Montmartre and visited the Sacré-Coeur with the Bayon team.
She spent the next 3 days at the French HQ of Aryzta, global leader in distribution of pastry products.
She collaborated with Fabrice Prochasson, Aryzta’s Director of Creation and Innovation and holder of the renowned “Meilleur Ouvrier de France » title to create savoury and sweet recipes for Bayon School’s charity night happening in Siem Reap next month. She then worked with the Aryzta team on the menus of Sirha, the global gastronomy tradeshow.


For her last night in Paris, Sokhoeurn was kindly hosted by Marc Bellanger, member of the French board. He taught her how to make a Kougelhof, a great way for her to have fun and relax before embarking on one of the most intense weeks of her life.
On the next day, Sokheourn and the Aryzta team took a train to Lyon for the Sirha tradeshow. On the menu: help with Aryzta’s booth in the morning and take part in cooking competitions in the afternoon.Beyond communicating about Bayon School to French gastronomy professionals, Sokhoeurn had the opportunity to meet famous chefs including Thierry Marx and Gabriel Paillasson.


After an incredible week, Sokhoeurn went back to Paris for one more day of sightseeing and an evening with the Bayon team. What a night it was! French board members and former volunteers (Charlotte, Baudouin, Tiphaine, Marion, Cécile, Faustine, Mélanie) gathered at our president Vincent Robert’s to have dinner with Sokhoeurn before she flew back to Cambodia.
This trip to France had been a unique experience for Sokhoeurn. She has achieved two of her dreams: take part in a cooking event in France and take a picture with the Eiffel Tower. She hopes she will go back again one day, in the summer.

, 18 February 2019

Download the Bayon Pastry School application form


Since 2014, Bayon Pastry School selects and trains about 20 young Cambodian girls from disadvantaged backgrounds each year, for free. The training lasts for 12 months, including 4 months of internship in Siem Reap’s greatest hotels and restaurants. We also help the students find a job after they graduate.
They are provided with accommodation and food within in the school and receive medical care, pocket money, bicycles and school supplies.
The Bayon Pastry School students learn pastry theory and practice, mathematics, accounting and English. During the academic year, other courses are taught, such as computer lessons, introduction to management and personal development (to learn how to make a resume, a cover letter, to pass an interview, etc.).
Our students also enjoy extra-curricular activities such as football competitions and Apsara dance classes, all
year long.

Download here the application form!

, 14 January 2019


2018 has been a special year for Bayon School, with a lot of change. New buildings, new team members, new educational plan and new courses at the primary school, new orientation and counselling system for follow-up students, growth of the pastry school intake… We’ve come a huge way over the year! We’ve been able to dream of and achieve all those projects thanks to the support of our donators and sponsors.
At Bayon primary school, we’ve done significant work to improve both the infrastructures and the education provided. All classrooms now have concrete walls, fans and lights. New buildings have been added – we now have a library and a computer room which our students have been able to use when the new school year started in October. Those installations requiring more energy, we’ve added new solar panels and the school is now fully autonomously powered with renewables!
This year, the school needed increased involvement not only from team members but from students’ parents. 9 families have volunteered to take part in our veg garden project. We teamed up with an NGO specialised in organic farming to train those families to farming so that they can grow vegs to supply our canteen. This project has been very successful et will be developed further next year.
A veg garden has also been set up in the middle of the school to get some extra produce and teach farming to children. All those vegs are then cooked at the canteen, which has also been renovated. The old school wood fire, which drove a lot of smoke, has been replaced with gas hobs in a real, concrete kitchen which offers storing room and equipment for cooking and cleaning. The water system has also been reviewed entirely, and a dozen more taps have been installed to facilitate children cleaning their hands and brushing their teeth. New [fosses sceptiques] filter used water and cooking fats. So much change has happened!
After improving the school’s working conditions, efforts have focused on our educational plan. In order to offer children the best education, empowering them to come out of poverty, we’ve reviewed the school’s pedagogical principles and added new courses. A full-time headmaster has been appointed to manage the team, and we’ve hired new teachers for 4 out of our 6 grades, the library and the computer room. At the beginning of the school year, they received special training to adapt to children coming from disadvantaged backgrounds and their specific needs and ways of learning.
New courses have been implemented to help children develop their curiosity, express their opinion, and collaborate. They can now attend the library, computing classes and arts (crafts and dance), which helps open their mind. They really enjoy it and those activities prove to positively impact the ‘conventional’ courses. In this sense, we’ve also been strengthening work with our follow-up students who can now meet inspiring individuals introducing them to their background and work one Sunday per month. Those meetings have been beneficial in the students’ plans for the future.
At the pastry school, results have exceeded our expectations. All students from the 4th intake have been hired in restaurants or hotels. We’ve received an incredible number of applications for the 5th intake – over 120 applications for 22 places! Our team have done an astounding work visiting remote villages to promote the pastry training and meet students in various schools. Given this growing interest, increasing capacity of the pastry school will be a priority over the next few years.
There’s no quick way of summing up all projects, actions and hard work done by our teams this year. Please visit our website and social channels to find out more about our projects. A massive thank you for your loyal support, which makes this fantastic project sustainable and allows us to continuously reinvent ways to bring our students towards a better future.
, 27 December 2018


“My name is Sophany Perrotey. I’m form Phnom Penh and I moved to Siem Reap province 3 years ago after getting married in France. From September 2018 I work as a librarian and also as a teacher for extra classes in Bayon Primary School.
“Am I able to be a librarian and to teach for extra classes?”, “Am I able to handle them?” “What are the things I am suppose to do in this new library and to create a lovely place for the kids?” “What are the materials I have to create and buy” … the issues to resolve were many!
Even if I had no experiences in this career yet, Bayon school proposed me 3 days of training for the library skills with the helped of Sipar’s trainers from 21st -23rd – September – 2018. I was not really sure what the good library should be but I wanted to do my best and I was very motivated!
art soph1
So, I searched information on different primary school libraries websites and also pictures on Pinterest regarding libraries and materials for teaching as well. Then I just used my own imagination and my crafting abilities. I used all my experiences, silks and talents to make this happen, now it goes well.
I was so excited when I saw how kids reacted when they enter the library for the first time. From the very beginning of the school year, they really wanted to learn, discuss, read, play and do some art in this new class. It’s such a great joy to see their smile. They look so happy and love to come to this library. Almost every breaks and free times they just come to grasp books to read, play some games, and do some class assignments here. According to me, the library is like their second home where they feel free, comfortable, fresh, relax and safe.
It’s a bit crowded most of the time, even during my teaching for the extra class. I am really watchful when they are in the library, to make sure they’re not getting hurt or to avoid future accidents. Especially when they rush to grasp their backpack and shoes when they get out from the library. I also want to make sure each one of them have the necessary equipment for each activity.
Besides being a librarian, I’m also in charge of the extra classes. My goal for this class is to help them to:

• read and write independently
• improve their attitude towards Khmer language
• became more self-confident and motivated in class
• improve their attitude to other subjects in the curriculum

This great success was possible to only thaks to me but also thanks to the big help from the Bayon team; we are trying our best to use all our skills, knowledge to find new ideas and method to meet the need of each one of them. The school really try to do the best to help and support them to become good citizens who are able to change their own family, society, country and who want to improve the life of everybody.
Overall, it is such a great opportunity for me to work here in Bayon primary school. I really love what I am doing right now and enjoy so much to spend time and share my knowledge with these young students. When I see them happy and learning, it just makes my days wonderful.”


While imagination, creativity and personal expression are a fantastic way for children to grow and express their sense of critic, as well as look at other subjects through a new perspective, those qualities tend to be left out of the Cambodian education system. To address this, Bayon School has implemented artistic subjects, including plastic arts, in the 2018-2019 school year programme.
Split into 2 groups (grades 1 to 3 and grades 4 to 6), 80 pupils are now taking part in arts classes for about one and a half hour each week.
art-art-2 Copyr
Each session focuses on one theme such as Halloween or the solar system. Creating a solar system model has been a great way for children to get to know more about other planets and become aware that we are surrounded by a universe that is much bigger than we are! The pupils have also been working with diverse materials beyond conventional paper sheets. For example, through the “plastic fish” workshop they made fish upcycling plastic bottles, and during the “plastic meadow” workshop they had fun turning plastic bags into flowers. Those workshops respond to our awareness programme aiming to educate the students on environmental issues and recycling, in response to the significant level of pollution in Cambodia. Respect of nature, wildlife and water and fight against disposable plastic are then themes that are we can further approach through those artistic activities.
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The arts course has been very successful so far, with children proving to be very attentive and inspired by the weekly themes. Throughout the sessions, we’ve noticed they’re increasingly expressing their creativity and imagination and don’t longer necessarily need to follow templates. This is a breakthrough as the Cambodian education system is based on following and replicating what teachers ask pupils to do. The children are also now taking more and more initiatives and helping each other – with older students helping younger ones e.g. for precise cutting or explaining the teachers’ instructions when a student was late. The arts course is having a positive impact on other, more conventional classes during which teachers have also noticed this change in pupils’ behaviour.
The art course will run throughout the whole 2018-2019 school year, with more exciting activities including salt dough modelling, origami and wool tassels-making. We’re looking forward to seeing the children continue to thrive in those activities – follow them on Bayon School’s social media channels.