Maelys: What did you learn during your training at Bayon School?
Sothoan: My training has been very helpful! I learnt English, computing, baking and put my skills into practice in the Pastry Lab and during my internships. My experiences at Park Hyatt and at the Heritage Hotel allowed me to acquire a certain discipline and expand my skills in pastry and bakery.
At the Bayon School, the teachers taught me an expertise and good manners, which allowed me to become an independent woman!

Maelys: Did you like your daily life with other students?
Sothoan: Yes I liked it a lot, it was a bit like a second family. We slept in the same room and had our meals together. We always had lots of activities, like playing football or reading books. I learned a trade and simultaneously created a second family.


Maelys: Today, are you still friends with the people you met at Bayon?
Sothoan: I made lots of friends, at least 16! Can you imagine?
I see them all the time, we go shopping together, we walk to Angkor Wat, and from time to time we visit Sokhoeurn our former head pastry chef at the Bayon School.

Maelys: How did you find a job after your training?
Sothoan: The Bayon team helped me during my research. Thanks to my level of English and my experience, I found a job easily at Bang Bang Bakery. Now I live by my passion, and I’m proud of it!

Maelys: What are your responsibilities and schedules at Bang Bang Bakery?
Sothoan: I’m a baker and pastry cook, but when there are customers I turn into a waitress. Here, I have to be multi-skilled!
I start at 7am and finish at 3pm. I have busy days.


Maelys: What are your parents’ jobs?
Sothoan: My mother is a farmer, my father died 11 years ago. Before, he worked in Thailand to support the family.

Maelys: What does your family think about your work?
Sothoan: My mother is very proud! Thanks to my professional success, I help my family to live.

Maelys: What is your salary?
Sothoan: When I started one year ago I earned $160, and today thanks to my professionalism I earn $200 per month.

Maelys: What would be your dream job?
Sothoan: I would like to become a baking teacher to share my knowledge. In my opinion, this is the best job I can do.
And in succession, I would like to create my own bakery! It’s my biggest dream! But before that I have to save money and gain more experience.

, 20 June 2019


Anne-Laure: You’re supporting Bayon School? I’ve never heard of them, but it sounds interesting. Actually, I’d like to give my teens the opportunity to give, help and share in a different way.
Babeth, Bayon School ambassador in Singapore: Shall we discuss it around a coffee?

A coffee, an Alice, a Marco later, the Tuktuk Team project has launched! Four team members and almost 15 teenagers are working together to create a unique and ambitious experience with Bayon School.

The team in Singapore wants to enrich the French students by connecting them to another world, another reality. The project will motivate them to work hard to supports others.

In Siem Reap, the objective is to give the local students a perspective on the rest of the world, to understand how important learning English is, and especially to enjoy the presence of the French students to get together at Bayon School. This is an intercultural exchange to strengthen the sense of belonging to the school and encourage future support!


The recruitment of the 15 French students has been done through word of mouth and social me-dia. They are doing it for multiple reasons: curiosity, will to be useful and do something meaningful, or get involved in a new activity with their friends. As facilitators, we’ve noticed their behaviour was aligned to the project – they took part in fundraising activities and work as a team to respond to a shared responsibility.

When they arrived in Siem Reap, our French students received a warm welcome from Bayon’s fol-low-up students. For 5 days, they took part in various activities:
• Cooking – made aubergine caviar using the veg produced by our primary school pupils’ par-ents.
• Sports – played football together.
• Talent show – organised a flash mob with French and locals.
• Gardening – restored the garden of a family.


After taking part in fundraising activities ahead of launching the project – table top sales, bake sale, etc.) the Tuktuk team continued to demonstrate strong involvement in all activities.

It has been five incredible days in Siem Reap. We had a wonderful time with the Khmer students:
– Khmer dance lesson and the flash mob with the primary school pupils, exploring body ex-pression and laughter;
– The visit of a nearby village with Soky and the students, which allowed us to understand the significant work that the school is doing for its students;
– The work in the vegetable gardens, which supported a family;
– The crazy farewell party, with youth, music and good food – the perfect environment to bring together teenagers from different backgrounds.


Stay tuned to follow this exciting adventure!

Alice, Marco, Babeth and Anne-Laure
To support us!


“By working at the NGO offices at the Bayon pastry school in town, we are a bit like in a bubble, far from the reality of the field, with the smell of croissants, open-air cinema, tourists and the expat’ community who come to order their birthday cakes … Even by making daily trips to the primary school inside Angkor temples area, we can forget where our students come from. At school, they are all dressed in the same way with their pretty white and blue uniforms, they come to us respectfully saying “Tchum Ripsour!”. Hands pressed against each other, they laugh, they run, and seem happy, far from their problems. Always smiling, never crying, these children impress us constantly.

But the family visits remind us where they come from, the reality of our programs and the impact of our actions.


Soky, our primary school social worker, needs to re-evaluate the social level of all students’ families each year. It is a huge fieldwork that takes time and requires a lot of physical and mental energy. She must visit each family and complete the survey that has been preset by the social team. Professions and salaries of families’ members, characteristics of the house and the land, loans and debts … Families must reveal their limited resources. This is the moment to talk about their problems if Soky is not yet aware of them : the husband has just left with another woman, the son has stopped school to work and help the family, rice had to be borrowed from the neighbors because of a lack of resources… The situations are very diverse and none of the family situations are the same.
For these visits Soky is never alone. A “Barang”, in other words a white person, go with her every time. We follow her on dirty roads and sand, through puddles due to the rainy season, not to mention plastics everywhere. We arrive then in the family where all the discussions are in Khmer. We help Soky to take pictures of the house and we can ask complementary questions. For some members of the association, this is the opportunity to visit the villages for the first time and to meet our families in their environment where time seems to stop.


Even without speaking Khmer, we can analyze the faces, the expressions, the silences and the intonations of each one. We can sometimes understand the discomfort and see what would like to remain hidden. Complicated in this culture where you must save face … Analyze which family is more in need than another is a heavy task. How do you compare an orphan with a family who has a seriously ill parent, a home with 10 members under the same roof, to another whose child has a severe mental handicap that is not supported anywhere in Cambodia? It is Soky’s hard work: she is constantly in the villages in contact with our families. Listen and understand without being overwhelmed by her emotions, keep a distance while keeping her humanity.

On our side, the day is over, we return to our cocoon in town. But all these faces, all those vulnerable families who live in these wooden houses, without water, without electricity, in contact with dogs filled with fleas and tiger mosquitos did not leave us indifferent. They remind us of the choice we made, why we get up every morning, in case we tend to forget it.”


two women engaged
for the education
of disadvantaged youths.

Chhein joined Bayon School in January 2018. She comes from Banteay Mean Chey, at the north east of Cambodia and grew up in a family of 7 children. Like many Khmer children, she took care of her younger siblings when she was still very young. This is probably what drove her towards working with the youth.

After high school, she completed a course to become a primary school teacher and taught in her home province for a year. Even though she enjoyed the role, she decided to go back to university to become a social worker, job that she found more stimulating and that offers a better wage.
After graduating with a management bachelor from Siem Reap University, she worked with Enfants du Mékong for 3 years, then for Japanese charity Kimonos. Her role with Kimonos consisted of empowering young women to become independent and responsible, through a social and personal development programme.


When she joined Bayon School, Chhein had an induction with her predecessor Tep, who had been social manager for the pastry school for a year and a half. He introduced her to her job description, which includes:
– Recruiting students;
– Assessing applicants’ families situation;
– Provide personal development sessions (job interview, resumes, etc.)
– Support the students with their life at the school and health;
– Seeking internships in restaurants and hotels;
– Seeking permanent roles after the training.

Chhein fast integrated into the team and was given a nickname – “Chhein Chhein”. What she most enjoys about her role is her relationship with the students. She works with them every day by providing essential information and support across many areas. She deeply wants to encourage them to become strong and independent women. She would like each of them to succeed in building a career that matches their interests.


When she was younger, Chhein would have loved to receive such support, but her family encouraged her to end her studies to help with farming work and get married. Despite the pressure, she stood for her values and worked in a primary school to fund her studies.
Today, Chhein is very proud of her background and how far she has come. She just gave birth to a beautiful little girl. Before going on maternity leave, she told us she would like to support her daughter in her education to become an independent woman.


Big thanks to Chhein for her involvement within the school and congratulations on her happy event!


We have been selling Kampot pepper for 2 years in order to support Bayon school activities. This pepper is offered by Fair Farms, a company created in Cambodia in 2014.
The pepper is packed in small Krama bags made by the mother of one of our primary school student. The incomes generated through the selling of these bags increases Coffee Shop annual revenues and is also an opportunity for organizing external events such as the charity gala in Paris, the Albert Menez special offers, various sales in Singapore and Cambodia…
In addition, the selling of these Krama bags helps the mother to get additional income that contributes in improving her family living conditions.
All the profits generated from these sales benefits to Bayon School and help us to provide quality education to youths living in the temples of Angkor.

Fair Farms sells “The Kampot Jewels”, and its name expresses its founders’ willingness: to be fair and to help the local population.
“The Fair Farms philosophy is based on two main themes: respect for the land through 100% organic farming and respect for the human through the implementation of a social responsibility charter to improve to the way of life of our employees. Holidays, maternity leave, insurance, comfortable wages, meals, education, we take care of our family! “Norbert Binot – Founder of Fair Farms.
The team is composed of experienced farmers who have been growing pepper for generations. They control each tree to ensure their health and taste tests are done daily to ensure the optimal drying and quality.

The production techniques of “Kampot Jewels” are 100% organic and traditional:
– Manual watering for better control of diseases & insects
– Use of natural twines made on site to avoid soil pollution
– Respect of traditional farming methods
– Natural fertilizers
– Manual harvesting and sorting
– Drying in the sun on high table in enclosed space to avoid any contamination with the ground, animals or insects.
That way, Fair Farms guarantees optimum quality. This product is AB certified and Fair Farms is the first and only Fair Trade certified Fair Trade Company in Cambodia. In addition, Fair Farms managers are very committed in protecting the environment and allocate 2% of their turnover to various development projects (recycling of plastic and glass, creation of the first water filter at the farm…).
This quality allows Fair Farms to include among its customers some of the greatest gastronomy tables: Pierre Gagnaire, Romain Meder, Alain Ducasse training center, Julien Royer, Alexandre Couillon, etc.

The Bayon School thanks Fair Farms and its managers for their faithful support and for their work that “allow Cambodia grow” and our action as well! Congratulations!
, 3 May 2019