At the beginning of September, we welcomed 12 underprivileged young women for a new year at Bayon Pastry School.
Last March, we started the recruitment process. After spreading leaflets in villages and NGOs, we received over 50 applications. The applicants had to fill a form on their family situation, their living conditions and their education. We made a shortlist and called in about 30 young women to our pastry school for written tests (Khmer general knowledge, English, calculation) and a motivation interview. Then, our team has visited the families in order to check their social conditions and make sure the parents support their daughter to follow the training. Indeed, most of our students leave their family for the first time and it can be hard to accept from the parents.
The start of the school year
In order to curb the gap between the students before they start the training, we organized a remedial week. Five students attended special lessons with Margaux, our education coordinator and complementary classes teacher. Following that week, our new students joined Sreynich, who narrowly graduated in last July.
The first period of the training took place from September to late October and the students attended their very first lessons in pastry theory and practice, English and mathematics. The pastry apprentices discover a whole new environment and their teachers must start with the basics: equipment and ingredients vocabulary in pastry class, English class…
Margaux, our teacher, relates us :
First period went so fast and the students have already made a lot of progress! It is not always easy to communicate because of their pretty low English level and my quasi inexistant Khmer one – but my young khmer assistant Moeung is here to assist me during classes. I try to give lessons with fun and dynamism – some of the students left school several years ago and it is not easy to get back on the tracks. But step by step we create a nice and productive working atmosphere. It is very rewarding to see them progressing. They are very studious and eager to learn. They also are very curious and always ready to laugh. It is a real pleasure to spend time with them.
Two months after the beginning of the training, we have already noticed huge progress! Our team was glad to be the judge of the first pastry exam and we can say the students delighted us!
The first internship
On the 24th October, 6 students have started their first internship within big hotels of Siem Reap: Le Meridien, Sokha Hotel, Somadeyi, Victoria Hotel, Tara Hotel and Sofitel. This first immersion, which lasts 6 weeks, aims to set the students in a professional environment, teach them about hygiene rules, teamwork!
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Make a donation or sponsor a pastry student!