CAMBODIA: Don Bosco Technical & Hotel School launches self-sustainability project to gain revenue for student scholarships and Salesian projects
(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, have launched a self-sustainability project through commercial activities in the building in front of the Don Bosco Technical & Hotel School. To date, 31 stores have been built, each about 60 square meters of space. Most have businesses already operating inside. Only three of the spaces have not been rented yet.
Forty percent of the project proceeds will go toward scholarships for students to attend Don Bosco Technical & Hotel School while the remaining 60 percent will support other Salesian activities in Cambodia.
Don Bosco Technical provides education for poor youth in subjects including electrical, mechanical, welding, automotive, electronics, computer and information technology, printing, and media communications. Also known for its social communication and journalism program, Don Bosco Technical is home to the Salesian-run Audiovisual Center, which operates as a teaching institution for media communications while providing audiovisual production services to the local community.
The Audiovisual Center trains youth from rural and disadvantaged communities in media communications to teach them a viable trade that will lead to stable employment after graduation. In addition to courses in media communications, the center offers workshops facilitated by Cambodian journalists.
In addition, the Don Bosco Hotel School is focused on the skills needed to gain employment in the hospitality industry. The school also runs a hotel that is open to the public. Students are able to apply the skills they are learning in a real-work environment. The hotel is also another self-sustainability project enabling revenue earned at the hotel to support Salesian programs and students.
“Students attending the Don Bosco Hotel School have an opportunity to gain the skills needed for a work in the hospitality industry, which is a field that needs a strong workforce,” said Father Gus Baek, director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Self-sustainability projects help ensure that Salesian programs can have the funding needed to stay in operation and meet the needs of poor youth in the community who might not otherwise be able to afford an education.”
Don Bosco Technical & Hotel School in Sihanoukville is one of six technical schools supported by the Don Bosco Foundation in Cambodia. The Foundation provides technical skills training for youth between 16 and 22 who have completed at least the 8th grade. The technical schools are located in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Kep, Battambang and Poipet, and provide courses in automotive, industrial mechanics, electricity and electronics, social communication, secretarial and office administration, tailoring, hospitality, welding, agriculture, information technology and language and arts communication.
According to the World Bank, poverty continues to fall in Cambodia. In 2017, the poverty rate was close to 14 percent compared to 47.8 percent in 2007. About 90 percent of the poor live in the countryside. While Cambodia has achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving poverty in 2009, the vast majority of families who escaped poverty were only able to do so by a small margin. Around 4.5 million people remain near-poor, vulnerable to falling back into poverty when exposed to economic and other external challenges.
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Salesian Missions – Cambodia
World Bank – Cambodia