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CAMBODIA: Youth build skills at working hotel, restaurant

Thousands of students have benefited from training programs at Don Bosco Technical School 


(MissionNewswire) Don Bosco Technical School in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, is preparing youth for employment in highly sought after industry sectors. The school provides education for youth from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds who might not otherwise have access to advanced education. Thousands of students have benefited from its various programs in hospitality and tourism, electrical, mechanical, welding, automotive, and secretarial skills.

The school has also developed strong partnerships with many businesses, both locally and internationally, to ensure graduates make an easy transition from the classroom to the working environment. One of the school’s successful programs is the Don Bosco Hotel School, which was established in 2007.

The hotel school provides students education in the hospitality industry in a real working hotel and restaurant. The hotel and restaurant are open to the public, and students are able to apply the skills they are learning. The hotel is self-sustainable, enabling revenue earned to support Salesian programs and students.

“Students attending the Don Bosco Hotel School have an opportunity to gain the skills needed for work in the hospitality industry, which always has employment opportunities and is in need of a strong workforce,” said Father Timothy Ploch, interim director of Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Salesians of Don Bosco. “Given the sustainability of the hotel school, Salesians have ensured they have the funding they need while meeting the needs of poor youth in the community.”

Don Bosco Technical School 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 eighth grade. The technical schools are located in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, Kep, Battambang and Poipet.

According to the World Bank, poverty continues to fall in Cambodia. In 2020, the poverty rate was close to 17.8% compared to 47.8% in 2007. About 90% 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. Most of those escaping poverty are earning their living in non-farming activities. The national school dropout rate increased in 2019-20, reversing years of declining trends. About 14% of poor children aged 6-17 dropped out in early 2022.



Photo courtesy of Don Bosco Technical School

Don Bosco Technical School

Salesian Missions – Cambodia

World Bank – Cambodia

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