Le Tonle training guesthouse and restaurant is a social enterprise project of Cambodian Rural Development Team (CRDT), a non-profit NGO in Cambodia). Le Tonle Training Guesthouse and Restaurant aims to provide free theoretical and practical training to young disadvantaged Cambodians in the area of tourism and hospitality such as front office, housekeeping, cooking and hospitality. By providing these skills in short term, vulnerable youths are able to obtain varied and worthwhile careers, and are able to live by themselves independently and support their family by sending some of their earnings back home. In the long term, the training is providing an opportunity for youth to develop themselves further in tourism professions and giving them general knowledge, which will enable them to take careers as one of the country's human resource. This will help solve the human development program of Cambodia and lift the poverty rate in the future. According to the global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) from 2018, thirty-five per cent of Cambodians are living in poverty, especially in the countryside.
Our 8-month training program
Le Tonle training program is recognized by the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia under the National Committees of Tourism Professional as vocational certificate. Trainees are trained by our experienced trainers, many of whom were our graduates from 2008. Most of the training periods are focused on practicing and interacting with the tourism industry by supporting trainees to develop generic competencies such as computer skills and English proficiency.
Progress reportWe are not giving up yet, we are still fighting against the crisis of Covid-19
Mid December 2020 was our taught discussion among the Management Committees (MC) member regarding the progress of Our Le Tonle vocational Training Center since the land lord would like to increase their rent back to normal after a while discount. Some of MC member wanted to close down the operation of Le Tonle since it is becoming hard for us to hold up while some still want to keep it legacy. After, one of discussion we decided to keep it. Fortunately, we managed to re-negotiate the property owner to keep the same discount leasing cost. The training is closed. We are still running our guesthouse so that reputation remains a live till the good old comes back. We did not encounter any funding luck in the past three months but we managed to find a few more jobs for our lost job employees and graduated trainees. There were four of them found a job. Two of them are working direct in tourism industry in the Capital city of Phnom Penh while the other are working as a sale person in sunglasses shop and tech company. We managed to allocate some of our standby team to engage in community capacity development project. So far, they had been breaking their limit in the industry to conduct training for Community based ecotourism sties on food & hygiene preparation and bookkeeping. It was nice to get busy during the low tourist season.
Response to COVID-19
We are not forgetting about Covid-19, therefore personal hygiene and adapting new living style are still our agendas. We are now is preparing for another domestic tourist promotion and meeting different people for any funding opportunity. Again, the employment opportunity in tourism is up and down but we are still hunting for the opportunity for our trainees and forwarded them some new skills may help beside tourism.
Our current biggest challenges
Our hold up the guesthouse will last till mid 2021 only, our next journey will up to the next decision of the management.