Le Tonle training guesthouse and restaurant is a social enterprise project of the 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 the 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 resources. 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 a 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 practising and interacting with the tourism industry by supporting trainees to develop generic competencies such as computer skills and English proficiency.
Progress reportThe small town of Kratie experienced its first big outbreak of Covid-19
In the past 3 months, the town of Kratie experienced its first biggest outbreak of covid-19. The local government reported between the 25th -28th of August 2021 the average of new cases found around 80 people a day. The local authority had shut down the market for 1 week and continued their mission on the covid-19 test to hundreds of people. The town went quiet and most businesses laid low. It was fortunate that none of our graduated students got inflicted.
The number of employment of our graduates has not changed. It was good to hear that some of them were having a good time with their family at the farm during the rainy season. One of our graduates managed to find a job during this difficult time at one of the guesthouses located around 250km from her hometown as a housekeeper. Theary mentioned it is a bit scary to work during the covid-19 but she had no choice since she needs a job to support her family. She needs to maintain her hygiene as much as possible. It is said that she won’t be able to visit her family more often than before because she is afraid that she may bring the virus to the family.
The team of Le Tonle had spent some of our time conducting some community capacity development in tourism. We were trying to make our time as useful as possible. It was challenging to gather during this time but at least we did something.
Our current biggest challenges
- Several villages lockdown. It was hard to conduct training as planned while technology and the internet could not be integrated at the village level due to resource challenges and internet reception.