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Working hard in preparation for a brighter future

By Rob Abramoff, October 2011 –

Siem Reap Cambodia is flooded in more ways than one. Many of the streets are underwater and bicycles and motos are having to be replaced with trucks and boats. On a brighter side however, Siem Reap is also flooded with excitement as EGBOK Mission students are working hard all around the city.

Nearly 30 students who have completed EGBOK Mission’s introductory hospitality course have moved to Siem Reap to attend hospitality vocational school. Here the students have been taking classes in front office, cooking, restaurant, bakery/pastry, and tourism based on what they find most interesting. While many of the students are still adjusting to living in the city and attending classes for eight hours a day, they are all working hard and learning a lot. The other day six staff and volunteers had lunch at one of the schools, where we were treated to a delicious three course meal, prepared and served by many of our students.

Staff and volunteers are enjoying spending time with the students after they get home from school. Nightly study halls give us the opportunity to monitor student progress while weekend activities like arts and crafts and badminton let us hang out with the students in a more informal setting.

Elsewhere around Siem Reap, vocational school graduates are hard at work at some of the most upscale hotels and restaurants in the city. These graduates are walking success stories of all that they have gained through their association with EGBOK Mission. Some of the graduate students still come around regularly to the EGBOK Mission office. As a volunteer, it’s very motivating to see how far some of these students have come.

Staff and volunteers are working hard preparing for a busy upcoming month. Seven more students have just moved to Siem Reap to start vocational school and many students in school are beginning internships. With so much going on it sometimes feels overwhelming, but seeing the excitement and success of our students and graduates makes it all worth it.