With your help, Sala Baï achieved a great milestone when students moved into their brand-new school, situated in Wat Svay - Tonle Sap road. This move is most significant because the new premises—custom built for the school on land that Agir Pour Le Cambodge now owns—will allow Sala Baï to increase its intake from 100 to 150 students a year. Both the new school and the increase in student numbers are crucial developments for Sala Baï’s continuing success.
As consul Fritz Gubler explains, “Just because Sala Baï is a charity, does not mean that Sala Baï should have third-class facilities or training.” Many of Sala Baï’s graduates have found jobs in 5-star establishments across Cambodia, so having modern, up-to-date facilities will make the transition from school to employment much easier for Sala Baï 's future students.
On 27th February 2016, Sala Baï hosted the official opening ceremony for the new school. The inauguration was attended by several prominent guests, including the Minister of Labour and Vocational Training, the Deputy Governor of Siem Reap, the French Ambassador to Kingdom of Cambodia and Michelin chefs Régis Marcon and Patrick Jeffroy. Friends of Sala Baï were well-represented, with 30 members having travelled all the way from Sydney and the Blue Mountains to attend. With their orange name tags, they could be easily spotted in the crowd of well-wishers! The Friends of Sala Baï also presented their Brick-by-Brick wall of donors, which has raised an extra $15,000 for the school, along with its annual pledge of US$60,000.
In her speech at the school's opening ceremony, Emmanuelle Dethomas (President of Agir Pour Le Cambodge) outlined the significant achievements of the school, which include 100% employment success for all 1300 students who have graduated from Sala Baï over the past 13 years. Her speech also noted future goals and challenges for Sala Baï. These include building new dormitories for the school, strengthening Alumni networks and adapting the Sala Baï program to ASEAN standards. Despite these new challenges, the transformative power of Sala Baï is profound. As Chout Minh—a 12th intake graduate who now supports his seven siblings thanks to his job at Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort—writes to future graduates of Sala Baï: “be patient, and if you work hard, then the most beautiful things can happen.”
Once again we would like to thank for you for your support last year, and we hope to see you at our future events!
Suzanne Stanton, Fritz Gubler, Max Player and Gavin Faull
The Consuls of Sala Baï