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Sala Baï - training at the heart of development


I was raised with the idea that I would never be able to study anything. My family lived in such poverty that it was unthinkable. But then Sala Bai school opened in 2002 and I was admitted. Today I work as a chef in luxury resorts and I am proud to represent Cambodian gastronomy in international contests. What else can I say? Sala Bai brings so much hope for the poorest. 

Kimsan SOK 1st intake graduate Executive Chef at Angkor W group

The idea

Sala Baï Hotel & Restaurant School was created by the French NGO “Agir Pour Le Cambodge” in 2002 and is located in Siem Reap. Entirely and exclusively meant for young Cambodians coming from underprivileged families, the school trains each year - free of charge - 100 young disadvantaged Cambodians with a 70% priority to girls. This gender orientation was chosen because girls have greater difficulties accessing the work force and are more vulnerable.

After eleven years of operation, more than 1,000 Sala Baï students have been trained for careers in the hospitality industry, reaching quickly the emerging Cambodian middle-class and highly increasing the revenues of their families.

Our contribution and relationship

McKinsey for Children supports the full training year, including food, accommodation, school supplies and healthcare, of 9 students over 100 from the current 12th Intake. It is definitely changing their life by offering them a brighter future.