BMIHMS Hosts Fundraiser For Young Cambodians In Need

Student waitress serving 'guest' in hotel school restaurantThe Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School (BMIHMS) last week hosted an event to raise funds for young Cambodians in need, with record breaking results.

The fundraising dinner was held on Thursday 20 August to raise funds for Sala Bai Hotel School in Siem Reap, which supports young Cambodians from underprivileged backgrounds. In total, BMIHMS raised an outstanding $23,500 on the night, 100% of which will be donated to Sala Bai.

Sala Bai was established in Cambodia to address low school attendance among the population, and in particular the huge drop out rate of young girls leaving to help at home or get married. The School works to ensure greater vocational opportunities for its students, providing them with hospitality training and assisting them to find work on graduation. BMIHMS has been working with Sala Bai since 2004.

The theme of this year’s fundraiser was ‘The Way Ahead’, which is linked to the new Sala Baï School currently being built to provide better facilities and services to its students. BMIHMS hosted the event at Chambers Restaurant on its Leura Campus, supplying both staff and food on the night, with wine being donated by local suppliers.

BMIHMS General Manager, Jerome Casteigt, said the event was just one of many initiatives the School was involved in to support Sala Bai.

“We have a long standing relationship with Sala Bai Hotel School and strongly admire their commitment to encouraging and helping young Cambodians to continue their studies and seek work opportunities upon graduation.

“”We were thrilled that last week’s event was such a great success and resulted in a wonderful outcome for Sala Bai. At BMIHMS, we share a similar vision for our own students; we want to provide them with the best possible start to their careers. Our fundraising initiatives are a great way to show our support to Sala Bai and the wonderful work they do.

“Currently, Sala Baï continues the remarkable achievement of 100% graduate placement in hospitality positions.  This accomplishment is even more heartening when we remember that, on average, every Sala Baï Graduate supports 10 family members via their income.

“We look forward to continuing our commitment to this worthwhile cause with other fundraising initiatives in the future,” he said.

Earlier this year, BMIHMS students volunteered at the Blue Mountains Sustainability Festival to raise funds for Sala Bai, braving the elements to assist in the coordination of the festival and managing a stall selling Cambodian inspired soups.

Created in 2002, Sala Bai is a free hotel school based in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Every year 100 young, underprivileged and often orphaned Cambodian teenagers attend the School to gain kitchen, restaurant, housekeeping and front of house skills.

Over a period of 12 months, Sala Bai covers all the training fees (including lessons, school supplies, books, uniforms), and daily expenses (including accommodation, food, transport, insurance and medical expenses) for the students. 
The training lasts 11 months and includes more than four months in industry, and the final month is dedicated to assisting the students to find their first job.

Over the past 11 years, Friends of Sala Bai Australia has raised over half a million dollars for the School. Of this, BMIHMS has contributed more than $170,000, and has also sent over teachers and graduates to work on and develop programs, along with donating computers, books and other essential items.