When hospitality training leads to higher income
Hong and Kimi are former Le Tonlé students. They met when they both joined the school year of 2009-2010 and fell in love. Struggling over a few years with jobs in tourism sector after they graduated, now they own a guesthouse and tour business in Ratanakiri Province.
To support her two sisters to finish secondary school, Hong decided to drop out of school in 2007. Being unable to find a job in her hometown, she migrated to Stung Treng Province to be a domestic in a family restaurant where she had to do both restaurant work and housework in exchange for a salary of USD 50 per month. Being unable to stand such hard work conditions any longer, Hong quit her job and moved with her brother. She then started a clothes washing business and earned USD 2.5 to 5 a day. Life was a bit better but she had to find customers every day. One day she heard the announcement by Le Tonlé that it was recruiting disadvantaged young people as students. She decided to apply, passed the interview, awarded the scholarship and joined the training successfully. After completing the course, Hong and Kimi together decided to start their life careers in Ratanakiri province. Hong was a chef assistant in a restaurant where she earned USD 90 a month. Kimi started a small business as a tour guide and earned around USD 70 a month.
After saving a modest amount, in 2012 Hong and Kimi got married and they started their own guesthouse business. The guesthouse has 7 rooms and its price is USD 5-7 per night. The business started in March 2015 and earned around 800 USD a month. It is a good start.
Hong said “my life has gone through countless hardship, but I am not without hope. I believe that when I have a skill, I can make my life better. Therefore I tried my best to study at Le Tonlé. Le Tonlé trained me not only skills in housekeeping, cooking, hospitality and English, it gave me ideas of what a business is and how to run a successful business in tourism sector. I am very thankful to Le Tonlé, donor and all trainers there.”