Bakery Vocational Trainees Ready for Work

Jan. 9, 2014 – Thirty students trained in the art of baking and cooking are ready to take their skills to new levels in their blossoming careers. The vocational trainees finished a year of study in Cambodian Children’s Fund’s Star Bakery and are now set for six-month apprenticeships in local restaurants.

The happy graduates changed out of their customary white jackets and chef hats to accept framed certificates of completion for year in the kitchens. Cambodian Children’s Fund founder and executive director Scott Neeson handed out the certificates to the future chefs.

As part of the ceremony, alumnus Phhoung addressed the crowd. She told everyone of her tough life growing up and how the vocational program allowed her to land a chef job at Cambodia’s largest restaurant group. She’s now able to provide for herself and her family.

“I just want to say that anyone can be successful if they want to work hard,” she said through a translator.

CCF aims to give every child the opportunity to attend university, but sometimes it’s just not possible. The reasons are varied, but often it’s because the child has missed too much school to catch up. The vocational training program provides students with marketable skills, while also teaching English, Khmer, computers and other subjects to round out their education.

In addition cooking skills, opportunities are available for students wishing to learn childcare, hairstyling and makeup, and office/administrative skills. There’s a 100 percent job placement rate for graduates of the vocational programs.

To close out the Star Bakery ceremony, students indulged in a lunch of chicken wings, pork skewers, potatoes and other goodies. Fittingly, these 30 graduates helped prepare the food earlier that day.

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