School NGO raises funds through charity event in Phnom Penh

The school of the NGO, Ecole d’Hôtellerie et de Tourisme Paul Dubrule, organized a charity tennis tournament last Saturday at the Sofitel-Phokeethra sports club.

The school has been active for 20 years in Siem Reap, preparing hundreds of young Cambodians each year to enter the country’s vital industry of high-quality cuisine, hospitality and tourism.

One of the series of events organized by the school in Phnom Penh is to raise funds for its considerable running costs; the tournament was sponsored by, among others, Decathlon, Eurocham and La Ferme de Bassac. The event had a bigger turnout than expected, according to organizer and school principal, François Schnoebelen, who told the Khmer time motivation for fundraising.

“We wanted to launch this event, along with others, in Phnom Penh because we lost a lot of our donors, losing almost 25% of our budget, as most of our donors were in hospitality which of course suffered. because of Covid,” he said.

“The school is an NGO and we live off donors, so we tried to find new donors here in Phnom Penh following a campaign that included a Christmas market and the Musica Felice concert at the Sofitel a month ago, that’s why we have this tennis competition today,” explained Schnoebelen.

Sport, he explained, is also central to the teaching of the vocational school, which has a radical approach encompassing various teaching methods in its curriculum.

“The reason we also play sports is that we believe that the education of our young students is complete when we do everything. Vocational Training Minister Ith Samheng said, “We should have 4-H in education, and I strongly believe in it. We have to educate the head, which is knowledge. Learn to use hands because in our vocational training school they use their hands. Educate the heart, especially in the hospitality industry, and train for sport because you need to have good health,” Schnoebelen said.

Students receive artistic training for the aesthetic preparation of dishes necessary for gastronomy, which involves the correct mixing of colors and patterns.

Schnoebelen also explained that the school had developed “blended learning” during the Covid school closures, making students the owners of their education.

“From the online lessons, we let them learn at their own pace, so when they come into the classroom, it’s not so much the teacher who teaches them, but the students who ask the teacher what they want. learn more,” he said.

Since 1998, when founder Paul Debrule made the trip from Fontainebleau in France, traveling 15,272 kilometers to Siem Reap for the school’s opening day, École Paul Dubrule has accepted more than 300 applicants each year. They were selected from more than 700 applicants to take its one-year course which includes five programs: cooking, baking, housekeeping, F&B service and travel agency operations.

The school employs 100% of its graduates and among its more than 4,000 alumni are the famous “Kimsan twins”, the chefs of the fine Khmer cuisine restaurant in Phnom Penh, Sombok.

“We are also an eco-campus and are seeking certification from the United Nations-sponsored Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) Denmark, which would make our school the first vocational school in the world to be FEE-certified” , said Schoebelen.

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