Beer Girls: Cambodian Beer Promotion Women

Angkor Howard Hotel
Lin Ratanakangkor Hotel

Sokha Hotel and Resort

Borei Angkor Hotel

Angkor Holiday Hotel

Day Inn Angkor Hotel and Spa

Salina Hotel

Majestic Hotel

Pacific Hotel

Hotel Apprenticeship Program Back home
HAP Cohort 2 with Counsellor and Khmer Teacher Pring Noeun and English teacher 
Neela Griffiths

In the beer garden is no good job. I have many problems when I drink a lot of beer and I have no empowerment. Look down on me from the guests. Not safe, not secure and no respect. In the hotel is a good job. In the hotel I have good knowledge and good skill and stable income, supported by society. In the future I want to work for an NGO and help the women in Cambodia. (HAP Trainee, 2008)

The Hotel Apprenticeship Program was launched by SiRCHESI in Nov., 2006. The program provides safer, secure career opportunities for former beer sellers. To date, with the sponsorship of M.A.C. AIDS Fund and 9 partner hotels, the program has supported two cohorts of students (Cohort 1, Nov. 2006-Nov. 2008; Cohort 2, Sept. 2007-Sept. 2009).

During the 24 month program, SiRCHESI's school provides daily literacy and English language classes along with health and social/life skills education during the first 8 months. During this initial period, apprentices also receive mentored, on-the-job training in the hotel. This is then followed, at school graduation, by a 16 month work contract. A living wage of $110 is maintained throughout the 24-month period by this NGO-industry-foundation partnership. This completely eliminates the need to seek additional earnings, reducing risks and also staff/trainee turnover.

The program was originally designed to become a self-sustaining model which can be adopted by the hotel industry. SiRCHESI thus developed the basic program materials and curricula, trained local staff with new skills, and demonstrated the program's cost-effectiveness. However, the economic downturn in 2008 meant no local initiative from the hotel industry was forthcoming to carry on independently with the program for a "third cohort".

Hotel industry skills, literacy, language and health-related knowledge were assessed by SiRCHESIís research team during and after the program. Evaluations have continued throughout 2010, and indicate that the program increases awareness about health-related concerns - HIV/AIDS, condom use and the risks of alcohol. Moreover, literacy in Khmer and English, as well as skills training in the hotel industry has enabled the women to develop a sense of empowerment towards future careers and economic mobility. In interviews these former beer sellers talk of future aspirations and having a position that is respected their local community.

As well as the Hotel Apprenticeship Progam SiRCHESI runs other health promotion programs for young children, street vendors, beer-sellers and hostesses, and has an extensive peer-educator health outreach program in the community, reaching over 8700 persons at risk in 2009. If you would like to support the work of SiRCHESI please make a donation.

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