Tourism Academy strives to create opportunities for youths in the tourism sector in Battambang. Most youths in Battambang live on the country side and come from families of rice farmers. Their parents are poor and often struggle to pay for college or university tuition. As a result, they drop out of school and lack the skills needed to pursue any kind of job, forcing the youths into a life of crime, drugs, and further poverty. In many cases this ultimately leads to a lifetime of unemployment and financial struggle for themselves and their families.
The VIP Fellows equip fresh graduates or drop-out students with the skills needed to pursue jobs in the hospitality and tourism industry, and connect them to those jobs. With limited resources to expand, the Fellows have combined their marketing and communication, management and education experience and developed curricula, improved skill competencies, built partnerships and connected youths with jobs. Thanks to Tourism Acaddemy, youths in Battambong are now able to pursue jobs they love, jobs that grow into careers. This gives birth to a better livelihood for themselves and their families, a newfound confidence and the opportunity to turn their dreams into reality.
"Because I live in the country side, it is very difficult for me to find a job. At Tourism Academy, I learned how to search and apply for jobs, how to do an interview, and how to speak with customers and guests. Now, I have a job that I am proud of and love. The most important thing that I learned is to believe in myself and to have a disciplined attitude towards employers. Without discipline, I wouldn’t be able to stay at a job for a long time." ~ Raksa Rourm