ASSET-H&C celebrates the success of REGENERATE-2022 and its pilot projects for members
March 9, 2023

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Tourism was one of the economic sectors most affected by COVID-19, and the crisis disrupted the operations of most ASSET-H&C member schools. It hindered student recruitment, internship and job placements, as well as the schools’ capacity to engage students in practical learning. Despite schools’ efforts, maintaining support to beneficiaries proved to be challenging on many levels. 

 

Thanks to the generous support of a private donor, ASSET-H&C was able to give technical and financial assistance to help member schools resume full operations and to enhance their social impact. 

 

Now, one year later, we look back and celebrate the successes of 10 pilot REGENERATE projects at ASSET-H&C’S 5 member schools.  

 

Social business  

 

To prepare for the return of income-generating activities, both Bayon Bakery & Pastry Coffee Shop (Cambodia) and Mai Sen Bistro (Vietnam) invested in their services. New menus and services were developed; a new website was launched; and new furniture brightened up the restaurants.  

 

 

 

Bayon invited a chef to work and test new recipes with students. Meanwhile, at An Rê Mai Sen, catering activities were refined with a new menu, as well as new cutlery, dishes, glasses and display items to upgrade their service and give customers a better experience. The coffee shop at Bayon and the restaurant at Mai Sen are fully updated and have started to serve new and exciting products to welcome many new guests.  

 

Digitalized training 

 

EHT Paul Dubrule made training videos for hospitality skills to further improve the digital content of their training. The videos were recorded in real-life settings, and students performed as actors. Not only have the videos improved digital learning quality, but it also enabled EHT Paul Dubrule to develop a methodology to make more of these training videos in the future.  

 

 

Alumni 

 

Many alumni lost their job due to the pandemic, and the employment prospects for students were gloomy. Therefore, the REGENERATE project also focused on pilots targeting alumni of the member schools.  

 

EHT Paul Dubrule developed a blended learning course on entrepreneurship. While blended learning refers to a combination of online and in-person training, alumni will be able to follow this training exclusively online and at their own pace. In this training, alumni start with the basics and then learn all the ins and outs of entrepreneurship that hopefully can inspire them to open their businesses one day, further widening their employment prospects. 

 

Sala Bai, on the other hand, recruited 7 fresh graduates to become mentors for the new students. Not only did this secure the graduates a job during tough COVID times, but their presence at the schools also helped the new students immensely. What’s more, when social business activities restarted, the mentors worked at the restaurant and hotel, supporting special re-opening events.  

 

To help unemployed alumni or alumni in unstable employment situations, Spoons launched a project focusing on professional development and reskilling. The alumni were invited to Spoons to join a refreshment training. All participating alumni are now back to work with decent employment. To top it off, Spoons organized an alumni event to reconnect and celebrate all alumni.  

 

 

Green/environment 

 

Environment and sustainability are high on the agenda of ASSET-H&C member schools and were strengthened through the REGERENRATE project.  

 

At Sala Bai, students can now learn all about agriculture in their new pedagogical garden on the campus. The harvest is used at the restaurant and for spa treatments.  

 EHT Paul Dubule is on its way to becoming the first vocational training centre certified as EcoCampus. REGENERATE was happy to support their many green and social actions, like the biodiversity inventory, tree planting, and the creation of an eco-committee.  

 

Together with local communities, Spoons hosted a series of workshops on community-based tourism for participants from provinces around Siem Reap. Moreover, Spoons partnered up to plant over 500 trees and organise three clean-up days.   

 

 

 

And lastly, besides promoting “biking to school” by giving students bicycles, Sala Bai provided all its students with bicycle helmets and lights thanks to the support of ASSET-H&C’s REGENERATE project to ensure their safety as green commuters. 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion  

 

With the opening of the borders last year, all ASSET-H&C member schools are well on their way to recovery. We are very proud to have contributed to their successes and look forward to doing more. We want to thank the schools for their never-ending energy and resilience, and for their willingness to share with other member schools. The lessons learned are a great source of inspiration. 

 

This year, we will initiate several activities largely inspired by these pilots. And, while writing and reviewing the REGENERATE project, we must admit we are very keen to replicate these pilot projects.  

 

You can also be part of this project or other impactful initiatives! Please get in touch with us to learn more: marlene.vermeij@iecd.org 

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