Our Training Program

«We believe that helping young people to help themselves is the best form of support.»

Our training program is based on the Swiss apprenticeship system, a dual model with on-the-job practical training supplemented by theoretical classes, that we have adapted to the needs in Cambodia.

In addition to the training it is also part of our concept to provide a safe haven for our trainees, hence the name. We accommodate our trainees in a house which is located close by the restaurant. They live under the same roof with our housemum which creates a family like structure and ensures an integrated support service for the youths. Apart from housing the trainees HAVEN covers their entire expenses, such as rent, electricity, water and medical costs, food and clothing etc. Additionally they are paid a monthly salary, serving as their personal pocket money. We also provide the school materials and hire instructors for their education.

The training program is free of charge for the trainees. The costs of running the program is subsidised through the restaurants income and donations through DRAGONFLY – the Swiss association behind HAVEN.

On-the-job training for cooks and waiters

Since the pandemic and its longer lasting effects we have adapted our training program to the new needs of the young adults and of the local labour market. We now start the new training year with a first group in September and a second group in November. Each group starts with the introduction training weeks which is mainly in the classroom and covers everything they need to know from hygiene to cutting techniques to how to welcome guests. This forms the foundation of their training and is followed by the on-the-job training. 

Apart from these special educational weeks and the on-the-job training, our trainees also receive English lessons (as do all our employees), computer lessons, life skills workshops and CV & interview trainings.

End of August all trainees finish and graduate from their training at HAVEN and are ready for their next step: their internship at an high end partner hotel.


We started with the internships in 2013, after we realised that the step from being a trainee at HAVEN to suddenly being a full time employee somewhere else, was something these young people struggled with. They were scared to leave the safe and protected HAVEN environment.

This is why we came up with the idea to help them find good internship placements, where they can get a good glimpse of the working world outside, see how other places are run and learn more in other hospitality fields – all of this while still being under our care.

During their internship the trainees still live in our trainee house and still get the trainee allowance, food, medical care and everything from us, which they had during their training. Once the internship is finished, many of the students are hired full time by the internship company. For those who do not get a contract, we help find a permanent position at a new place.

«Our aim is to support disadvantaged young people in their emotional and professional development and give them a real chance in life.»

If you are interested in supporting our work, please visit Support Us