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When Plan B turns out to be the better idea



The Dragonfly board in Cambodia has come to an important decision regarding the guesthouse project. After informing the board in Switzerland and getting their approval, we want to inform you right here and now.

Sometimes you need to let an idea go, to make space for a better one.

After many long discussions, after considering many different options and after making many detailed calculations, we have come to the decision to stop the guesthouse project.


The three main reasons that have led to this decision are:


  1. Costs. Construction costs (and costs in general, for that matter) have increased so much in last 18 months, that we would have to invest a lot of money to be able to implement our guesthouse idea. Too much money in our opinion, considering that we can only rent the property (for a comparatively short time) and not keep it. Therefore we consider it irresponsible and unjust towards our donors to invest so much money (donations) into it.
  2. Time. In the last couple of months we have expanded our human resources at the restaurant, to be able to concentrate more on the guesthouse project. What we didn't expect was the massive increase of the guest flow and trainee flow, which we suddenly had to manage. So despite the personnel growth, we had to realize and accept that we don't have enough time on hands to start and complete such a huge building project, next to running the HAVEN restaurant and training programme and keeping the quality and standards high. Which brings us to the next important point:
  3. Quality. The HAVEN Training Restaurant follows very high quality standards. We have built a good reputation, offer a quality vocational training for our trainees (and extra trainings for our employees) and top quality for our guests. We have established ourselves in the gastronomy section as a professional competence. So, true to the proverb «Cobbler, stick to your last!» we want to stick with the food industry/gastronomy and continue to pass on this know-how to our trainees.


As mentioned before, this decision has been made after a long process of many conversations and incidents. We also decided to cover all incurred expenses with the income from the HAVEN Training Restaurant, and not with any donations from Dragonfly. 


We see the decision to drop the guesthouse project as a healthy development. This is an opportunity to expand and strengthen what we have already built and achieved with the restaurant.



When Plan B turns out to be the better idea...


So this is not where it ends. The idea for a second HAVEN is still there. But we have adapted our vision and concept according to our experiences, the needs and to the changes all around us. Always with the main goal in mind to offer disadvantaged young adults the best possible vocational training and support.


With the rising numbers of applicants (this year was the first time that we had to turn away several applicants because we didn't have enough space) and also the rising numbers of guests, we want to develop and expand the training restaurant resp. set up a second location. We have decided to stay in the gastronomy section, build on our know-how and deepen our expertise. Expertise from which many young people (our future trainees), but also all our guests benefit from.


We will start looking for a new location soon. But this time we will focus on a place with an existing building that will only need renovations and small construction works (and doesn't have to be built from scratch).


To implement this concept, we still depend on donations, as we will need to make an investment – however this will definitely be within a frame that is reasonable and justifiable.


We hope we can count on your continuous support.


PS: We are aware that there might still be some open questions, that we didn't cover in this post. If this is the case, please contact me (Sara) here and I'll be happy to answer these.

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