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HAVEN's Future

by sara – NEWS FROM CAMBODIA

07/22/2015

Since our first visit in 2008, tourism has more than doubled in Cambodia (4,5 million tourists in 2014) and the little temple town Siem Reap is boosting and booming. Unfortunately, however, not all development is positive...

 

In response to the many visitors, the town center has expanded considerably over the past few years. In the process, the formerly rather quiet Sok San Road (where HAVEN is located) has changed a lot too, with its heavy traffic and by turning more and more into a party mile. 

One of the consequences of all the development is, that the property and lease prices are skyrocketing to numbers that no longer allow small businesses to operate efficiantly. Which is also the reason why during the last half year some long standing and established businesses had to close their doors for good. 

Unfortunately this is also happening to us. Even though we had a very good landlord-tenant relationship all these years, we were now told that our rent would increase by 400%! We were shocked – to say the least!

Negotiations with the landlord were unsuccessful. So we sat down and did all kinds of calculations, trying to find a solution. But no matter how we tossed and turned the numbers, we always came to the same result: we could keep the restaurant running, but we would not be able to finance the training programme anymore. 

But HAVEN without a training programme is unthinkable and totally out of the question. After all, we are not here to 'just' run a restaurant. We are here to run a training restaurant. We are here, because we want to teach disadvantaged young adults high quality work skills, to help them make the big step into a life where they can take care of themselves, are financially independent and responsible. We are here to empower them and give them hope, optimism and confidence. 

For this reason – but also due to the fact that the character of Sok San Road is changing into a direction that does not comply with HAVEN's philosophy, concept and quality – we have decided to move. We will close HAVEN on Sok San before the next high season and will fully concentrate on our new location in the Wat Damnak area.

This means we won't be expanding as planned, but we are growing. Both in size (with many indoor and outdoor seats for our guests and with more space for secure jobs for employees) and in training capacity (where we can take in more trainees than before). Additionally, we will have an excellent infrastructure, according to our needs and based on the experiences we've gained in the last years.

The renovation and construction of the new HAVEN is going well and we are currently taking advantage of the rainy season, to plant more bushes, flowers and trees in our tropical garden. 

So, if all goes according to plan:
HAVEN on Sok San Road will be open for the last time on November 14th and then close for good. FromNovember 15th to 30th we will stay closed, for the big move. Then on December 1st, we will open at our beautiful new location in Wat Damnak area.

It was not an easy decisions, but the right one. And now we are motivated and excited about HAVEN's new chapter. We hope you are too and that we can also count on you in the future, our friends, members, doners and emotional supporters. 


If you have any further questions, please contact Sara (sw@dragonflycambodia.org).

 


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