«Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.»
Following this philosophy, we are dedicated to the goal-oriented support of young adults from homes, sheltered accommodation and poor rural areas – all young people who grew up with the support of an organisation and its donations, but now have to leave the program when they come of age.
With our HAVEN Training Restaurant in Siem Reap, we take these young people in as apprentices, give them a professional training in the catering industry and support them sustainably in their transition into the professional world. HAVEN, which is a safe place and oasis, also provides their apprentices with secure accommodation, food and medical care.
Why young adults from organisations?
In Cambodia, there are countless organisations that care for children. From children shelters to outreach programs that support families in poor areas so that they can stay together (instead of sending the children to orphanages). But if the support is stopped or the children grow ‘old enough’ and no longer receive financial support, what happens then?
In 2008, when Sara & Paul were in Cambodia, they learned that many young people who grew up in orphanages or other institutions outside of a family unit have lost contact with their communities and thus also part of their cultural identity. When they reach the age at which they have to leave the organisation, they feel lost and usually do not know where to turn or what to do. This denies them any perspective of a hopeful future.
The same lack of prospects also concerns the youth in rural areas. Many of these children grow up in extreme poverty. They lack the social infrastructure, they lack school education and thus lack professional opportunities. In order to support their families, many children and young people have to accept poorly paid jobs under unworthy conditions and without any prospect of ever being able to escape this situation.
Today these are still pressing issues, but there are more and more organisations that take good care of the kids and prepare them as much as possible for life after the organisation. Some places can even afford to finance university for their adult young people. But there are also many young people who drop out of school for various reasons and have no possibility to graduate. Without a degree, however, it is very difficult to find a good and fair job. So this too is a situation where we can help.
It is Dragonfly’s aim to help disadvantaged young people to find their way into a secure future, where they can master their lives independently.