Imagine what your life would be like if you had to live on less than 45 cents a day. Imagine that there is little work to be had, and even less in the way of career prospects. For one-third of the population in Cambodia, this is not just a hypothetical scenario but a harsh reality they face every single day.
If you knew of a way to help, to make the world just a little bit better, would you? This is where EGBOK comes in.
What is EGBOK?
EGBOK, which stands for “Everything’s Gonna Be OK”, is a non-profit organisation founded in 2009 by Cornell University alumnus Ben Justus. The organisation sets out to transform lives in Cambodia via 2 things: education and empowerment.
Focused on underprivileged and disenfranchised youths – mainly orphans – EGBOK provides a comprehensive 1-year training programme that prepares students for a career in the hotel/hospitality industry. The programme encompasses training in multiple departments, including Front Office, Food & Beverage, and Housekeeping.
The goal is to impart the necessary knowledge and skills for EGBOK students to be able to support themselves through a career in the hospitality industry.
Upon completion of the programme, EGBOK also connects students to a network of jobs and internships at leading hotels in Cambodia, such as the Park Hyatt Siem Reap.
Beyond Traditional Education
Going beyond the traditional framework of learning within a classroom, EGBOK also hosts guest speakers from the hotel industry to provide students with a broader view of the industry. The EGBOK programme also includes hands-on training for many aspects of the business, including hotel check-in procedures, restaurant service and etiquette, computer skills and culinary classes.
Students also learn skills necessary for achieving a life of financial independence, including how to budget and manage personal finances, how to prepare college applications, write resumes, and prepare for job interviews, to name a few.
Since its founding in 2009, over 300 students have graduated from EGBOK’s training programme. About 94% of graduates secure full-time jobs within 3 months of graduation and earn close to 3 times the national average income in their first year of work.
Maty (pictured above) is a 22-year old who recently graduated from EGBOK’s training programme. Originally from an orphanage in Phnom Penh, Maty developed the skills through EGBOK that enabled her to pursue work opportunities in leading hotels in Cambodia such as the Park Hyatt Siem Reap. Today, she earns 4 times the average national income and continues to receive exceptional remarks from her supervisors.
To read more about Maty’s story, please click here.
The Key To Success
EGBOK is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organisation. The operations are funded by corporate grants such as from the Hyatt Foundation and from the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Community Foundation and personal donations. Without your support, the work to continually improve new generations of Cambodian youths cannot continue.
How You Can Make A Difference
Brands & Companies
We have a great track record working with world-class brands (such as Canon, Asics, GNC, and Air New Zealand, to name a few) on travel projects in the past. We are open to discussing specific ways that we can help your brand through the Aurora x EGBOK Project.
Additionally, all corporate sponsors will be fully credited with brand logos in the final project video and will be featured on marketing campaigns on multiple channels, including social media platforms. We accept direct donations to EGBOK and are also open to sponsorships for the photography expedition itself. For more details, please get in touch via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or through the contact form here.
If you are an individual, you can help by donating to EGBOK here. Every small bit goes a long way. For instance, $25 may be the cost of a simple dinner out in town for most of us, but to the average Cambodian it is equivalent to a whole month’s income. If you are based in Singapore, you can help transform lives today by sending a donation via PayPal to EGBOK’s email address: email@example.com
If you’re residing in the US or anywhere outside of Singapore, donations can be made directly to EGBOK through their donation page here.
Photos taken on the Aurora x EGBOK Expedition will be shared in an Image Gallery here on SwimmingCow.com and all donors will receive a postcard based on any image of their choosing.
Feel free to get in touch by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you’d like to contact EGBOK directly, please email email@example.com or visit their website, www.egbokmission.org, for more information.