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École du Bois: 30 young carpenters receive their diplomas in Cambodia

On 15 October, 30 young Cambodians proudly received their carpentry diplomas from the École du Bois carpentry school in Kampong Speu, about 40 kilometres west of Phnom Penh.

The association offers free professional 10-month training courses to disadvantaged young people from the country’s poor rural areas.

Trainees take both practical and theoretical lessons with Cambodian instructors who transmit their expertise while teaching them to make a living working with wood, an important natural resource in Cambodia. This programme helps them become autonomous and independent over time to be able to meet their families’ needs.




Graduation ceremony: the culmination of a successful year of training!

More than 100 people — family, former students, local authorities, NGOs, partners and local donors — attended the graduation ceremony for this year’s class of 30 EDB students.

In the morning the students acted as impromptu guides to show the visitors around the school so they could see the association’s classrooms, dormitories and woodworking shop.

The ceremony, a celebration of success (the entire class received their diplomas) and conviviality, ended with a song in Khmer written and sung spontaneously by a student. In his song, the young carpenter described how the school had helped broaden his horizons and the benefits for the village. It was a wonderful sign of appreciation for this training programme that strives to build careers and transform lives.

Roeun, who was part of the 2010 graduating class, talks about the programme from his woodworking shop. Click HERE to see the video (subtitles only in French).

Nearly a quarter of the young people continue their training to further enhance their skills using the excellent equipment in the workshop made available to them and with strong support from a Compagnon du Devoir instructor. They then continue on with the next level degree offered by the school to become master carpenters. The rest of the students have all found work in the local market.