TREE | Training Restaurants for Employment and Entrepreneurship
This is a global alliance of training restaurants working to build futures for former street youth, marginalized young people and adults. They train them in the restaurant business so they can gain skills that will help keep them off the streets and allow them to have good jobs. There are many of these restaurants and also gift shops that are affiliated with this organization.
The items in these gift shops are made from recycled items . I was intrigued by all of the beautiful items that were made from newspaper, magazines, tape,paperclips, rubber tires, and cloth. It inspired me to have my students explore the possibilities of creating their own jewelry, wallets, purses, and other items as well. Then we will donate them to our new school store that my colleague will be creating in her classroom this year. She will be selling items that will help raise money to be given to the Cambridge Cambodia School, which is a middle school that we visited while in Cambodia.
We spent a lot of time in many of these establishments buying gifts and eating delicious food that is prepared safely for western travelers who have to be cautious of what they can eat. We always felt confident that these restaurants were regulated and safe to eat at. The service and food were always outstanding.Two of the restaurants that we frequently went to were Friends and Romdeng.
I loved going into these establishments because they always had artwork hanging up that was painted by the children of Cambodia. They have art rooms where children can go in to paint or draw. Most of the artworks are of everyday life in Cambodia. I really enjoy the bright colors and the simplistic style of children’s art. I took many pictures because they have inspired me to do the same art lesson in my classroom. I plan on giving my students (especially the newcomers) a brush and some paints or pastels and let them create anything that represents their homes, their cultures , the foods they eat,or memories of their homeland, in their own style. I feel they really tell a story about their lives. These are some of the paintings/drawings that I saw.