Wood Craft School   ESK Project 

Devastated by the rise to power of the “Khmers Rouges” regime, since 1975, Cambodia has been struggling to rebuild itself, balloted between military and political strife and unrest.  Today, peace and security are ensured but poverty is still widespread.  Currently, 35 to 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.

The Future
Restauration de l'école d'Ampil, décembre 2001
The  Wood Craft School

The project’s ambition is to create a Wood Craft School for young boys and girls between the ages of 15 and 20, from the ESK association’s centres for children, in particular, as well as for children in the care of other associations. The apprenticeship will be provided by Khmer trainers and completed by training teachers, voluntary professionals from France.  In France, there is a great tradition and skill in this field, passed on from generation to generation. This transmission can go beyond borders.

Project Support

The project has received the full support of the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, especially in regard to the validation of diplomas, as well as the support of the Ministry of Work and Professional Training. The level of the diploma is approximately equivalent to the French CAP (Certificate of Professional Aptitude), adapted to Cambodian needs and scope and later on the DMA (Diploma of Arts and Crafts).

The Teaching Program 

Training is envisaged to be an alternating combination of theoretical and practical training for classes of 15 apprentices. It will emphasize the work with wood (carpentry, furniture making), knowledge of different woods and their drawbacks and advantages as well as the descriptive geometry.  The teaching of design and industrial concepts, the awareness of an intelligent exploitation of resources and eventually the specific teaching of French will also be combined with the apprenticeship of classic carpentry techniques.   

The teaching program will be defined with the help of professionals and, ideally, will be divided into approximately 3 month periods in order to take into account the availability of trainers and maintain the motivation of apprentices with alternating periods of practical training.  

In the long term, the creation of an artisan’s cooperative resulting from the School will capitalize on the acquired training in order to establish the first elements of recognition of this know-how and self-fund the School (at least partially).  In keeping with a durable development process, the training will include the training of Cambodian trainers. 

Réparation du mobilier scolaire d'Ampil
The Project’s Means

The team

The partners

The budget

Origin of the funds

 Murs, charpente, escaliers, huisserie, clôture, mobilier, manches d'outils et combustible :
le bois est omniprésent dans le mode de vie cambodgien.


The Driving Principles behind the Realization

Respect for the environment 


Adaptability of the training program to


Continuity  with social action: the apprentices will be recruited in priority from among the young in orphanages and child    
         centres supported by associations.   

Calendar of Implementation

April to June 2006

August to December 2006

October to December 2006

Early 2007


 In  France

 In  Cambodia  

In  Japan