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HAVEN Cambodia - My Indie World

HAVEN Cambodia


HAVEN Cambodia

Eat & Shop • Siem Reap

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HAVEN Training Restaurant
Savor the flavor of empowerment: where helping tastes good. Explore


Made With Love

It all started in 2008 when Swiss couple Sara & Paul Wallimann started their overland world trip for an indefinite time. It was then that we came through Cambodia and fell in love with the people and the country. We ended up staying longer than we had planned to (around 7 months in total, instead of a couple of weeks) and started getting involved in the local community around Siem Reap.

It was during this time, that we learnt about the lack of future prospects for many young adults – especially those growing up in shelters (like orphanages, street children shelter, etc.) as well as young people from poor rural areas where they have no occupational perspective due to poor education and an insufficient social infrastructure. After experiencing this, we knew we couldn’t go back to our old lives in Switzerland. We wanted to create a safe space for these young adults where they could turn to, could grow and become independent.

True to the saying
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

We came up with the idea for a vocational training program. We decided to teach these young people quality work skills and important life stills, and therefore help them make the step into a safe working world and an independent future.

In April 2011 Paul & Sara moved to Siem Reap and started building the restaurant and school from scratch. In December 2011 they opened HAVEN in Siem Reap’s center with their Cambodian friend and Head Chef Pardet, their friend Steffi, their first two trainees and a handful of wonderful staff.

Fuelled With Passion

To this day (HAVEN is in its 12th year now), we still see what a huge impact our work as on the lives of the young adults joining our training program – and the ripple effect it has on their families, communities and future families. Paul and I put our heat and soul into HAVEN. We are also both driven by a strong sense of responsibility to use our resources to make a positive impact in the lives of young people who still have their whole lives in front of them. We belief in equality and fairness – and this we can offer and also teach with our program. We will continue doing it, for as long as it is needed.

Graduates of HAVEN’s Class 2021-22

Driven By Purpose

At HAVEN, it’s all about helping young people to gain back their power and take control of their own lives. Every single one of us believes that these individuals deserve respect and understanding. We want them to recognise and trust in their inner capabilities, as well as explore opportunities they have. This is why we strive to create a caring environment that is supportive and reliable. Our team works hard to ensure honesty, safety and care at our training restaurant and the trainee house so that everyone can reach the best possible version of themselves. We’ll be here every step of the way!

Within HAVEN’s embrace, connections profound, finding teammates in the kitchen, friends for life, and love that knows no bounds!