UN Chooses Hospitality Restaurant NGO for Mentoring Program

Tree Alliance, a social enterprise focused on training street youth in the hospitality industry, was selected on Wednesday as a finalist in a program that aims to help organizations that contribute toward the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Finalists enter a nine-month program that will connect them with mentors and potential investors who can help them expand their organization to help more people.

Started by NGO Friends International, Tree Alliance was one of 10 finalists chosen from a pool of 324 applicants from across the globe for the Accelerate 2030 program organized by the U.N. Development Program and Impact Hub Geneva.

Profits from restaurants run by Tree Alliance help sustain the NGO’s programs. They currently run four restaurants in Cambodia—two in Phnom Penh, one in Siem Reap city and another in Sihanoukville.

“Tree Alliance was selected because they empower marginalized youth in Cambodia,” said Jay Burton, communications lead of Accelerate 2030.

“They are very well established and already have good traction, which is a criteria important for our scaling program,” he said.

Tree Alliance gives children and young adults living on the street an opportunity to access education, jobs and vocational training programs in the hospitality industry while providing them with a safe space to learn and practice their skills, said James Sutherland, international communications coordinator for Friends International.

“We are absolutely delighted that TREE has been selected as a finalist in the Accelerate 2030 scaling program, and excited to embrace the opportunities this offers us to scale the impact of TREE activities globally through the opportunities afforded.” Mr. Sutherland said in an email.

The program received applications from 15 ventures in Cambodia and took three months to decide on the finalists, Mr. Burton said.

The U.N.’s 2030 development goals look to end poverty in a sustainable way.

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