A leading hotel in Cambodia has just introduced blind massage therapists to its extensive spa.
Employing staff that are blind is an initiative that the hotel believes will be a great asset to their hotel spa and help to provide their workers with a good income that otherwise they may not be able to achieve elsewhere in Siem Reap.
The Shinta Mani group has an established track record of philanthropy in the country thanks to the work they carry out through Cambodian NGO the Shinta Mani Foundation which is dedicated to supporting local communities by providing vital services, developing schemes to increase human capital and equipping them with the tools to overcome the constraints of poverty.
The Foundation’s ongoing fundamental work, such as providing dental check-ups to small business loans or water wells. This is focused around Shinta Mani School of Hospitality that takes in a carefully chosen group of underprivileged workers yearly and provides them with the knowledge, skills and vital ‘on the job’ experience. This enables them to gain employment in Siem Reap’s booming hospitality sector. A sector that now employs large numbers from those living around the much visited giant ancient temple complex site of Angkor Wat.
Located in the centre of Siem Reap the boutique hotel through its foundation charity has expanded its staff training schemes to now include blind massage therapists. Currently two blind male therapists drawn from local villages Nib Vechet and Loy Louy have been intensively trained over the last two months in their spa. They say that the free training they received at the hotel has given them both good futures now!
Blind therapists are now used more frequently in many similar establishments around the world but this is thought to be a first for Cambodia. According to experts in the field, a blind masseuse can use their extraordinary degree of feel and touch to great effect. An unsighted person can bring a new dimension to the skill that is usually carried out in rooms that are dimly lit anyway so a sighted person really has no real advantage over a blind one!
Indra Budiman, General Manager said “As part of our Corporate Social Responsibility programme commitment to the local community, the Shinta Mani Spa is proud to work with blind villagers from the local community and now have become qualified massage therapists”
He added, “When guests select our blind massage treatment, we will donate 50 percent of the proceeds of the treatment to the blind therapist to help them provide for their families.”
The therapists have been trained to carry out Signature Oil Massage, a traditional Khmer Massage and a relaxing Foot Massage. Prices for the treatments by the blind therapists are £44 and £26 respectively.