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Ben Justus

Founder, EGBOK

When Ben Justus visited Cambodia in 2006, he was struck by the warmth and hospitality of the country’s people. During his travels he recognized that, despite Cambodia booming in tourism and economic growth, deep down it is a country rebuilding itself from the Cambodian genocide. During his travels, he began to ask himself how a developing country like Cambodia could utilize this growing hospitality industry to alleviate poverty in local communities. Ben realized that he and others could use their backgrounds in hospitality to make a difference for the underprivileged young adults in Cambodia.

A year later, while still a student at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Ben founded EGBOK (Everything’s Gonna Be OK), an international non-profit organization alleviating poverty by enabling underprivileged young adults in Cambodia to be self-supporting by providing education, training and employment opportunities in the hospitality industry and utilizing a comprehensive approach with an emphasis on life skills development.

EGBOK envisions a Cambodian community where everyone has equal opportunities and has the independence and ability to shape one’s own life. EGBOK’s hospitality training school in Cambodia utilizes the growing hospitality industry as a sustainable means for young adults to lift themselves out of poverty.

This year, EGBOK will be opening a new training restaurant, SPOONS. SPOONS will provide guests with a Cambodian culinary experience that engages the guest with the eagerness and ambition of young adults exploring new opportunities in the hospitality industry.