Red Chili Countdown

Painting interior last week

Painting interior last week

We are just days away from the grand opening of the Red Chili Mexican Grill in Battambang!

This is an exciting step for CGI and the girls in our Culinary Training Program. Would you consider supporting this new venture?

There are TWO ways you can invest in the Kingdom work being carried out in Battambang.

-PRAY for the success of the Red Chili, and pray for the staff and the at-risk women who will be involved in its operations

-SUPPORT the Culinary Training Center financially. Click here to learn about available sponsorships.



CGI Kids Gardening Project

photo-90Last year, CGI Kids were given an opportunity to support one of our vocational training programs in Cambodia–the Culinary Training Center. Kids interested in helping were given a tomato plant and a 5 gallon bucket with instructions to grow in their own backyards.

After tending the plants throughout the summer, the tomatoes were then sold at a local farmers’ market. The money they earned was sent to the Culinary Training Center in Battambang, Cambodia, where it was used to start a garden. The culinary students at Green Mango Cafe were able to grow their own produce, all because of the generosity and hard work of kids here at home! It was a beautiful picture of our global connectedness.

So this year, we’re doing it again! Any kids who are interested in helping support CGI’s Culinary Training Center can come to our Greenwood office (2650 Fairview Place, Suite W) and pick up their own 5 gallon bucket, tomato plant and growing instructions May 12-16.

Join us in this fun, easy way to support the women of CGI!

Taco Tuk Tuk

TacologoThere’s a lot going on with CGI’s Culinary Training Center (CTC), as we’ve been sharing here on the blog in recent weeks. In addition to the recent graduation of the first two classes of students, the CTC operates the Green Mango Cafe (which just celebrated two years in operation) and has its sights set on the summer opening of a second restaurant, which will be called The Red Chili.

But that’s not all that’s happening in Battambang. The CTC also has a food truck on the streets–and by “truck” we mean a three-wheeled Cambodian tuk-tuk! The Taco Tuk Tuk is taking street food to a new level, and gaining popularity with locals for their delicious pork, beef, chicken and bean tacos.

We’re proud of the CTC students being open and enthusiastic to take on this fun new “mobile kitchen” adventure!


We’re Opening a Second Restaurant!

Future site of new restaurant

Future site of new restaurant

The Green Mango Cafe is very dear to us here at CGI. It’s the place where the students in our Culinary Training Center (CTC) get to put their education into action and gain real-world restaurant experience. It’s a place where confidence is built and skills are sharpened, paving the way out of poverty for so many at-risk women. (Plus, they make amazing Banana Bread French Toast!)

Two years after opening the Green Mango Cafe in Battambang, CGI is excited to share that we’ll be opening a second restaurant nearby! Our team in Cambodia is working hard to renovate the first floor of a three-story building that will be used for the restaurant, which will feature Mexican cuisine. If all goes according to plan, the doors will open in early June!

We are thrilled about this opportunity, and we need YOUR help! In the coming weeks we’ll be purchasing tables, chairs, kitchen equipment and other necessities.Would you consider donating a gift to help with start-up costs for the new restaurant? For gifts over $100 we’ll send you a Green Mango Cookbook! Just write “Restaurant Start-Up” in the comments section when you donate. And an added bonus: each donation will matched dollar for dollar by a generous donor!

This is a great opportunity for advanced training and jobs for our CTC graduates. We are thankful for the way God has allowed this program to grow and evolve over the years, and for your support and prayers. We couldn’t do it without you.

Donate to the New Restaurant!


CTC Graduation Day!

Chef Ryana and the CTC graduates

Chef Ryana and the CTC graduates

On Saturday, the first and second class of Culinary Training Center (CTC) students officially graduated from the program! These girls spent 18 months learning the art and craft of cooking and working in a restaurant from CGI’s resident chef, Ryana DeArmond. Last week was also another important milestone–the second “birthday” for the Green Mango Cafe in Battambang!

The graduation ceremony was a poignant event for the girls, staff, friends and supporters who have helped make this day happen. With the skills they’ve acquired, they are now equipped to find employment in the growing restaurant and tourism industry in Cambodia.

The capacity to turn their backs on the sex trade and use their education to earn income is a monumental step. Let’s praise God and celebrate with them!

Make Valentine’s Day Count!

Sponsor a Culinary Training Center student today!

Perspective in Phnom Penh

“The girls have started thinking differently. Their dreams are growing, and their day-to-day work has improved.”  –CTC Chef Ryana DeArmond

Do you know about our Culinary Training Center (CTC) in Battambang, Cambodia? One of CGI’s projects designed to empower at-risk women, the CTC is now training its third class of students in culinary arts! This third class of girls, like the ones before, come from lives characterized by poverty and extremely limited choices. CGI’s resident chef, Ryana DeArmond, works intensely with these girls to train them in not only cooking, but in all aspects of life. She wants to see them succeed.

So, Chef Ryana recently took the CTC students on a trip to Cambodia’s capital city, Phnom Penh. She had one goal: to expose them to things outside of their “regular” worlds and give them fresh perspective. They visited fine dining restaurants, went to the movie theater, stopped in coffee shops and took a sunset boat ride. They saw the service industry from the customer’s standpoint, witnessed successfully-run businesses, and experienced things they’d never tried.

After that trip, these girls see the world a little differently. They see their place in it differently. They see what they can become as people set free from poverty.

Get Involved with CTC

Stepping into New Roles

ctc3Do you know Ryana DeArmond? She manages CGI’s Culinary Training Center and the Green Mango Café in Cambodia. She is a teacher and mentor, a trainer and friend, a protector, a pioneer and so much more.

As CGI looks toward the future of its projects in Cambodia, Ryana is boldly trusting that the Lord will equip her—as well as those around her—with the courage to step into new, more expansive roles. Below is an excerpt from her most recent update:

“In life, we all walk in many different shoes. Two years ago I make the choice to step into a pair that were quite big for me as I made the decision to move to Cambodia. Once I started down this path, I realized how big these shoes truly were. Many days, I wanted to take them off and run back to older, more comfortable shoes from the past. I felt I was lacking in teaching skills, patience, and so much more as I began the journey in Cambodia.

Now my feet have grown. God has pushed and stretched me. After returning from my most recent trip home, things have been so much easier. I have finally gotten the hang of walking in my “new” shoes. It is nice to know what to expect and not have to struggle, as a child learning to walk.

You may have heard that we are in the process of opening a new building that will be an advanced training center. The building will host a Mexican restaurant and a Western-style coffee shop. You might be thinking (just as I have) how in the world can more fit onto my plate? After lots of planning and meeting, the outcome is this: its time for a new pair of shoes. Not just for me but for many others.

Currently my job consists of managing the Green Mango and directing the Culinary Training Center (CTC). The plan is have the Green Mango operated by a leadership team, which will be headed by Ponleu. The hope is to have a Cambodian young lady who just finished culinary school at Ivy Tech to take over the culinary training. Ly Phalla will move into overseeing both the CTC and the Green Mango, as well as continue to assist me. Then I will move into setting up and getting the new building opened. There’s a possibility that one of the girls from the first culinary class will work along side me, and be mentored in the process. I will still be around for help if they need it. Everyone involved will be stepping into shoes that seem way too big for our feet to fill at this point. We are confident that God will help us grow into these shoes and find our footing.”

Let’s continue to pray for the growth and success of the Culinary Training Center, the staff and participants. God is faithful to help us grow into the roles he calls us to.

By Ryana DeArmond/Caroline Mosey

The Transforming Hope of Christ

Ly Phalla
For those of you who read our blog, you will remember that in early August, we posted about Ly Phalla, our dear friend and manager of the CTC & Green Mango in Cambodia. She had just received news that her house was destroyed from an electrical fire sparked within her own house, and had caused her neighbors’ houses to also burn to the ground. By Cambodian law, Ly Phalla was responsible to pay for the damage to all three homes.

At one time, we shared with you the response of those who were moved by this event: American individuals and churches drawn to give financially to Ly Phalla, but so were the Cambodian women of the byTavi program, who gave despite their own need. We praise God for the hearts of the women that showed the love of Christ to their sister by doing this.
At that time, we, as CGI staff, thought that we had learned so much from our Cambodian family. However, this story continues to get better. A few weeks ago, Ryana DeArmond, the Resident Chef of the Green Mango Café and Bakery, was telling us about the following moving experience.

One night after Ly Phalla had surveyed the wreckage, Ryana was there for her to process with. Ly Phalla shared that 40 years ago, she had lived through the Khmer Rouge genocide, that drove her out of her home and murdered many members of her family. She was able to rebuild her life after that. It took a while, and she worked hard, but she did it. And now, she had lost it all once again in a single moment. Ryana extended sympathy as much as she could, understanding that she had never endured a loss like Ly Phalla is now living through for the second time in her life.

Then Ly Phalla said something extraordinary. “But this time,” she explained, “it will be easier because I have Christ, and I have hope.”

There are so many lessons for us to learn from our Cambodian friends. Whatever you are going through today, know that because you have Christ, you have hope.

By Whitney Vance

2013 Fundraising & Celebration Gala

On the evening of Saturday, September 7, 2013, over 300 people gathered at the Conrad hotel in downtown Indianapolis to celebrate Center for Global Impact’s 5th anniversary.  It was an event to remember!

This was our 3rd annual gala and we were blessed with a record fundraising effort – over $178,000 was raised from incredibly generous donors. These funds will allow us to continue and grow our projects in Cambodia, and we are happy to announce that the new class of Culinary Training Center students is now fully funded! Center for Global Impact could not exist without the continued support & generosity of many.

The video below gives an example of how 2 lives have been impacted by CGI’s programs.  There are also some special “thank you’s” in the video for all those who help make this kind of life-changing impact a reality.

Thank you for helping us empower the poor and open doors for the Gospel!

[field name=iframe]