The views of two youngsters supported by Hope Foundation and AccorHotels in India
Mukesh and Kamlesh are two young beneficiaries of the Indian NGO Hope Foundation, whose professional internships in properties of the AccorHotels Group have helped them on the road to employment! Below is a closer look at their path and the experiences that changed their lives.
Despite the ratification of the International Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989 and the law, 12,66 million children in India work: they are scavengers, street hawkers, they are employed in workshops, mines*… AccorHotels is working closely with the NGO Hope Foundation in India in the space of vocational training for young people coming from socially and economically very disadvantaged communities. This partnership started in 2012 gave rise to the "AccorHotels Center of Hope" in New Delhi, Bengaluru and Chennai. The partnership works on a simple philosophy i.e. “People you Skilled, Lives you changed”.
Working towards this ambition AccorHotels Centre of Hope understand and acknowledge that Skills acquisition must be matched with confidence building, and by developing inter and intra personal skills therefore AccorHotels Center of Hope offers variety of courses i.e. retail, hospitality, spoken English & computers along with exclusive personality Development sessions; the curriculum is designed in such a manner wherein students are first equipped with basic theory in a class room environment and then are exposed to practical environment by providing On the Job Training. Over the years, AccorHotels Centre of Hope at Delhi, has helped over 200 youngsters with Vocational Training and placed around 102 students to overcome their social and financial barriers and find gainful employment. It gives a great feeling allowing opportunity to support so many bright, deserving yet deprived youth of our country.
"A decisive experience for a brighter future!"
Mukesh, aged 19 and the eldest of six children, lost his father in 2010. He took part in the training offered by AccorHotels Centre of Hope in order to learn a profession quickly to extend support to his family. Mukesh signed up for the "Culinary" course, following his dream of one day becoming a Chef.
His earnestness and determination put him near the top of his class after the exams, and he got the highest grades in three courses. Now since the theoretical part of his training has completed he has started his internship in the kitchens of the ibis Delhi Airport near the Center: the AccorHotels staff is delighted to have him and Mukesh is making rapid progress.
Preparation of dishes, cutting fruit and vegetables, operation of the kitchen brigade: these are some of the many key competencies that Mukesh is acquiring through this experience.
Today, Mukesh is earning his living and supporting his family. "This experience has been decisive, it is a gift that has given me back my joy in life."
"A new self-confidence"
After a professional experience at the New Delhi airport, Kamlesh joined the "AccorHotels Center of Hope" with the aim of acquiring practical training and marketable skills to ensure a more stable future. Attracted by catering, Kamlesh began his training in this sector.
The teams of the Pullman New Delhi Aerocity have taken Kamlesh on board to consolidate his practical training and help him develop the skills he acquired at the Hope Foundation Center.
In addition to technical competencies, this internship has also allowed Kamlesh to develop his self-confidence substantially, and improve his English and his speaking abilities. This 23-year old youngster considers he has made "one of the best choices of his life" by joining this training programme, which offers him a "brighter future".
The AccorHotels teams play an essential part in the career path of these disadvantaged youngsters and actively participate in their training to facilitate their entry into the working world. Ashwin Shirali, Vice President Talent & Culture – India and South Asia the project holder since 2012, summarizes this philosophy very well: "People trained, lives transformed": Mukesh and Kamlesh are two wonderful examples of this!
*figures for 2015 France Info: http://www.francetvinfo.fr/monde/inde/travail-des-enfants-l-inde-reste-le-pays-le-plus-touche_949089.html