The restaurant and hotel trainees have finished their course! All the young people passed the exam and received a certificate at a graduation ceremony on 21st May this was attended by parents and friends, the local mayor and the course leaders. One of the restaurants in the partnership provided a meal for all the guests and there was pride in the young peoples achievement. They have all been given job offers - some have even had multiple offers!
Inour last report we mentioned that Cheryl Goonaratne was keen to offer a further training course for the young people in this challenging community. Cheryl runs a well established Hair and Beauty Academy in Colombo and she and her team have recently started a programme for 14 young women from Athidiya. Learning from our experience with the hotel school where some young women were initially uneasy about leaving their immediate community, the first weeks of thisnew course will be delivered from the new Asha Centre in Athidiya itself. Once relationships have been established, we anticipate that the families will be more confident about allowing the young women to take the bus to the training salon in Colombo. Cheryll is confident that all the trainees will be offered work in reputable salons.
The Hair and Beauty course will last 3 months. For those who choose it, there will be an opportunity to secure work in successful salons in the smartest district in Colombo. Others have childcare and other caring commitments, and may prefer to set up their own micro-enterprise, working from home. The course will enable them to choose either path. All the young women on the course have been unemployed for some time; some have never worked since leaving school. Many of these young people have been very keen on learning a trade, but up to now have had little opportunity.
Thank you so much for all your support - it is making a huge difference to these young women.
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