Every morning at four o´clock, mama Bojang gets up, as she has to prepare breakfast for her two children. Then, she climbs into a bus and travels for an hour to Kololi, to the hotel where she then makes breakfast for the guests. But no matter how tired she is, Bojang is radiant as she stirs the pans, kneads dough and takes he cakes out of the oven. Pastry is her speciality, and she has ten years’ experience – experience you can taste. Everything runs like clockwork and she rarely needs guidance. Yet for a long time she was unable to get a permanent job. Contracts were given to younger applicants with less experience, but who had received a training certificate.
Bojang had had enough of getting by month-to-month. She needed to provide for her family and find a safe place to work. The solution: a diploma. Since October 2015, with a scholarship from the TUI Care Foundation, the 32 year-old has been studying as part of a project from the Oreo Foundation. Together, the two foundations sponsor five talented young Gambians with an Education in the tourism industry.
The hotels and restaurants of the small West African country are urgently looking for qualified staff. Drawn by the beaches on the Atlantic coast and the colorful wildlife, more and more holidaymakers are coming. This has resulted in the creation of many opportunities – and the TUI Care Foundation is helping to shape growth sustainably by improving living conditions in the area.
The project specifically supports women, who have significantly poorer job opportunities in The Gambia than men. Every training course, like Bojang’s, is tailored to the participant, her abilities and goals. The Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute takes charge of the basic training and issues interim certificates. Bojang gained a “very good” mark.
Local partner hotels offer the graduates a one-year position. For Bojang, this is a great opportunity – and another reason to be radiant.
Currently, as the project in The Gambia came to an end, a similar initiative has been launched in the Dominican Republic in partnership with Plan International.