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Our People
YCI success for chef Dalitso
The hospitality industry can present many people with a life-changing opportunity. And that is exactly what happened to Dalitso Mwanza, our amazing Youth Career Initiative (YCI) graduate.
The hospitality industry can present many people with a life-changing opportunity. And that is exactly what happened to Dalitso Mwanza, our amazing Youth Career Initiative (YCI) graduate.
Speaking at #AHIF2017, Dalitso described how he has gone from being an orphan with few life chances to a chef in a top hotel – gaining economic independence and supporting his siblings along the way.He left school to look for work to help his grandmother provide for her six orphaned grandchildren, but a lack of skills meant he struggled to find employment. However, Dalitso was supported by SOS Children’s Villages, which introduced him to the Youth Career Initiative (YCI), an employability program that partners with local hotels to give disadvantaged young people the chance to learn a range of skills across a variety of departments.The program at Radisson Blu Lusaka, Zambia, helped Dalitso discover a talent for work in the kitchen. His dedication and enthusiasm throughout the training and mentoring process convinced managers to offer him a role once the programme was completed, giving him a future he could never have envisaged before.“I gained so much from the programme,” said Dalitso. “I’ve heard it said that any tool is put to good use if done so with pride and skill. The skills I learned at the hotel have helped me start to build a career, but also become financially independent so I can support myself and my family.”Dalitso took part in a panel at Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF) to showcase his skills at the event hosted by Radisson Blu Hotel & Convention Centre, Kigali, but also to highlight the value the hospitality industry can bring to partnerships with programmes like YCI.Marius Wolmarans, General Manager, Radisson Blu Lusaka said: “In Zambia, where unemployment is an everyday reality for young people, it is important to remember that for every employment opportunity we create, we can feed multiple mouths. It is easy to donate money, time, equipment; but this is short-lived. If we can provide young people with the skills they need to build a career, we enable them to build better futures for themselves and their communities.”Radisson Blu Hotels and parent company Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group are a global partner of YCI, and successfully participate in the employability programme in seven countries.YCI is rapidly expanding in the region, having already helped more than 4,350 young people around the world to develop skills and take the first steps in their careers. The initiative really works as well – 85% of these young people have gone on to find work or pursue further education.Hotels like Radisson Blu Kigali are part of the success story as they begin partnering YCI in 2018, but more hotels are needed and financial support of the charitable programme is essential. Just $1,000 will enable YCI to support one disadvantaged young person as they get into work, and local businesses can help fund the programme here.One business already helping YCI carry out its award-winning work is Bench Events, the organizers of AHIF.CEO Jonathan Worsley said: “One of the great things about the hospitality industry is that it is possible to build a career by starting at the very bottom and working one’s way to the very top. The great thing about YCI is that it is helping thousands of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds put their foot on the first rung of that ladder. I am so looking forward to meeting General Managers whose careers began with a leg up from YCI. I am also very much looking forward to meeting AHIF delegates who have committed to back this vision too.”Please join us in congratulating Dalitso on his success, and we look forward to seeing more YCI graduates working in our hotels in the near future.

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Written by

COMMS & PR TEAM
Communications
26 Oct 2017
849

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