- TUI Care Foundation and Plan International have again joined forces to create a safety network for disadvantaged communities
- The project provides vocational training to 350 youths and supports families in organising collaborative financing schemes
TUI Care Foundation and Plan International have joined forces to launch a new initiative in Hue City, Vietnam. The TUI Academy provides vocational training to 350 disadvantaged young women and men, out of which 180 will enrol in tourism related training. Students gain practical experience through a training programme at a social enterprise training restaurant to get their hospitality careers underway. With the TUI Academy at the core of the initiative, the project also builds on various other tools to bolster the potential of the local community. For example, by strengthening household economic security and raising awareness on child protection for disadvantaged children, youth and their families.
Alexander Panczuk, Executive Director of TUI Care Foundation, explains: “Youth in the city of Hue have huge potential to build on but often they lack proper education and training. Together with Plan International we aim to open up new perspectives for young women and men through personal and social empowerment. With practical resources on the ground the initiative provides education but also develops organizational support structures which enable the community to further develop on their own.”
A decade ago the Hue City authority started to resettle families and communities from boats on Hue’s rivers to apartment complexes and houses. While living on boats, most children did not go to school and still today, many of them have little chances of accessing and using education to break the cycle of poverty. Many children are being sent out to work on the streets to support the family’s income by, for example, selling snacks or selling vegetables at street stalls from dawn to midnight. Unemployment amongst disadvantaged youth and resettled families is still high and working children, especially girls, are highly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
The TUI Academy provides a 4-month training that includes technical classes and life skill training and an internship in the training restaurant Tre. The newly opened restaurant has been set up as a social enterprise built upon a business case that offers a win-win situation for all. Former graduates will run the restaurant, earning an income through employment and improving their personal and professional skills on the labour market through professional experience; students will gain practical experience in addition to their vocational training - and visitors to Hue City will be able to enjoy local and international flavours whilst contributing to the development of the local community. The revenues generated by the restaurant will be used to finance the training activities in order for the initiative to become self-sustaining in three years’ time.
The vocational training project is part of a bigger initiative that strengthens household economic security via self-help saving groups and raises awareness on child protection for disadvantaged children, youth and their families. Furthermore, young children are supported to keep attending school through scholarships and the provision of learning materials, so that drop-out rates decrease. The holistic and inclusive approach that involves local organisations, community leaders, families and individual members aims to set the ground for the development of a safe and inclusive environment in which people can progress and enjoy a decent life.
Kathrin Hartkopf, Director foundation of Plan Germany says: “Sustainability is a key driver of this project. We are not only giving Youth in Hue the chance of a decent education and job opportunities, but also strengthen the local economy with a self-sustaining restaurant and micro-loans for 160 households. We want to make sure, that children, youth and their families benefit from our engagement with TUI Care Foundation also in three years from now. We are looking forward to our growing partnership with the TUI Care Foundation, to be able to make a real and long lasting change in children’s life.”
Both organisations have already partnered in the past to establish a TUI Academy in the Dominican Republic, providing education and employment opportunities to over 150 disadvantaged girls and boys. With the same holistic approach as in Vietnam, in the Dominican Republic the project also includes education on sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender related issues, work safety and financial literacy. Building on the success of this project, Plan International and TUI Care Foundation have decided to take a leap forward and expand the programme to other regions in the world.
The international ‘TUI Academy’ programme is focused on professional education and training for young people. Careers are empowered through a variety of projects, involving intensive training schemes, the teaching of life skills, work placements, and workshops. TUI Academies are currently in place in the Dominican Republic, Zanzibar, Namibia and Vietnam.