Shankara’s* mother was a commercial sex worker and her parents separated when she was a child. Her mother remarried and was forced to abandon Shankara by her new husband. She was taken in by an NGO at the age of 11 and completed her education in their care.
Through our local implementing partner in India, Kherwadi Social Welfare Association, Shankara joined our youth employment programme in 2020 aged 24, supported by the Global Fund to End Modern Slavery (GFEMs) with funding provided by the United States Government.
“I was very interested in joining the Alliance hospitality programme when I got to know about it. I was selected for training at a 5-star hotel before the pandemic. However due to Covid-19, I could not join the training.
“I was very sad and did not know what to do next. But I got full support [from the project] during this time.”
Shankara received 100 hours of core skills training which included digital skills, communication and basic English, teamwork, introduction to hospitality, and work-readiness such as interview skills and resume writing. Traditionally this preparation training would happen in a classroom to help the students get ready for a workplace environment. Due to the pandemic, we moved our training online so that we could continue to prepare young people for work opportunities despite the challenging situation.
“I joined the online training and then was given an opportunity to train for customer support at a finance office.”
The hospitality industry has been very badly hit by the impact of the pandemic and the vast reduction in travel. So we adjusted our youth employment programme to enable the trainees to utilise the core skills that they had learned and receive practical work experience in the industries that were most in need – healthcare, retail, education and customer service.
“The lessons I learned during the training have helped me to overcome any problems at work. My bosses are happy and appreciate my work which makes me very happy and confident.”
“I was very happy with the new opportunity and was given a chance to train and improve my computer and communication skills. I always wanted to work in a front office department at a hotel and this training has helped me improve my skills.”
Following her graduation from the course, Shankara was selected to work at one of the leading financial services firms as a Customer Support Officer.
“The online training helped me to feel confident and responsible. The lessons I learned during the training have helped me to overcome any problems at work. My bosses are happy and appreciate my work which makes me very happy and confident.
“In future I hope to work at the front desk in a renowned hotel and this training and job will help me in achieving my goal.”
*Name and image changed to protect identity