DoubleTree gives vulnerable children a taste of life after school

One such resident is a 16 year old boy, who cannot be named as per the National Media policy for vulnerable children, and is sadly contemplating the move into ‘the outside world’. “I have lived here since I was a small boy and although I have my mother, those who take care of me are here,” he said. 

In order to better prepare the residents for the move, the management of The President’s Village has a variety of workshops and programs to prepare them for the future.

“We have a dedicated person in charge of making sure these children learnt as much as possible to deal with the day to day activities outside of the home; from cooking and ironing to budgeting,” says Sharon Meriton-Jean, the Director of Communication and Events for the National Council for Children, NCC.

Meriton-Jean says work experience is an area which needs to be strengthened, especially for those who will start working in less than one or two years.

“It might come easy for others but for these children they have no choice but to learn early in order to have the skills to move forward in life with confidence and without our guidance, in the real world,” explains Meriton-Jean.

To do this, on the last holiday, whilst many children had a merry time with their families, two of the oldest residents of The President’s Village were lucky enough to spend some time on work attachment at DoubleTree Resort & Spa by Hilton Seychelles Alamanda.

By taking into consideration their interests, one girl spent a month of the school holidays in the housekeeping department while another boy spent time in the engineering department of the hotel where he was assigned as a general helper in maintenance.
“We did not have any problem with them as they easily learnt to cope with the workload,” says Doreen D’Souza, the Resort Manager of the hotel located at Anse Forbans.

As the future of the exchange for other residents of The President’s Village rested on their shoulders, the two participants did not disappoint their peers, as D’Souza highlighted their efforts and keen interests as well as their ability to work independently by the end of the month-long programme.

“The girl effortlessly learnt how to prepare her rooms for arrivals which was a plus for the Resort and the boy could assemble, mount and varnish furniture, amongst other duties,” she adds.

The work exchange programme is a new initiative that the National Council for Children has partnered with the Hilton group to further assist this special group of children in 2019.

“We always try to open our doors to young people who wants to experience work life, as we hope they do come back to work with us in the future,” says D’Souza.

Keen to find new talents to join their hotels and to further strengthen this initiative with NCC, the Regional Director Human Resources for Africa & Indian Ocean, Hellen Lebone, recently visited The President’s Village and held discussions with the Management of the facility.