Disadvantaged students graduate from Saigon's free hospitality program

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The Saigon Children's Charity graduated 34 disadvantaged students from its free hospitality training course on Friday last week.

The certificates allow the students to find jobs at well-known hotels and restaurants in Ho Chi Minh City.

With the aim of helping disadvantaged young people realize their full potential and escape from poverty, the six-month Saigon Hospitality Course has been a staple of the NGO's work since 2007.

The course provides students with skills in table service, bartending, hygiene and customer care. They also learn English to communicate with foreign volunteers, and are also equipped with basic computing skills on Word and Excel.

The program has been supported by Talisman Asia Limited, the Asian branch of the Canada-based Talisman Energy Incorporation, and Radical Coaching, a training company.

Doan Lanh, a graduate from a previous Saigon Hospitality Course who recently came in second at a National Barista Competition, told a ceremony celebrating the new graduates that "Saigon Children's Charity gave me a ticket to a career."

Previous graduates have gone on to work at the Caravelle Hotel, Bobby Chinn, Intercontinental Asiana Saigon and Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. The next course will start at the end of 2012 and is now open for applications.

Saigon Children's Charity was founded in 1992 as a UK-registered charity working exclusively in Vietnam aiming for the elimination of poverty in Vietnam through education, vocational training, building schools, and providing scholarships.

More than 2,300 individual children of all ages have benefited from its grants.

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