Creating employment for our youth

By Sarafina Sanerivi ,

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ALL SMILES: Back row - the graduates with Rob Smiley. Front row (L-R) Michael Hardy (Vice President S.C.A), Murray Dick (Continental Director of the Pacific Rim for the World Association of Chefs Societies) and Joe Lam (President of S.C.A.)

ALL SMILES: Back row - the graduates with Rob Smiley. Front row (L-R) Michael Hardy (Vice President S.C.A), Murray Dick (Continental Director of the Pacific Rim for the World Association of Chefs Societies) and Joe Lam (President of S.C.A.) (Photo: Tony Callaghan)

“Creating Employment” was the mantra behind a grassroots training programme by the Samoa Culinary Association which opened its doors for some of the youth of Samoa to get full-time jobs.

The training lasted for twelve weeks and it ended with a special graduation which was held on Saturday at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel.

The President of the Samoa Culinary Association, Joe Lam at the graduation said the event was very special. 

It was extra special with the presence of the Continental Director of the Pacific Rim for the World Association of Chefs Societies, Mr. Murray Dick. 

The Samoa Culinary Association’s membership in the World Chef Association was also announced on the same night. 

It was a night to remember by all the guests especially the graduates and their families. 

Mr. Murray Dick congratulated the Samoa Culinary Association for all their hard work and effort ever since the formation of the association six months ago. 

“I congratulate you and I encourage you to continue working hard and keep moving forward.”

Turning to the graduates and their families, he gave them an inspirational remark reminding them of the importance of hard work and commitment. 

“Working hard for something you hate is called stress, but working hard for something you love is called passion,” said Murray Dick.

He continued saying, “these young individuals can congratulate themselves for their commitment to achieve and their willingness to enhance their knowledge within the catering world.”

Lam expressed that he was especially happy to see the smiles on the faces of the graduates and their families. 

More than twenty students applied for the program but only twelve were selected. However, only six made it to the finish line and they are now ready to embark on their new journey.

“With the program that we did for the students, it’s important because they now have jobs and they’ve been disciplined well enough to get jobs,” said Joe. 

Reflecting back to the beginning of the program, Joe says it wasn’t easy at first, but the potential and talent was there within the students.  “They have that ‘know how’ potential, but all they needed to learn was the skills and the right attitude to do the job.”

Fast forward to today, Joe said that the six graduates are now well-disciplined and well-trained and are now ready to step into the world of catering. 

“Creating employment for our people is the best way to help improve the development of our country,” Joe said. 

“That is the most important thing for these students. They now have the skills and opportunities to work and will be able to help their families financially.”

“And we also look forward to continuing to teach them and helping more people find jobs for their future.”

He said he was so proud of the graduates for completing and succeeding in the trainings.

Lam also wanted to remind our people that “this is an industry that will help Samoa in the future. Because this is all connected to the tourism industry which is contributing a lot of money to our economy.”

For 32-year-old Talitiga Tele’a from Fasitoo-Tai, he said he was thrilled with excitement. 

Talitiga said he has never been employed before in his life but he is now ready to embark on his journey and is very “excited.” “First of all, I want to thank God for providing me with the strength and the ability to do this. I wouldn’t be able to achieve this if it weren’t for Him,” he said.

Secondly, he wanted to thank the Samoa Culinary Association for the great opportunity they offered for the youth of Samoa.

“Thanks so very much for sharing your knowledge and for giving us your time.”

Lastly, Mr. Tele’a wanted to thank his families especially his spiritual parents, Reverend Eric and Amata Mulitalo for their never-ending support and prayers. 

The occasion was well-attended by members of the business community, families and friends at the Tanoa Tusitala Hotel. 

The graduates were Fatima Menefata, Peter Fidow, Setefano Poleti, Fa’ataualofa Numera, Talitiga Tele’a and Nuuvaelua Tali.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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