Apart from her own desire to put something back into the industry that had given her so many opportunities, she recognised that K.Narong, also wanted students to achieve such a standard that would enable them to get more jobs locally, rather than have to leave their homes and families and travel to other parts of Thailand in search of employment. The school already had a short curriculum of hospitality topics, but any expansion on that would have been welcome.
In March, Josephine travelled up to Chiang Mai and Muang Kud to meet with Narong and his teachers, the reception was both warm and receptive, details were discussed and last Wednesday saw the signing of an agreement that would ensure that Ban Muang Kud School would be the beneficiaries of The Thyme Foundation, as an initiative of Magnums Butlers International, Australia.
The THYME Foundation, an acronym of Thai Hospitality Youth Mentor Education, will offer ‘volunteachers’, from the hospitality industry, to take part in giving their professional expertise to students from the age of 13-17 years and, hopefully, give them a headstart for a career in local hospitality.
‘Volunteachers’ from overseas will visit Muang Kud and give their ‘volunteaching’ time for free when they are available and able. These professionals will travel to the district at their own expense, inspired by the same reason as Josephine, the chance to put something back and see tangible results. Fortunately, the school is well-equipped with teachers who speak some English as well as a dedicated English teacher, so all topics will be delivered in English to enhance the student’s awareness and use of their English studies.
Local businesses have already shown their interest and are keen to assist in an opportunity that clearly helps them with their future employment needs. For example, Rawee Waree Resort and Spa have already pledged their support and hosted the first ‘volunteaching’ session with Josephine on Thursday morning for Basic Skills for Food and Beverage Service, Part 1.
Discussion is taking place with Rawee Waree Resort and Spa to offer work experience opportunities to students, part time work when they leave school at 17 progressing through to reaching a full time position when they reach 18 years old. The Mandarin Oriental has shown a keen interest in the progress of the THYME Foundation
Other subjects that the students will learn include Housekeeping, Concierge and Guest Service. At the end of each session, each student receives an attendance certificate from the THYME Foundation that will form the basis of a ‘portfolio’ of certificates that employers will be able to recognise as having a high standard.
The first students are already excited about their next session in September, and in between session teachers at Ban Muang Kud School will be put through ongoing practise in what they learn at each THYME Foundation session ‘volunteaching’ session.