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Altogether 18 members of the Chemucane community in Mozambique have been specially trained to work at the community’s 22-bed lodge, from which about 980 people will benefit.
Ms Nonhlanhla Zwalaka, an SA College for Tourism graduate who runs her own small accommodation establishment and hospitality training centre, this year temporarily joined the college to provide short-course training to the Chemucane students. The five young men and one woman were the second group of Chemuncane students to be trained by the college for employment at the lodge.
Ms Zwalaka’s command of the Zulu language was of major assistance in training the students who speak Shangaan, closely related to Zulu, in a range of hospitality skills such as housekeeping, table attendance, front of house, assistant chef and English literacy.
Their practical evaluation took place at a 4-star guesthouse, where they cooked for 12 people and attended to the tables as hosts during the event. The students are now working at the community’s lodge. On-the-job training will reinforce the knowledge they gained at the college and the lodge manager is assisting the staff with English language training.
In 2011, Ahi Zameni Chemucane, a community association representing the people from three rural Mozambican communities, signed a 25-year partnership agreement with the Bell Foundation and received an interest-free loan from African Safari Lodge Foundation to develop a luxury ecotourism lodge in the northern section of Maputo Special Reserve in the Lubombo Transfrontier Conservation and Resource Area. This was the first time that a Mozambican community received long-term concession rights to a prime tourism site in a major nature reserve.
The training of the Chemucane students was funded by the Community Development Facility, a joint initiative between the government of Mozambique, COmON Foundation and Peace Parks Foundation.