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Just in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup
On Friday, 20 November 2009, South Africa’s National Lotteries Board informed the SA College for Tourism in Graaff-Reinet of a fantastic cash injection of R8.46 million! This is the largest single monetary donation the College has received in its ten years of existence. The College trains young rural and disadvantaged women from around the SADC region in hospitality skills.
On the day when 87 young women – The Class of 2009 – graduated from the College with a Certificate in Small Accommodation Establishment Operations, the futures of around 120 more women were being assured – and South Africa’s hospitality industry stands to benefit from well trained, eager professionals just as the country and region prepares to capitalise on the World Cup and subsequent 2010 tourism boom.
Mr Werner Myburgh, CEO of Peace Parks Foundation had the happy privilege to announce the fabulous National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund (NLDTF) donation to the graduation gathering.
“This very generous grant from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund is important to the tourism industry of South Africa. It will ensure that students from South Africa will have all their course fees and accommodation paid for over the next three years. The young women who attend the College often come from arduous backgrounds. The grant from the NLDTF will give them an opportunity to start a career in the hospitality industry and possibly to run their own business. It will give them a chance to change their own futures as well as the lives of their families and communities”, said Andre Kilian, Executive Director of the SA College for Tourism.
Sershan Naidoo, Divisional Manager: Beneficiary and Player Relations and Media Liaison at the National Lotteries Board, was extremely positive about the level of support the NLDTF will be giving the College and the reasons for that support. “The NLDTF supports skills development, training and certainly recognises the vital importance of the environment and tourism sector’s contribution to the future of South Africa. The National Lotteries Board is especially pleased that the funding will take the College into 2010, a year that marks the 10th anniversary of the College and a year that will bring a welcome boost to South Africa’s tourism industry as we host the 2010 FIFA World Cup”.
Mr Naidoo added, “The grant of R8.46 million to the College of Tourism has been made possible only by the participation of South Africans in the National Lottery. The National Lotteries Board would like to thank all National Lottery participants for helping to make the dreams of many South Africans come true. Since inception of the lottery more than R8 billion has been allocated to NGO’s across South Africa.”
The graduation ceremony is always a joyous event, with family and friends attending and donors to the College cheering as the proud young women receive their certificates.
Donors to the SA College for Tourism, including Mrs Gaynor Rupert, Chairperson of the College, the late Dr Anton and Mrs Huberte Rupert, the Rupert Family Foundations, Peace Parks Foundation; the Edmond and Benjamin de Rothschild Foundations, the Embassy of Finland; ABSA Bank, the DG Murray Trust, Anglo-American Chairman’s Fund and the individual Adopt-a-Student sponsors are now joined in their support of the College by South Africa’s National Lotteries Board.
Ms Maria Ramos, Chief Executive Officer of Absa, delivered the keynote address at the graduation, stating “the education of women is crucial to the future of South Africa, and we are very proud to be enabling these bright young women to create a future for themselves and their communities.
South Africa has so many beautiful treasures, including our flora and our animals, but our most valuable treasure is our people, who will continue to grow this extraordinary country and present it to the world.”
Ms Ramos handed this year’s ABSA Top Student of the Year Award” to Ms Tendai Bango, who will return to her homeland and work at the lodges in the Matopos National Park in Zimbabwe.
Speaking about her time at the College she said “I came to the Tourism College from a temporary job as a lodge attendant near my home town of Bulawayo, with little self confidence, just as little knowledge of myself and no knowledge of hospitality services. The College changed my vision of life and gave me the strategies to not only make myself a better person, but a professional and competent employee. The College changed my life. I go back to Zimbabwe and the Matopos National Park, where I came from, knowing that the sky is the limit as long as I am prepared to work hard and put in my best effort.”
Mrs Barbara Pudel of Geneva, Switzerland, a firm College supporter, announced that Ms Bango and her runner up, Ms Agatha Masanche of Mount Soche, Malawi, will spend a three months fully expenses paid working experience visit to the Pudel family’s exclusive guesthouse, Casa Montefino, in Portofino, Italy.
The two successful students will also be rewarded with a three-week visit to other famous Italian tourist destinations.
For further information, please contact –
André Kilian, Executive Director
Tel: +27 (0)49 892 2244
Mobile: +27 (0)82 783 7943