As you know, I’m celebrating 30 this year! Other than the fact that I’m no longer going to be in my 20s, I’m feeling different as my birthday approaches. Despite the many hurdles that life brings, 2018 has had a great impact on me and I’ve never felt so blessed. One of the main reasons is because all my life, I’ve always had the best friends and family – yes, that’s you! And while thinking about that, I realised that not everyone is as fortunate.
When being asked what I wanted for my 30th birthday, it dawned on me that there was nothing I really needed because I already have more than anyone could ask for! Assuming I live till 90, I hope to use the next two thirds of my life to do more for the world because not everyone is as lucky. Instead of the presents and dinner treats I know you'd be more than happy to buy me, I’m hoping we’d all come together to do something more meaningful this year to support a cause that's close to my heart.
My dear friend, Xin Xin has been doing good in Bhutan for many years now and started the Pudu Puda Foundation (https://www.pudupuda.com/community), an initiative by Pudu Puda Travel. The Pudu Puda Foundation is supporting children who come from less privileged families or those who have been exposed to domestic violence. They work with an emergency shelter run by a Bhutanese non-profit organisation, RENEW (www.renew.org.bt). The children’s ages range from toddlers to 20, and regardless of the unfortunate circumstances which brought them to the shelter, they are now able to grow up in a familial environment free from burden or harm.
Their next project resonates a lot with me. The Foundation is creating a wholistic mentorship and internship programme for the Bhutanese hospitality industry. A career in hotels is a way for children from these backgrounds to create a brighter future for themselves. The idea is to offer youths short-term internship opportunities, in partnership with established hotel groups. Working in hotels will enable them to improve their English, interact with locals and foreigners who are stakeholders in the local tourism industry and access to a mentor during this journey. The goals are as follows:
- Provide youths the opportunity to determine if they are truly interested in being part of the hospitality industry, to ensure that they understand the realities of working in the hospitality industry,
- Provide youths who are not able to afford a tertiary education in tourism / hospitality management the opportunity to pursue this path, and
- Upon graduation, help these youths prepare for the workforce through mentorship and interview preparation.
A little love will go a long way :) Thanks in advance for your support!