“Our life is very simple,” Amna said. “Most people are poor. This school has changed me a lot. When I went to school in my home town, my dreams were very simple. I had no goals to achieve. There I had the feeling that I don’t have a future at all.”
Amna and 24 other students between the ages of 14 and 16 from the Southern Red Sea region are completing their third and fi nal year of training in tourism services at the Ägyptisch– Deutsche Hotelfachschule Paul Rahn School in El-Gouna. The students are able to attend the school because they received scholarships from USAID. One of the main goals of the USAID project is to help reduce unemployment by promoting genderbalanced, tourism-based jobs for local people living in rural areas that are being developed into tourist destinations.
Students in the program receive a combination of theoretical classes and practical training in participating hotels. When they have successfully completed the course, students will be offered work contracts with hotels and resorts in the region. The total aggregate of their income over the years, which will flow back into the local tribes’ economies, could amount to several hundred thousand dollars. This generated income will boost the local economy and improve the lives of the students.
In addition to providing employment and improving the livelihoods of the students, the program also bridges the socioeconomic divide between host communities and the expanding tourism industry, and builds a network of tourism and hospitality organizations willing to provide private sponsorship of tourism education for local residents.
“The training at the hotel school means a lot to me,” said Amna. “I now have another dream than to become a housewife. I am now responsible for myself and my future.”
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Last updated: June 12, 2012