The LinkAge Training Restaurant gives hope for a new future for youth. With the skills training and social support provided through the program, youth are setting themselves up for successful careers in the hospitality industry. Transferable skills, like English lessons, help to set these at-risk youth apart from the rest, helping them achieve stability and independence in Yangon.
Myanmar was an isolated country for five decades, only recently re-opening its doors to the outside world. This is a time of opportunity for youth in the country that was not available to them in the past – but this doesn’t come without challenges. During the military occupation of the country, access to education standards dropped tremendously. Many youth only have the basic skills to be part of a growing workforce. On top of this, many youth from rural regions of Myanmar come to the bustling capital of Yangon to find employment. With a lack of connections, resources, and training, they are left to fend for themselves.
Inspired by the model of Friends International, Ms. Khin of Burma set out to support vulnerable youth and provide them with the education and training needed to succeed in the hospitality industry. To do this, she set up the LinkAge Training Restaurant. Now in partnership with Friends International, Planeterra provided funding and training to build out the hospitality program, while Friends International developed holistic and sustainable sources for social support such as housing, counselling and education for the students. Planterra provided training in health and hygiene, cooking techniques and child protection to LinkAge, as well as upgrading dining area chairs and tables to better accommodate guests.