ECU Community Kitchen engages troubled youths
Friday, 05 November 2010
ECU Community Kitchen is helping change the lives of troubled youths
ECU’s Faculty of Business and Law, in conjunction with local businessman and owner of The Royal Shalimar Indian Restaurant, Mr Kiran Kosagi, officially launched the six-week cooking program entitled the ECU Community Kitchen, on Thursday, 4 November, which aims to engage troubled youths through the art of cooking.
The program, which was trialled last year, was an initiative of Mr Kosagi, who wanted to develop a program that would engage local teenagers who lack a sense of direction after his own shop was vandalised.
Through the sponsorship of the Faculty of Business and Law, the initiative has developed into a six-week cooking program that provides four individuals with the chance to experience commercial cooking in a real life restaurant kitchen.
Individuals who complete the six-week program are placed in a great position to get a job within the hospitality industry or pursue further education through a TAFE course or apprenticeship, with all units completed receiving recognition of prior learning.
Mr Kosagi believes the program is a fantastic way for local businesses to make a difference within the community.
“Local businesses are constantly complaining about security in the area, so I decided to see if I could help make a difference by giving youths something to work towards.”
“Through the support of ECU and other local organisations, this idea has developed into a wonderful program that gives troubled youths a head start, boots their self esteem and provides a launching pad to start their cooking career,” said Mr Kosagi.
2009 program participant Mr Michael Ridger says the program helped him discover a passion for food.
“I am now studying a Certificate III in Commercial Cookery and Hospitality Management at TAFE and hope to get an apprenticeship with a local restaurant where I can further develop my cooking skills. I really enjoyed the program and it provided me with a great learning experience.”
The program will finish with a celebration dinner, where participants will cook for family and friends and showcase the skills learned during their time in the kitchen.
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