SOME 24 special youths took up the challenge to be part of the hospitality industry at the Grand Ion Delemen Hotel in Genting Highlands.
Accompanied by several caretakers, the youths passed their short training stint with flying colours.
As a mark of appreciation, they staged a beautiful performance and vowed to return and meet up again with their hospitable host.
Hotel general manager Jack Lim said the management was glad to be able to do something for the needy and less fortunate.
Lim said it was part of their corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative to give back to the society.
“We held a brainstorming session recently and initiated a CSR collaboration with Down Syndrome Association of Malaysia.
“This programme is tailored in a way to provide work exposure training to these special youths, aged between 16 and 25.
“With guidance from our staff, they did all the tasks very well, ” he said.
Lim said while some might question their capabilities of being an effective working force, their potential was unveiled in a span of a few hours.
“Each of them was given an opportunity to learn operational skills in the front office, concierge, housekeeping and food and beverage on a rotation basis.
“Throughout the training, they learned to greet guests at the lobby, transfer luggage to rooms, escort guests to shuttles, categorise linens, make up beds, refill amenities and clean eating utensils, just to name a few, ”
he said, adding that the management welcomed community outreach ideas from the public.
Association president Hanizan Hussin said those with Down Syndrome were often isolated and restricted from social interactions and job opportunities.
“I urge the people to look at their abilities and not their disabilities.
“Even though they are intellectually-challenged, they are still able to work in structured roles that are process-driven.
“Hotel business with restaurants and operational divisions is a good example, ” she said.
Hanizan also shared that they received recognition from Malaysia Book of Records for the “First Fashion Show By Children With Down Syndrome” in April this year, featuring a collection from a famous local designer.
“It is such a great milestone for us to show-case that individuals with Down Syndrome deserve a fair opportunity to harness their capabilities, ” she said.
The association is a voluntary welfare organisation caring for individuals with Down Syndrome and their families.
In 2006, it was accepted as a full member of the Council of Welfare and Social Development Malaysia.
It has set up an intelligence networking with the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, Education Ministry, Social Welfare Department, various government agencies and corporations in its bid to improve the quality of life of individuals with Down Syndrome in terms of virtue, health, education and career.
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