UNICEF collaborated with (TITHS) to train youth in Aleppo on hospitality sector skills.

“It was something ‘sweet’ amidst all the bitterness surrounding us,” says Susie

UNICEF
Girl showing a desert in kitchen
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Adel Janji
16 September 2021

Young people have been among the most impacted by a decade of conflict in Syria. The current economic downturn has as well taken a heavy toll on them, forcing many away from their education and in search of opportunities to support their families.

UNICEF staff and youth in kitchen
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Adel Janji
Susie, 20, who recently graduated the UNICEF-supported tourism and hospitality training in Aleppo explains to Enas, UNICEF Chief of Aleppo Field Office, about what she and her colleagues learned at the training and prepared for the graduation ceremony.

To help them grow their skills and engage in positive occupations, when ready to enter the labour market, UNICEF has recently collaborated with the Technical Institute of Tourism and Hotel Sciences (TITHS) to train over 1,500 youth in Aleppo on the skills required in the hospitality sector with thanks to a generous support from Germany. The collaboration, a first of its kind for UNICEF in Syria, included training the youth about various aspects in the hospitality sector, from professional chefs training to beverage and food service and reception skills. Almost immediately after the training 180 of the trained youth were either recruited in relevant positions or started their own income generating projects.

youth wearing gloves in kitchen
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Adel Janji
“It’s very important for a person to have both a profession and an academic certificate,” says Bashar, 19, who recently benefitted from the UNICEF-supported tourism and hospitality training in Aleppo, Syria.

“It’s very important for a person to have both a profession and an academic certificate,”

Bashar, 19
youth preparing desert
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Adel Janji
“It was something ‘sweet’ amidst all the bitterness surrounding us,” says Susie, 20, while preparing a desert recipe she has learned in a cooking class at the UNICEF-supported tourism and hospitality training. Susie, a third-year medical student, recently joined the tourism and hospitality training to learn a profession that can support her and her family. “Cooking is my passion, and it’s a profession I can rely on. One never knows what could happen, so it’s good to be prepared,” she adds.
hands on making desert
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Adel Janji
“It was something ‘sweet’ amidst all the bitterness surrounding us,” says Susie, 20, while preparing a desert recipe she has learned in a cooking class at the UNICEF-supported tourism and hospitality training. Susie, a third-year medical student, recently joined the tourism and hospitality training to learn a profession that can support her and her family. “Cooking is my passion, and it’s a profession I can rely on. One never knows what could happen, so it’s good to be prepared,” she adds.
youth making desert
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Adel Janji
“During the crisis, I realized how important it is for one to have a profession to support himself,” says Abdulrahman, 22, from Aleppo Syria. Abdulrahman spent most of his childhood, with his elder brother, working in the kitchen of a local restaurant. While perusing his dream of becoming a lawyer, his passion for cooking remained with him during his study at the university. He signed up for the UNICEF-supported tourism and hospitality training, which was an opportunity to academically educate himself about the food industry. “I worked at a restaurant before, but now I feel I’ve gained more knowledge enabling me to improve my hands-on experience,” he adds. During a decade of conflict many young people have had to favour working over continuing their education in order to support themselves and their families amid a deteriorating economic situation. UNICEF is helping them build their skills to find meaningful occupations when ready to enter the labour market.
youth serving juice
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Adel Janji
Visitors to the UNICEF-supported tourism and hospitality event, which marked World Youth Skills Day, are welcomed with a complementary drink prepared by youth who attended the bartending training.

Last July, a group of 53 youth, who recently graduated the UNICEF-supported hospitality training, volunteered to present what they learned during the trainings in an event marking World Youth Skills Day. The event, attended by UNICEF, the Directorate and Chamber of Tourism in Aleppo as well as private and public sectors representatives, was fully planned, organized, and implemented by the young graduates.

group photo for youth and UNICEF staff
UNICEF/Syria/2021/Adel Janji
Graduates from the UNICEF-supported tourism and hospitality training after their graduation event that marked World Youth Day.

Guests were welcomed by ‘reception’ and ‘bartending’ graduates. Participants, then, attended a workshop raising the awareness on food quality and safety that was presented by the ‘quality management’ trainees.  ‘Cooking’ and ‘pastry-making’ graduates presented some of the dishes they learned during the training to conclude the event.