71 more are expected to join the work force, as the 5th inauguration ceremony of the DB BEST Academy announced its next batch of diamonds in rough accepted to attend the 3-month-long program. This special event brought together friends, family, knowledge, testimonials, dance and laughter, as Don Bosco Tech and Deutsche Bank India jointly promote greater recognition to the unskilled, underprivileged and vulnerable youth who have the desire, yet not the means, to better their lives.
There are 36 million unemployed youth in India, and a mere 2% of the total workforce is formally skilled. What’s more – Don Bosco understands that this rift is farther broadened by the significant disconnect between school education, and the opportunities, skills and exposure necessary for the young to achieve their full potential and support their families. Working at the bridge between education and livelihood, we created a practical, enjoyable and highly relevant skill training program in 3 major vocations: Hospitality, Retail and Customer Service. With an extraordinary success rate so far, approximately 363 youths (4 batches at DB BEST Academy, Lingarajapuram) have been trained since the program started.
The 4th batch Graduation & 5th batch Inauguration Day was attended by Fr. Joby Abraham SDB, Director, DB BEST Academy, Fr. Joy Nedumparambil SDB, Executive Director – BREADS, Fr. George M. K. Rector- Provincial House, 4 Deutsche Bank India representatives, plus Don Bosco staff and volunteers alike who came to support and congratulate the students. With beautiful dance, song and even mime performances in the interim, the inauguration act included a very special speech from Fr Joy, fondly called “baker of Breads”, who praised the students for their commitment to learning. He expressed his pride on how the participants have brought meaning to their lives, and have formed a sense of identity which will ultimately contribute to building a better India. As Father Joy articulated, with small steps this program has the great potential of instigating more investments in human capital, and increase women’s participation in the Indian labor market still a minority today.
In addition to industry-specific skills, some very keen students – courageous enough to brave the microphone – have proudly attested to having improved their English, communications and life skills, in a journey where deeply-rooted friendships were formed. What especially resonated in our hearts was a young, former drop-out student who now works as Customer Service Representative in Intel due to DB Best Academy. “This platform changed my life, working for a company is very exciting to me. And something I thought would never happen”. Another testimony expressed how the program brought a student out of her shell, made her more confident and open-minded: “I have learned more than Hotel Management, I learned about forgiveness and love, about friendship”, said Monica. We appreciated their time under the spotlight, as it gave everyone the unique opportunity to learn more about their experience and continuously strengthen the program.
What an inspiring event. We’d like to extend a warm thank you to everyone who attended, Deutsche Bank for continuing to support Don Bosco’s efforts, and to all the graduates who are eager to learn and take ownership of their lives.