10 youths get a golden chance

COOKING UP A STORM: The 10 school leavers selected for the Ikusasa School of Cooking. Pic. Unknown.
COOKING UP A STORM: The 10 school leavers selected for the Ikusasa School of Cooking. Pic. Unknown.

TEN young school leavers from children's homes in and around Durban have been given an opportunity to obtain skills in cookery through a one-year programme.

The Ikusasa School of Cooking in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Foundation launched a cooking school set to be one of the most memorable charity projects of 2010 and years to come.

The project is offering a brighter future for youths from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The students will pursue a City and Guilds-based qualification that is fully administered by the International Hotel School.

During the course, which began this week, students visit various five-star hotels for three days a week to gain valuable on-the-job training from Durban's top chefs.

The remainder of the week will see them attending culinary and practical lectures at the school.

"The school is aimed at ensuring that students are equipped with the skills needed to pursue a prosperous career in the hospitality industry," said Robyn Beckworth of Take Note reputation management, which is organising the project.

All the tuition, ingredients for daily cooking, running of the kitchen as well as transport to and from the school will be provided by the school through fundraising and sponsors, allowing for a year of free tertiary education for the selected students.

One of the selected students, Goodluck Juma, 20, said the chance has given him confidence to become what he wanted to be.

"It's going to change a lot of things," Juma said. "I hope it's going to uplift my life so that I can go to the upper level of life.".

Bradley Rheeders, 18, said: "I know there's going to be a lot of hard work to do but I am ready for it."

Excited Sindi Khumalo, 17, and Nonza Dondolo, 21, said. "We are grateful and excited about the opportunity. We are going to be stars."