Mae Sot, located in north-western Thailand, is home to a patchwork of ethnic groups – among these are the Thai Karen hill tribes. With the development of Thailand’s socioeconomic environment and the limited access to basic social services, training and employment in the area, it has become increasingly more difficult for them to earn a living.
As a result, plenty of youth leave their family for the big cities to seek a better future. Unequipped with the required skills and knowledge, it is nearly impossible for them to find a proper job. This makes them easy targets for exploitation and abuse.
Fortunately, there is hope: a feasibility study confirmed that Thailand’s booming hospitality industry is on the lookout for dependable, qualified staff to fill entry-level positions. With this in mind, the concept of a school specializing in vocational hospitality and catering education was developed in 2008 with the joint-support of two NGOs: IECD (Institut Europeen de Cooperation et de Developpement) and TBCAF (Tak Border Child Assistance Foundation). After further development, this initiative finally opened its doors as the Hospitality & Catering Training Centre giving Thai Karen young adults the opportunity for a brighter future through education.