By Genevieve Mckenzie, EVP, Human Resources
Throughout the six-decade long history of ONYX Hospitality Group, the strong sentiment to give back to communities and develop the opportunities of those in lesser privileged communities has remained essential to our culture.
We currently have tie ups with two not-for-profit hotel institutions in Thailand, Pimali Hospitality Training Centre in Nong Khai and Hospitality and Catering Training Centre (HCTC) in Mae Sot.
Each year as their students graduate, we transition them into our hotels across Thailand so they can fulfil their three and six month internships in a fast-paced and realistic working environment. Graduates who are keen to take up employment at the end of their internships are offered permanent or fixed-term roles. Despite these individuals growing up in tough circumstances and often from broken homes, by nature they are a humble and gracious people. Eager to learn, they excel in their schooling and vocational training and eager to become financially independent, they put their hearts into their work and their focus on integrating into their new environments. We are blessed.
Earlier this year, we came across a very interesting opportunity, to support eight young adults who had fled their home countries to live in a temporary shelter for displaced foreign nationals along the Thai-Myanmar border. Some of them, until earlier this year, had never left the shelter, never visited a shop and never seen an airplane or even a train.
We were approached by International Rescue Centre, a non-governmental organization which was keen to build hope for students of the shelter who showed great potential to be groomed for jobs and hence could possibly be resettled.
Throughout the six-decade long history of onyx hospitality group, the strong sentiment to give back to communities and develop the opportunities of those in lesser privileged communities has remained essential to our culture
Once they graduated, ONYX would support these students in guaranteeing them internship roles at our Bangkok hotels and by securing them student visas. A challenging task as the eight students didn't even have travel documents. In order to obtain a visa, they would need to return to their country of origin, seek out identification documentation and apply for a passport. At the ONYX Hospitality Group side, we were working with the Thai Government to secure the visas and to guarantee that these foreign students would be under our full care and responsibility while they were doing their on-the-job training across four of our Bangkok hotels.
After several months of correspondence and documentation gathering, we were deeply grateful when the visas were approved and a schedule was set for the students to come to Bangkok to start their internships.
They have now been with us for six weeks and are settling into life in the Big City. Their smiles that greet our guests are from ear to ear and radiate hope and anticipation, because for these eight interns, this opportunity has opened a door and a new future that they never believed existed.
And for us at ONYX Hospitality Group, we are blessed to have been a part of their journey.