Balasubramaniyam Manoja's Story

Balasubramaniyam Manoja’s (20) mother is a tea plucker and her father is unemployed. She has an elder brother and sister. Her brother works in Colombo as a labourer, and her sister is married, and living separately. Manoja’s family faced many economic challenges as her mother is the sole breadwinner, which drastically affected Manoja’s education. Due to her poor economic situation, she dropped out of school before completing her G. C. E. (O/L) examinations, and hoped to pursue vocational training. She came to know about Berendina Employment Center (BEC) through village leaders and was eager to seek their support to achieve her career goals. With appropriate consultation, evaluation and guidance of BEC, she chose Hospitality Management as her preferred career option and opted for a special course in Restaurant and Bar Service. She received her vocational training at the Southern Lakma Hotel School, which comes under the supervision of Ceylon Hotel School, whilst BEC provided her with financial support to complete her course. Once she completed her training successfully, she was offered employment at the Summer Restaurant in Nuwara Eliya. Today Manoja is employed as Restaurant Captain and earns a monthly income of LKR 17,000. Manoja is grateful to Berendina for the counseling and support given to her to fulfill her goals when there was no one to guide her in her difficult past. She notes that selecting the hospitality trade for her vocational training has paved the way to success in her life, and has boosted her financial strength. It has brought positive changes in her life. Working with different types of people has made her a stronger person in her personal and professional life. She is keen to learn more about new avenues of the hospitality industry and become more successful in future.