The biggest hurdle for the young today is to get an interview for a job and then know what could be done in preparation to come out a winner.
Twenty one girls and boys completed a four-day Career Guidance Programme (CGP) organised by CandleAid Lanka, which operates as a non-religious non-ethnic approved charity. The organisation runs so many diversified projects to help people in need. (www.candleaid.org)
The participants came from all corners, Ampare to Kalawana, Deniyaya to Galewela, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa and many other distant places. Most were reading degrees and sponsored by CandleAid for their university education. Dialog very generously gifted a state-of-the-art venue and the curriculum was designed and delivered by Forte. Citi Bank NY funded the project.
They came, they saw and they conquered the fear of English and laid foundations to improve themselves in the ever difficult paradox of facing interviews. No, it was not English they learnt, but self-belief resulting in infant confidence which is certainly a vital beginning for bigger challengers.
The main obstacle the students lamented was the lack of English at home -- nobody to talk to and no body to learn from. Well! As one guest speaker said, “Sanath Jayasuriya’s father did not play cricket nor did Susanthika’s mother run the 100 meters.”
The guest speakers were excellent and they were giants from the corporate world. They each gave a clear picture to the students of what the ‘job-hunting’ dilemma was and ways and means to get through the needle-gate. Question and answer sessions was the highlight.
On the final day the students gave presentations in English. No they were not speaking Shakespearean and not elocution- perfect pronunciation. They did at times mix their P to Fs and Fs to Ps and could not get out of the ‘bus is-tand.’ But they had the confidence to express, courage to believe in themselves and stood up like Trojans going to battle against the life-long enemy – the English language.
Yes, at least now they have an idea what colour their parachute is.
Some companies with great generosity have promised internships to these students. That is the biggest encouragement, just the opportunity to go into a reputed office and see what it is all about. Perhaps a chance to impress a superior and gain employment will be nothing less than a distant dream come true.
The entire course was given free including the food for the participants. Citi Bank NY gets full credit. The next course will start soon for another 20 students.
Those interested please contact Dhananath who runs the project 0775080256 or Romesh 0777514394 from CandleAid.