Hotel Larimar in Stegersbach, Austria, has been a supporter of Sauti Kuu for years. Now, owner and operator Johann Haberl has offered a young man from Nairobi a very special glimpse into working life here: 19-year-old Desmond Herbert Muchoki is spending 2 months working as a trainee at the 4-star superior wellness hotel.

Whether it’s cooking in the gourmet health-food kitchen, preparing breakfast, making fine pastry specialities or working in day-to-day guest service – during his stay, the exuberant Desmond is familiarising himself with all of the areas of an established hotel. A world completely different to his daily life in his home country: Desmond grew up as a street child in Nairobi and lived with his mother and his two younger sisters in a small, corrugated-iron hut in a poor neighbourhood. Through the intercession of Sauti Kuu, hotelier Johann Haberl has already provided the teen with an apprenticeship as a baker – a skill the young man can use to earn a living in Nairobi.

Johann Haberl describes the reasons for his commitment: ‘Working with us, Desmond has an opportunity to gain experience in the upscale hotel sector. This will improve his chances of finding a job in his home country. Offering adolescents in Africa job prospects like this – enabling them to succeed in their own country, and stand on their own two feet – is very important to me personally’. The young man’s enthusiasm and curiosity, and the positive feedback on the part of guests at the Larimar, are confirmation of the hotelier’s decision.

In the effort to give other young people an opportunity to pursue their career dreams in their home country, we are looking for companies that would like to follow Johann Haberl’s example and can imagine offering a traineeship in their own company or some other form of support.