Magnolia completed her apprenticeship as a baker and confectioner through the “broadening horizons” project in Brazil. Thanks to the experience, she now has a renewed purpose in life.
Magnolia had no drive – she had no motivation to get up in the morning because she had no job, expectations, plans, dreams or prospects. After finishing school, Magnolia had looked for a job for several years but to no avail. This is not uncommon in the megacity of Guarulhos, which directly borders São Paulo. Together with her 61-year-old grandmother, the now 20-year-old lived in a one-bedroom apartment, which she could hardly pay for without a fixed income. Since she always liked to bake, she tried to earn some extra money by selling birthday cakes. “At the time, cooking and baking was just one way to support my family,” she adds. “I would never have believed that the training at LSG Sky Chefs would give me the opportunity to make it part of my profession and that it would become my passion.”
A wide range of training
Everything changed for Magnolia the day her sister told her about the advertisement for the project. Immediately she realized, “that’s where I belong.” Broadening Horizons, as the program is called, not only allows 30 disadvantaged young people aged between 17 and 22 from communities around São Paulo Airport (GRU) to train as bakers or confectioners, it can open opportunities for them in the general labor market. “It is also custom-made to fulfill the need for skilled production workers and provides all students with a skill set that qualifies them for ample employment within the food-service industry,” explains Katrin Dalibor, LSG Group’s Director of Business and Strategy Development and Communication for Latin America.
Team work makes the dream work
LSG Sky Chefs employees designed the project in collaboration with the Lufthansa Group’s Help Alliance. It includes courses ranging from the basics of management, law, communication, entrepreneurship and nutrition to practical modules on hygiene, work safety, handling appliances, reading recipes and cooking. The apprenticeship takes half a year to complete. LSG Sky Chefs provides the ingredients for the practical training, a kitchen and its appliances. Help Alliance’s funds cover the students’ transportation to school, along with the teachers’ salaries. “The fact that the project also covered the cost of the bus to work made it possible for me to participate in the first place,” says Magnolia. “Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to afford it.”
A support network for the students
“The trainees faced many difficulties along the way, but today they can dream bigger,” says Mauricio Valdivino LSG Group’s Communication Coordinator in Latin America. He has been involved since it all started in February 2017. Because times can get tough for people like Magnolia, a mentoring program was also established based on corporate volunteering, in order to ensure that students continued to attend classes by offering them all of the necessary support. “This project changed the lives of many students who, before Broadening Horizons, had no future prospects,” Mauricio adds. “Today, most of them are employed at our company and many support their families financially. So, this is very gratifying.”
She’s the pride of her family
Magnolia graduated fourth in her class: “My grandmother was so proud during the graduation ceremony. She had never imagined that one of us would ever get the chance to complete a proper apprenticeship.” The young woman has big plans for the future. “I want to gain more experience and maybe become self-employed at some point.” With the training, discipline and motivation also found their way into Magnolia’s life: “I’m happy and grateful to finally have something worth getting up for in the morning.”