International cooking class exam by jury

On June 11, Kamalini conducted the first formal assessment of the International Cooking Class that has been running since October 2010. The judges for the exam were Ms. Aurélie Gillmann-Rignault, President, Main Tendue, Ms. Claudia Dantas, Chef from Brazil and Mr. Mousim Sidana, Chef, Diva restaurant. For the exam, 13 students put in their hard work and artistic skills to cook three international recipes in an hour and a half. The jury judged them on various factors of technique, hygiene and appetizing presentation of their results. Mr. Sidana lauded their efforts and was left impressed at the professional standards of the dishes made by the students, most of who work as domestic workers. He has agreed to assist further by teaching some of the International Cooking sessions in September.

Pullman opens its doors to Kamalini students

Eleven Kamalini students along with some of the staff members were invited to Pullman Hotels on a tour. The students examined their operations and facilities to understand the applicability of whatever they learn at the Kamalini centres. They learned about their hotel chains and were also given a presentation by the Pullman team. They were taught about the various scopes to work with the hospitality sector and the exposure to their housekeeping skills, which the students had much interest in. It was then followed by a successful interview session of the students by the HR team of the Accor Group (Parent company of Pullman).

Visit of Ana Luz Huete, Chairperson of Fundacion DASYC

Kamalini was pleased to welcome the second visit of Ms. Ana Luz Huete, Chairperson of Fundacion DASYC (Spain) last week to evaluate the implementation of several projects that DASYC has supported along with the support of Bancaja for the student Production Centre and the Ayuntamiento de Valencia for the construction of the new campus. Ana Luz was really pleased to visit the construction site and the surrounding villages, to see how Kamalini has grown since her first visit in 2008, to meet the students and teachers, and to lead a brainstorm session with the Kamalini team. Thanks for your time and insights, Ana-Luz! All of us at Kamalini are so grateful for the hard work of so many volunteers and staff of DASYC to raise funds and awareness about Kamalini!

Visit to Indo British Garments, Faridabad

A four member Kamalini team consisting of trainers and staff visited the Indo British Garments factory of uniforms for G4S security on 7th May 2012 to observe the factory floor and determine the level of proficiency and training required for entry into jobs there, and how Kamalini training can be brought to that standard. Raj Khamboj, VP Manufacturing at IBG gave a detailed explanation of the various functions at the factory floor and the opportunities for work at the garment factory for Kamalini students. The team from Kamalini came away from the visit with ideas such as setting up a production line at the future training campus centre with machines comparable to the factory installations, training students in soft skills, and introducing them to the technicalities of the garment factory. After a month of relevant industry specific training at the production line, the students can be employed not just in their factory but in most garment manufacturing units.

Enthusiastic support for the Kamalini Campus Launch Event

Amid a garden setting hosted by the Trident Gurgaon, Maria Mendes, President of Educational & Development Initiatives, presented the vision and plans for the new Kamalini campus. Kamalini campus patron, Ritu Dalmia, a celebrity chef, author and entrepreneur of Diva Restaurants, gave a compelling appeal to "write big fat cheques" and to partner with Kamalini. Master of Ceremonies Charushilla Narula, Dean of Admissions and Student Affairs of the Indian School of Business and Finance, delighted everyone with her rendition of a ghazan about how there cannot be flowers without thorns. At the end of the evening, guests went home with cookies baked by Kamalini students following a recipe of Ritu Dalmia.

Ritu Dalmia appeal for Kamalini during the Kamalini Campus Launch Event

"All of us love to say "I wish to do this, and this are the changes we need", "things should be done for the betterment of society, community, women..." but when it comes to actually doing it, whether it's lack of time or whatever it may be, we don't really put our two penny bits in. So, my two penny bits that I'm committed to it's to train the trainers… and I have also roped my publisher to give a part of the proceeding of Traveling Diva as well as the next book to Kamalini. So… that's my bit! But, now let's come to the crux of the matter: your bit! Because you are here -it's very obvious- you care about this project, and if you care it's time to show some support. So money, cash, kind or your time, the choice is yours… but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do support. Thank you!"

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