Anantara plans big dreams with Minor Hope

Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2016, a testament to the company’s values of offering outstanding guest experiences by connecting discerning travellers to the indigenous in each unique destination; simultaneously, as part of our on-going efforts towards sustainable tourism, Anantara actively supports the local communities in which it operates so that sustainable growth is woven into the hotel operations.

It is this foundation of involvement and sense of community that inspired the Anantara Maldives team to develop Minor Hope, a landmark initiative to instil hope among the country’s underprivileged youths through vocational guidance, education and welfare.

The overarching objective of Minor Hope is to use the Maldives’ main economic driver – tourism – to kindle optimism amongst the underprivileged youths in orphanages and underdeveloped island communities through job prospects in hospitality.

To achieve this, the management team of the cluster of Anantara hotels in the South Male Atoll, namely Anantara Dhigu Resort, Anantara Veli Resort and Naladhu Maldives, has partnered with the Ministry of Law and Gender to create this pioneering programme.

Slated to be launched mid-February 2017, the objective of Minor Hope is to be inspiringly unique in nature, a sustainable CSR initiative linked to the Hospitality industry. The initiative will provide a viable platform for the development and growth of the country’s less privileged youth.

The team is working with the relevant authorities on the programme structure which is planned to cover a one-year training stint for each participant. Following the completion of their internship, the young adults will be given the opportunity to work in any of the Anantara Maldives resorts, or potentially, other Minor properties in the Maldives.

This project is championed by the resorts’ Director of Human Resources, Rizan Ali Afeef: “Minor Hope will not only help these youths to prepare and progress in a chosen occupation in this industry, but also provide the exposure and opportunities of training, development and on-the-job learning. The camaraderie of the team members here will be a support system as we look after their welfare coupled with their day-to-day needs.”

For Rizan, Minor Hope is the realisation of a personal dream that he has long held close to his heart. He adds, “We want Minor Hope to create a sense of ownership among the unemployed youths and give them a real sense of purpose. I personally am grateful to the company for its values which is why it makes sense to share these with the disadvantaged in the wider Maldives community.”

Coetzer Deysel, the General Manager for the three resorts, expressed his commitment to Minor Hope and sees the two-fold benefits of this initiative, “We are taking an active step towards alleviating poverty in the Maldives, but beyond this, we are creating opportunities for these youths to have a positive life and self-identity. I am more than confident that we can build even further on the current sense of community among our team members and inspire them to be exemplary role models for today’s younger generation.”

The Anantara Maldives team is excited to welcome the first group of candidates and to play an active part in building future leaders for the Maldives. As the champion of Minor Hope, Rizan is not afraid to dream big. “This could very well gain international recognition and become a global initiative one day,” he enthused.

“Minor Hotels head office sees this as test initiative and if it is the success we believe it will be other disadvantaged youths across the world will benefit such as in the Maldives.”