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Barista training programme brews life skills, self-sufficiency for youth

By JT - Oct 04,2019 - Last updated at Oct 04,2019

Participants in a barista training programme pose for a photo during their graduation ceremony in Amman on Thursday (Photo courtesy of WFP)

AMMAN — A graduation ceremony was held in Amman on Thursday for nine young men and women who successfully completed a barista (coffee-making) training programme — part of a joint project by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and Dar Abu Abdallah (DAA). 

The programme provides vocational training for around 230 youth from across country who are living in poverty and receive food assistance from DAA’s sister organisation Tkiyet Um Ali, according to a WFP statement. The training supports 18- to 24-year-olds in their transition to adulthood by giving them skills that will help them find jobs, gain confidence and become independent.  

As well as learning how to make a perfect cappuccino, the new baristas also learned about coffee types, coffee recipes, different production techniques and customer service during their month-long course. 

“I feel so proud of myself. It’s my first step in my adult life,” said 19-year-old Sara. 

Another participant, 22-year-old Diana Sabbagh, said she found a new confidence to communicate with customers and colleagues, especially within a work environment that includes both men and women. 

Director General of DAA Samer Balkar said that the training approach was designed to be comprehensive. 

“It’s a complete training cycle for the participants – providing them with both soft skills and technical skills to start a career, while also helping to meet the needs of Jordan’s labour market,” Balkar said.

Sarah Gordon-Gibson, WFP’s country director and representative in Jordan, told the group that they represent the future. 

“Jordan is such a young country and one of WFP’s objectives is to invest in young people, equipping them with knowledge and skills that will help them to find work and support themselves,” she said. 

In addition to the barista training, other groups of young men and women are being trained in butchery, kitchen management, dessert making and cooking. They also learn more general life skills to prepare them for employment, including how to present themselves at an interview — a small detail that can make a big difference — their chances of finding a job.    

 Courses are already under way in Amman, Jerash and Irbid governorates. Further courses will be held in Karak, Mafraq, Zarqa, Balqa and Aqaba during the next month.

Meanwhile, newly skilled baristas Diana and Sara are contemplating their future — both eventually want to set up their own business. 

“I dream of becoming an entrepreneur... so I can help people like me find a job and a future,” Sabbagh said. 

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