MIT Lends Aid to Students Displaced by Tsunami
Monday 2 November 2009
Six trainee chefs’ have been flown to New Zealand from Samoa after damage from the recent Tsunami threatened to cut short their studies.
Manukau Institute of Technology’s (MIT), School of Culinary and Hospitality came to the students’ aid when it learned of their plight.
Some swift organising by the MIT staff saw the students arrive in Auckland on Sunday, ready to begin their practical training in the kitchens.
The students of the National University of Samoa (NUS) had been poised to don their aprons for practical experience in the kitchens of top resorts in Samoa when the tsunami hit the island causing immense damage.
Craig Lucas, lecturer at MIT, had arrived in Samoa at NUS just days before the tsunami hit. “All our plans could no longer go ahead, but the damage was so devastating and we still wanted to help somehow,” says Mr Lucas.
“We have a long standing working relationship with the Samoan communities both here in New Zealand and in Samoa,” says Toleafoa Sina Aiolupotea-Aiono, at MIT. “We have been engaged in a number of assistance initiatives for Samoa and are pleased to be able to sponsor these students into our existing exchange programme.”
Other organizations have come to the students’ aid, with the Holiday Inn Airport Hotel, the Hotel Grand Chancellor and Kings College all offering to host the students. These young students will have the added advantage of being hotel patrons as they are hosted in New Zealand, which is sure to add valuable customer perspectives as they train in the hospitality industry.