HITT Mali – Developing trainings for Cooks

The High Impact Tourism Training (HITT) team in Mali has successfully carried out the first training of trainers and training of beneficiaries on ‘Traditional Malian Cooking’.

The six days course, which took place between the 12th and the 19th of July 2012 inBamako, involved 6 trainers and 42 beneficiaries. These trainings were held and delivered at Centre Aoua Keita (CAK), the SNV Malian partner of the HITT program.

This course on ‘Traditional Malian Cooking’ was developed in order to increase the offer of traditional Malian dishes cooked for tourists. The rational of this intervention lies on findings from the inception analysis conducted in 2011, which evidenced that tourists are eager to discover this part of the Malian culture and that an intervention like this could enhance the development of businesses linkages at the community level between local agricultural producers and the tourism industry (as the cooking products used in traditional dishes are locally cultivated).

To guarantee effectiveness and high impact of the training, Centre of Aoua Keita developed the training curricula in close consultation with small restaurant owners and cooks, who in this case are both private sector and end beneficiaries. These close consultation and collaboration allowed CAK to identify the relevant topics and content of the training, to develop a better understanding of the constraints of target beneficiaries, and to structure training delivery strategies according to beneficiaries’ needs and learning constraints. The outcome of these processes resulted in the following four training modules and respective training materials:

  • Traditional dishes
  • Hygiene
  • Food preservation
  • Marketing and hospitality

Training of trainers approach followed: 

The ToT sessions were led by the CAK experts who build the curriculum and TVET local experts. The ToT course had three components: (i) technical skills related to the subjects to be trained; (ii) training planning, delivery (including organization of logistics) and evaluation; and (iii)  training on HITT learning principles (andragogy and active learning).

To ensure successful learning of HITT training methods, future trainers had an active role and participation during the training of beneficiaries, taking an ‘assistant’ role in the training of beneficiaries.

Training of beneficiaries: 

A total of 42 cooks and managers of small restaurants were trained over a period of 6 days. To ensure training fits to the usual working conditions of trainees, most of the training was held in an outside kitchen. Only the marketing and kitchen hygiene module took place in a classroom environment.

At the end of the training, most of the trainees were enthusiastic about what they learned. The following summarizes some observations made by beneficiaries after the training:

  • “I used to put stock cube in all my meals, but now I’ve learned better way to cook without it”
  • “From now on, I will propose a special offer for my faithful customers”
  • “I already ordered a special material to do the doughnuts we have learned, as I am sure it will be a success in my restaurant”
  • “I used to keep the “millet and peanut couscous” for the banquets, but I will add it on my weekly menu”
  • “I was very interested by the marketing course, and I am going to propose new services such as caterer or delivery”
  • “I am now going to prospect the companies located around my restaurant”
  • “I now will limit the amount of sugar I used to put in the doughnuts, and replace it by eggs. Besides, I won’t put anymore milk as it makes them burn”.

If you are interested, the following video explains the HITT Mali Training on Cooking & Hygiene for Small Restaurants in Bamako: “Click here to download”

Learning and next steps: 

By the time this news was written, CAK has been approached by 80 new beneficiaries who have heard about our training and are interested to be part in next training sessions! Beyond this encouraging news and trainees’ satisfaction, this first training is allowing us to adjust the curricula and training materials to the needs of the trainees. For example, we will add two meals, a sauce, and a local juice to the previous programme. Moreover, we realised that two sessions on the same day is too much, as people cannot free themselves to attend classes early in the morning; and that it would be best to have only one session per week with two trainers (one master trainer and one assistant) leading the course.

Next sessions are planned for the end of Ramadan (beginning of September 2012), inBamakobut also in Kayes, since the trainers from Kayes have been already trained.

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