Learning at Tigray

Today’s post is very important to us. We have been supporting and promoting volunteering programmes for a while now, but this is the first time we have had the opportunity to participate in an international volunteering project: the Adgoro Lodge hotel project in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Manos Unidas, a Spanish Non-Governmental Organization for Development (DNGO) aimed at fighting poverty, hunger, malnutrition, disease, lack of education, underdevelopment and its causes, has been working for a while on the design and implementation of an ambitious project: the economic and social development in the region. Framed in this objective, we are helping to create a School hotel in the region of Tigray (Ethiopia).

Our collaboration in this volunteering project consists on the advice and contribution of the know-how (Pro-bono Initiative) of our employees as specialists in the management of hotel establishments, guaranteeing international standards through meetings with the NGO (Manos Unidas) and NH Hoteles (by business area) aiming to share our experience, possible ideas and recommendations, providing tools, materials and advice on the best guidelines to ensure the best working order of the future establishment. Different departments such as Project Engineering and Construction, Purchasing, Management, Human Resources and Training, Quality and Customer Service, Food and Beverage, Hygiene and Maintenance were involved in this project.

This November, culminating collaboration and preparation the opening, a turning point for the project’s success, NH HR identified two employees who have the profile that is needed in a pre-opening and, in recognition of a long history in NH, have traveled to Ethiopia for a month to make sure everything is ready with rigorous planning and well-defined objectives. They are Ada Pérez and Giovanni Arrigoni.

Ada has been working in NH Hotels since 1997, and she currently works as front desk manager NH Les Corts, in Barcelona.

“When I received the proposition to come to Ethiopia to collaborate with the NGO Manos Unidas to help out with my expertise I was really happy. I couldn’t believe it! I’ve never collaborate with an NGO and I thought that having the possibility to show what I’ve been doing for 14 years in my job, it would be a dream.”

Giovanni works in NH Fiera, in Milano and he is the in charge of the restaurant, he is I’m the second chef.

“When I received the proposition to be part of the project of Manos Unidas, I was very curious and interessed, specially because it was a project as a volunteer in a continent I’ve never been before: Africa.”

We are hoping to get the chance to talk to them in the near future so we can tell you all about their incredible experience in Ethiopia.


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