As a part of the partnership between Bvlgari and Save the Children, three students were chosen to travel from Bolivia to Italy for a once in a lifetime opportunity to train and work with world renowned Chef Niko Romito
Established in 2016 by Save the Children in partnership with Bvlgari, a Youth Empowerment Program was implemented in four countries, including the African countrey of Bolivia. The program aims to provide youths aged 14 to 20, who are in vunerable situations, with new personal and professional skills that will help them through life and allow them to achieve their potential and goals they never thought possible.
In Bolivia, the lack of economic opportunities and high unemployment rates expose young people to poverty and mean a high risk of exploitation. The Youth Empowerment model aims to help reduce this risk and empower these young people, allowing them to have a better chance in life. So far, over 8,000 youths and more than 4,000 adults have benefitted from the program in nine states of Bolivia. A 3.4 million dollar donation was made by Bvlgari to help achieve the goals over a five-year period.
In 2018, twenty two students of the Bvlgari and Save the Children’s Youth Empowerment Program in Bolivia took part in special training with three Michelin-starred Chef Niko Romito, who has restaurants in many of the Bvlgari Hotels worldwide. The project saw Romito travel to La Paz in Bolivia, to deliver an education on the art of baking with young students. The world-famous chef taught children and teens how to bake for their own families, with a special focus on baking bread.
This year, the second part of this project saw three of the youngsters from the group being given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to travel to Italy and continue their training with Niko Romito in his home country. The three chosen youths included siblings Claudia and Oscar as well as aspiring chef Juan Louis. All three were travelling outside of their home country for the first time. The three visited the region of Abruzzo – where Niko Romito born and the location of his prestigious restaurants Reale, Bread Laboratory and Academy. Here they were given the opportunity to train and work with the chef in his own restaurants.
Claudia and Oscar baked fragrant bread, also taking part in the delicate preparation of traditional desserts including the famous bombe at the Bread Laboratory.
Jean Luis got to experience the meticulous work that lies behind a sophisticated dish and impeccable service at Reale restaurant. The three students spent one intense week immersing themselves in the kitchen environment, learning new skills and gaining confidence and a better awareness of their potential.
After the project Claudia sent a letter to Niko Romito with a message that read; “Your support has given me the strength to believe that, no matter what, I will succeed in fulfilling my dreams.”