Judged bythe waythey dress and look, street youths are often neglected and rejected by society. Left totheir own devices,they resort to petty crimes.
Ricochet Café is a humble café located atthe Mutual Rumana building inthe nation’s capital. What set this establishment apart fromthe thers arethe employees of this small cafe.
They are not trained chefs or experienced cooksthey are comprised mostly of unemployed youth, most of whom are street youths.
The cafe, which has been running for a little over a year, has seen its share of hardships. After relocating twice from Koki to Hohola, it has now found its niche inthe heart of Waigani’s government district.
Lydia Kailap, who has been inthe country for over a decade is a chef by profession and runsthe café withthe help of her husband Peter.
Through this, she is able to teachthe youththe trades of running a small café as well as managerial roles withthe hopes thatthey one day can manage and run businesses ontheir own.
The recent government focus on developing local SME’s has been a ray of sunlight for Ricochet Café and ther similar SME’s.
Minister of Trade and Commerce, Richard Maru atthe IBeM LLeadersip Awards last week announced thatthe proposed SME act will be brought tothe cabinet and parliament for debate.
With continuous support and protection fromthe governmentosmall businesses, such asthe Ricochet Café andthe youth who work here have an avenue for empowerment.
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