New Swiss / Kenyan training partnership goes ‘live’


(Some of the BIHC faculty staff and students at last Saturday’s induction ceremony)

As the Kenya Red Cross Society completes its first fifty years of service to the nation can the organization put another feather in its already richly decorated cap. A few years ago did the Kenya Red Cross enter the hospitality market when first the Red Court Inn was built at the RCS compound in Nairobi before launching their Boma Hotels brand in 2012. It was then that the 5star Boma Hotel was opened in September of that year and the Red Court Inn renamed as the Boma Inn Nairobi. Then followed the opening of the Boma Inn Eldoret in 2013 with plans advancing to expand the group’s existing conference facility in Nyeri into another Boma Inn. Not resting on its laurels though has the hotel group, owned fully by the Kenya Red Cross Society and all profits going directly towards the organization’s operations, entered the domain of hospitality training. The Boma International Hospitality College is a partnership between Boma Hotels and Swiss Alpine Center and after a flurry of activities since earlier this year finally launched courses on Monday this week. The first intake was reportedly fully subscribed and aspiring hospitality students can now apply for the October intake. The students enrolled for the Swiss Higher Diploma in Hotel Management, the Diploma in Culinary Arts, and Diploma in Food & Beverage Operations & Supervision all received their student handbooks and schedules, and were briefed on the Intranet that will facilitate their learning during the induction ceremony last Saturday. They, many of them with their parents in attendance, were introduced to the faculty staff and given a tour of the state-of-the-art campus that is located in the Red Cross Society / Boma Hotels compound in the South C estate of Nairobi. Classes then started on Monday this week and as the week comes to a close has a routine began to settle in for the students and their teachers. Apart from the Kenya Utalii College, incidentally founded in the early 1970’s by the Swiss government before being handed over to the Kenyan government, has the new BIHC entered the top tier of hospitality training in the East African region, with students being accepted not just from Kenya but from other countries too. Swiss hospitality training is recognized as among the best in the world with a blend of theory and practicals, and the vicinity to the two hotels, the 5star Boma Hotel and the 3star Boma Inn Nairobi makes it possible to give the students constant exposure to the workplace environment as they rotate from the classrooms to their training stations. The faculty staff presents a good mix of Swiss experts and locally recruited Kenyans, all of whom have enough experience and were selected for their ability to adapt to the Swiss inspired curriculum and training methods, which have catapulted Swiss Alpine into the lead wherever they have established campuses around the world. In addition to the regular teaching staff has the BIHC also made arrangements with a number of hospitality and tourism professionals, including this correspondent, to offer periodic guest lectures, imparting workplace experience to the students from their specific fields of expertise. Congratulations to the Kenya Red Cross Society, Boma Hotels, the Boma International Hospitality College and the Swiss Alpine Centre on reaching this watershed moment, when affordable Swiss hospitality training has come to Kenya.