Kaluga gives scholarship to ward of the state
At nine years old, Timothy* was recruited by his father to assist with making soup for the family dinner. Seeing his father masterfully make his way around the kitchen, dishing out directions, adding ingredients, and tending to the soup, all made the magic of cooking come alive before Timothy's eyes.
The soup itself was just as remarkable, and it was forever etched in his memory. Six years on, despite the death of his father and being transplanted to a boys' home in rural Jamaica, then eventually to Sunbeam Boys' Home in St Catherine, Timothy has kept the memories of that day alive. At 15 years old, it is as vivid as the day it happened, pushing him towards his dream of becoming a chef.
Upon hearing of Timothy's dream, Adrian Samuda, CEO of the Kaluga Group, decided to reach out to the youngster to provide financial assistance and mentorship to help him accomplish his goals. Samuda recently hosted Timothy at Kaluga KafÈ in Old Harbour, St Catherine, for 'A day in the life of a chef', introducing him to the basics of the culinary arts.
"For the last two consecutive years, I've hosted Sunbeam Boys' Home with two Christmas treats. First, here at Kaluga Kafe to give them a unique dining experience, while improving and building their social etiquette skills. Then last December, at the home itself, my team treated them to a fun day with games, prizes and a Christmas dinner," Samuda said. "I decided this time around to invest in the future of the culinary industry by selecting a child from the same boys' home with an interest in being a chef. Upon hearing Timothy's story, I knew I could make a meaningful impact by coaching him and helping to keep the flame of his dream alive."
Samuda will be providing financial support in the form of an annual $50,000 bursary to finance the youngster when he is transferred to Cumberland High School this month. He said the aim is to ensure Timothy's dream is realised through mentorship and financial assistance over a two-year period.
"When I was his age, I was lost in the high-school system and I was coming last in my class. The only person who kept inspiring hope in me was my mother. I want to have a direct, positive impact on someone out there who might be feeling lost, but still has dreams. Timothy has a dream, he just needs to be moulded, motivated and nurtured the right way."
Desmond Whitely, superintendent at Sunbeam Boys' Home, commended Samuda for the support he has been extending. "Adrian and his team have been very supportive, and I am happy to see that he has taken on this opportunity to have a life-changing impact on one of our boys. This move speaks volumes for his support of his community and his investment in Jamaica."
As for Samuda's vision for Timothy, he said, "I hope to see him realise his dream and possibly be one of Kaluga's or Jamaica's top chefs, and I hope to be able to share his success story one day."