Skills and abilities are beyond what mere eyes can see.
Green Windows Dormitel, a hotel located in Davao City, Philippines, has an average of 3.5-star rating in online booking sites. But if people are going to rate this hotel according to ingenuity and being inclusive, a 10-star mark will be an understatement.
Recently, Green Windows hosted a graduation ceremony for at least seven people with Down Syndrome after completing a 10-day internship—proving that people with special needs are different, but never less.
There were no dry eyes during the graduation ceremony. Guests, parents, and hotel employees were stunned, moved, and inspired, especially when the graduates interpreted the song “Glowing Inside,” an inspirational song usually played during graduation ceremonies in the Philippines.
A compilation of graduation photos posted on the hotel’s official Facebook account shows that the internship covered basic hospitality duties, including housekeeping, guest relations, and hotel administration.
What provided an extra push for the interns were tangible evidence of the hotel’s inclusivity as students were given identification cards that state “I am on training and ready to serve you.”
But the hotel did not just train them, they also enabled the interns to continue their jobs by giving out a certificate of completion and copies of their individual resumes.
According to Pia Sto. Domingo, sales and marketing head of Green Windows, the internship program is the hotel’s contribution to continue the fight to end stigma.
“We realized that development comes with inclusion. People with down syndrome are welcoming. We felt the urge to provide opportunities for them to work by giving them trainings,” Sto. Domingo said.
Green Windows partnered with Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines (DSAPI) – Davao Branch.
The partnership entails that after their training at Green Windows, the interns can be tapped for other opportunities with DSAPI’s corporate partners.
Capturing hearts online:
Green Windows’ move sparked the netizens’ outcry for equality and the call for other companies to push for inclusivity and adopt the same advocacy.
Facebook user Allyza May Rodis lauded the hotel for treating the interns differently: “The problem is not actually about the person’s disability, the problem is the society’s view of the person’s ability. This post is so heartwarming.”
Another Facebook user Boyet Ayala shared the same sentiment: “Love this initiative! More business establishments should be more welcoming in employing people with special needs! A humane society should support businesses that hire special needs people!”
As of writing, a Facebook post that contains the interns’ photos has gathered 13,000 reactions, nearly 500 comments, and over 11,700 shares.
A certain Cahar shared this powerful comment : “Let’s empower them! Let them feel the essence of equality.”
Photos via Green Windows Hotel’s Facebook page.