For a whole week, Sharjah Girl Guides (SGG) provided 15 Guides (aged 12-15 years) the opportunity to learn about specialty coffee-making at a unique five-day summer programme, the ‘Barista Academy’ which ran until July 5. This has been followed by ‘Savoir Vivre’, a five-day etiquette programme, which has 25 Guides and Senior Guides (16–18 years) engaged until July 12.
Learning about the magic inside coffee beans, and getting all hands-on with machines, milk and grinders, the 15 guides discovered everything they need to know about specialty coffee and how it is turned from seed to one of the most popular beverages worldwide.
From theory to practice, the different stages of the programme taught its young participants key basic techniques used by baristas; from grinding, tamping and extraction to coffee cupping, milk texturing, machine cleaning and latte art.
This week’s programme – ‘Savoir Vivre’ or knowledge of life – is all about developing core social skills like punctuality, the ability to handle pressure situations positively, cross-cultural appreciation, and personal grooming including dining and hospitality etiquette.
Shaikha Abdulaziz Al Shamsi, Manager of SGG, said: “We dedicated two programmes exclusively for our Guides and Senior Guides this year, to keep them engaged through innovative topics, while equipping them with general knowledge and fun, practical skills. The Barista programme has really ignited interest and curiosity among participants, who had a great deal of fun learning about the origins and history of this hugely successful beverage, its production process, and the art of making coffee that looks and tastes great.”
She added: “From a simple thing like a good handshake to great communication skills, intelligent social media use, self-esteem, to learning about other cultures and even the finer joys of an afternoon tea activity are being covered at the Savoir Vivre programme, which is now underway. SGG believes in equipping its young members with the kind of knowledge and social skills which will help them make a lasting impression in society, take up leading responsibilities at work, and enrich the lives of future generations.”
Established in the UAE in Sharjah in 1973, the guiding movement subsequently spread to all seven emirates, giving rise to the Girl Guides Association of the United Arab Emirates in 1979. Sharjah Girl Guides operates under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and Chairperson of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs (SCFA), and aims to inspire and nurture future generations to become progressive global citizens by providing a platform to develop to their fullest potential.