Banyan Tree sows the seeds of sustainability
The motto for the Seedlings Foundation speaks volumes: Plant a seed, change a life. In nations such as Vietnam and Thailand, this simple philosophy has guided dozens of disadvantaged youths off the streets and into a self-sustaining career in hospitality. Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, with collaborator the KOTO Foundation, launched the programme in November 2013 with the opening of Seedlings restaurant in Hoi An, a short distance from its property within the integrated resort, Laguna Lang Co. Guests and other visitors praised Seedlings, not just for its delicious traditional dishes, but for giving young people a chance at a new life, building skills in catering, marketing and accounting. Seedlings is now a company-wide mentorship initiative, allowing under-privileged locals to train alongside resort chefs, and saw the opening of the second standalone Seedlings restaurant in Phuket in July 2015.