The Asian Housekeepers’ Association held a special meeting of hospitality housekeepers at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka. In keeping with its agenda to strengthen the member countries, AHA, which formally launched during the International Housekeepers’ Summit in September 2017, initiated the process with Sri Lanka where the hospitality segment is fast catching up.
Representing AHA were Hari Krishnan, Founder-General Secretary, Maldives Housekeepers Forum and Sonia Mital, Founder Member & Head-CSR, Events, Communications,I-Professional Housekeepers Association, India and Dhammika Dasanayake, Founder- General Secretary, Sri Lankan Housekeepers’ Association.
Opening the meet, Dhammika welcomed the 40 housekeepers from leading hotels to the Sri Lankan Housekeepers’ Association. This was also for the first time the housekeepers had gathered together in such large numbers in Sri Lanka. The housekeepers were sensitized on the need for redefining housekeeping, especially in the wake of the influx of MNCs in the hospitality segment in Sri Lanka. Elated with the prospect of learning from the international community and improving standards, the housekeepers unanimously extended support to the cause and agreed to work together with Dhammika in expanding the SLHA. The next meeting of the association is scheduled for January 2018.
Initiating Dhammika into AHA, Hari Krishnan presented him with the AHA pin. Explaining the roadmap set by MHF, Hari said that housekeepers in that country got exposed to the international community for the first time at the International Housekeepers’ Summit held in 2016 at Mumbai. More than 30 housekeepers had travelled all the way to attend the summit in 2016 and in 2017.
Extending her gratitude, Sonia Mital presented the entire journey of I-PHA, which is the largest housekeepers’ association in Asia. “We have more than 800 members and are still growing.” On behalf of I-PHA, Sonia presented a token of appreciation to Dhammika. The housekeepers were inspired with the video presentation of I-PHA and were looking forward to create a similar feat in the home front.
Housekeeping in Sri Lanka faces similar challenges as the rest of Asia. In an open forum, Mohana M, Editor-Clean India Journal, interacted with the delegates to understand the issues facing them. Some of the observations include lack of formal training, skilled manpower, SOPs, formal knowledge of housekeeping in MNC hotels, knowledge of cleaning equipment and costeffective planning among others.
With a lot of learning at the meet, the delegates are set to come back for more during the International Housekeepers’ Summit 2018 in Colombo.