EHLsmile is a non-profit organization created in 1996 by a group of students from the Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne with the focus of creating a hospitality training center for war orphans in the Jari village in Ethiopia.

EHL’s Director at the time, Mr Jean-Louis Aeshlimann, agreed to support the project and allowed students to complete their internships at the Jari Hotel School, and asked several professors to coach the students in their work. The concept was born.

The objective of the association is to support hospitality-oriented vocational training centers for underpriviledged youths in devloping countries while promoting and encouraging sustainable toursim practices.

The association collaborates with NGOs and GOs as a techincal consultant, with its main tasks being:

  • Fundraising through the organization of events (sponsor runs, gala dinners, theatre productions) to support investments in professional equipment and to cover the travel costs of volunteers.
  • Pedagogical support, in the form of setting up the curriculum, writing course manuals and providing the necessary teaching material.
  • Obtaining local credibility and support, in the form of agreements with local hoteliers for student internships and future employment.
  • Training the trainers, by providing assistance both on pedagogical and content competencies.
  • Quality control, to ensure the continuation of the school as an independent entity.  

The association is composed of a “student” committee that changes on a semester basis, and a “professor / staff” committee that ensures the long-term follow-up on projects. All members of EHLsmile participate on a purely voluntary basis.