Monday, October 8, 2012

Dignity Kitchen

Dignity Kitchen is a social enterprise started by Mr Koh Seng Choon. It is truly an unique and inspiring set up to help the socially disadvantage from diverse background. They range from the hearing and sight impaired, intellectually challenged, autistic, Parkinson suffers, single mums, ex-prisoners....etc. Their age group is from teenagers to senior folks in their seventies.

At the moment it is not really self sustaining but Mr Koh is confident it will be, given another year or so. The food is good and there are many kind hearted folks helping out (eg. some of S'pore famous chefs).

There were many initial hiccups due to lack of govt support. Mr Koh has a frustrating time being directed from one govt organisations to another trying to get funding. In the end, he just did it on his own. Now that he has established Dignity Kitchen and proved that it is possible to train and prepare disable folks to run hawker stall and prepare them for job placements, our govt got interested with the publicity he has received. So after giving him 'hell' initially, they want to share the limelight.

Mr Koh is a visionary as he aims for IPO and to list the company in SGX in the near future. This will provide more seed money to enable him to reach out and do much more for this neglected sector of society, which our govt is not doing much to help.

Do drop by Dignity Kitchen with your friends and family. There are 11 stalls selling a wide variety of delicious food at reasonable price. There is a chicken rice stall run by an one-arm hawker. Seeing how he slice up the chicken 'single handed' shows that nothing is impossible at Dignity Kitchen.

It also has a drink stall manned by the hearing impaired duo. There is a poster to teach customer how to order their drinks using sign language. If you prefer the easy way, you can point to the item in the drink menu next to the counter. The soya bean drink is so fresh and yummy.

Then there is also a corner where paintings by a mentally challenged painter is displayed. They are for sale. There is also a book corner selling 2nd hand books run by single mums with many children to feed.

The place is very well run and efficient though service is at a slower pace. But the staff are all so cheerful and positive, it is just great.  It is just opposite Bedok North Secondary School. The address is 1 Kaki Bt View, Techview. It is on the ground floor. They operate from Mon to Fri. Weekends normally cater to company visits and events.

You can donate your books to them and organise your company function at their place. They are able to cater to activities run by their staff. You can interact with these folks and see first hand how positive they are not to let their disadvantage hinder them. 

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