Saturday, January 15, 2011

Project Dignity


The school gets visitors every day. Since the notice board was set up in the front of the school. We get passer by esquiring about the school and its objectives. There was a teacher from Germany, a martial art exponent who has a school to teach disabled children, a social worker from Hong Kong who is keen to replicate Dignity Kitchen in China, a Malaysian princess who also want to do this school in KL, among the many local people who come to the school. This is before we publicise the school. Some of them heard of the from friends while others are people who stays in the hotel around the area.

The question is "Is Dignity Kitchen scalable?" The answer is yes.

The business model caters to the poor and the disabled based on the concept of food on a common platform of food court. Every country in this region has poor and disabled who revolves their lives around food (most of them do) and goes to food court for their meal.

There are plan for expansion but this will be another blog......

A lady called today with a complaint. A boy working in my Dignity Kitchen was very abusive toward her last night. The boy who is autistic stared at her and when she ignored her stare, he shouted at her. She got frightened and walk away.

The experience must have disturbed her badly. She called wanting to make a complaint but I told her we do not have an autistic student at that moment. I told her I will investigate and revert back to her. It turns out that the boy is the son of one of the cleaner. As he is not doing anything at home the mother decided to bring her to the food court to help her.

There is two sides to this story, which I will not elaborate. But why this sharing. This is to explain people's reaction to autistic children when their behavior become disturbing. How do you react? The answer is to stay calm and compose. Aggressiveness only aggravate the situation. If their parents or caregiver are around, they are the best people to calm them down.