Happy cooking in Thailand - We did it !

15 young disabled people trained to cook
April 07, 2022
Soeur Albina
We did it

The project

This culinary training project in Khon Kaen, Thailand was launched in mid-December, after being postponed due to the spread of Covid19, and will last for one year until December 2022.

15 adults with intellectual disabilities signed up on a voluntary basis: 5 young women and 10 young men.

In order to comply with the pandemic safety guidelines, we have divided the group into 3 so that each of them will follow a 2 and ½ hour training per day in complete safety.

The size of the small groups and the daily learning time were based on their learning abilities. This is the most important factor to take into account when teaching these young people.

The training process follows several steps:

- Presentation of the activity and the equipment to be used
- Sanitary preparation of the students (head coverings and aprons). Switching on and off the gas cooker
- Identification, cleaning and drying of equipment
- Identifying and remembering the different vegetables and nutrients for each food preparation- 
- Preparing and setting up the dishes

Evaluation tests are held every 3 months. The aim is to check the progress of each student and to help them with the more difficult points.

The course always starts with an introduction by the kitchen safety trainers.

This is followed by instruction on how to cut meat and vegetables, how to prepare them and how to cook them. The trainees then demonstrate, one by one, what they have seen and learned.

They take the dishes home for their families to see and taste. This cooked meal is for some the only meal of the day.

Impact on students

We are already observing a development of self-confidence in the students, a joy and pride in participating in this beautiful project and in sharing this experience with their families who also benefit from the outcome of their training and learning.

Cooking their own food is a big deal for them, an achievement that motivates them to come regularly to the training.

Problem encountered

The pandemic and the increase in the number of cases led to the closure of the school and the introduction of online teaching during the start of the training. The observation of government restrictions and the fear of parents who were not sure to send their children to school affected the organisation of the school. Thus, of the 15 enrolled, 4 dropped out for the following reasons: 1 moved away, 1 was no longer interested in the training and the parents of 2 young people were afraid to send their child to the training because they were not vaccinated. We managed to complete the groups with new students on the waiting list.

Story of a beneficiary

Worathep Wilaisut, 27, grew up under the care of his parents. He was very dependent because of his disability and had never really had any opportunities to develop his independence. He has been attending the Daughters of Charity Centre for several years and his learning skills have gradually developed. Today, he is one of the very enthusiastic beneficiaries of the "Joyful Cooking in Thailand" project and is thus strengthening his training to become more self-reliant. We hope that by continuing this training he will gain the confidence to find a job and earn a living.

The training will continue until the end of 2022, which will allow students to progress as they go along so that they can master the kitchen sufficiently to find a job on leaving. The aim is to make them confident in their abilities.

Thank you, dear donors, for supporting them and for having confidence in their ability to become actors in their lives.