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In Singapore, people with disabilities or special needs are still largely excluded from the mainstream job market. Dignity Kitchen offers training in culinary skills as a means to secure professional autonomy, financial independence and dignity as active members of society.
Launched in 2010, Dignity Kitchen (part of Project Dignity) offers professional training in the culinary and hospitality sector, for people with special needs and from disadvantaged backgrounds. The school is located in Singapore, where people with special needs still experience difficulty accessing job opportunities. The scheme helps them to discover new trades and skills and become active, independent members of a society that has often side-lined and ignored them in the past.
Dignity Kitchen is a working food court featuring a range of stands celebrating Singapore’s world-renowned street food tradition. Participants on the programme are trained in the full range of street food skills, from preparation and cooking to sales, in professional conditions, in contact with the public at large. The scheme offers innovative teaching for professional autonomy and independence, taking account of each participant’s needs and abilities, and using specially adapted equipment: braille cash registers, height-adjustable counters, one-handed cooking devices etc.
Dignity Kitchen recognises the need for people with disabilities to access long-term work opportunities in mainstream society. To this end, the scheme also offers training options for job-seekers, helping them to acknowledge and feel comfortable working alongside colleagues with special needs.
The project was selected for support by the Fondation d’entreprise Hermès as part of the H³ programme: Head – heart – hand.