In this day and age, lots of people have the habit of going cafe-hopping during the weekends to look for good coffee and pastries. Well, we have one place to recommend to you!
Located at Sungai Petani, Kedah, this cafe is run by children with special needs! They bake the bread themselves and at the same time, they make the coffee too!
This cafe is at the PEKAKA centre in Sungai Petani. PEKAKA (Parents’ Support Group for Children with Special Needs) is a society that focuses on providing assistance to special children in acquiring quality education.
The cafe was set up by the head of the Sungai Petani PEKAKA branch, Mdm. Chen Mei Zhen. She set up this cafe with the mindset of letting the children gain the first-hand experience in working, communicating with the public and earning their own pocket money!
She told Sinchew Daily,
“I have been told by some people that special children are people that were forgotten by God but I think that they are all incarnations of angels.”
She added that the life of a special child is not easy as they were born with physical and mental defects which in turn leads them to be ostracised by society. Their learning ability is lower than an average child and for them to really learn, they need more patience and attention from teachers.
With Pekaka, they prepare children with special needs to attend normal schools by providing the necessary skills through an early intervention programme. Other than that, they are also organising culinary and baking workshops for teens with special needs.
The teens learn how to bake bread from a Japanese baker named Mina, and they will sell the bread for a small amount of money in their cafe. Do take note that the cafe only opens on Fridays and Saturdays from 1pm to 5pm!
Mina can speak Mandarin and she has said that the special children come to her baking classes accompanied by their parents. She said they picked up baking quite fast and were soon making delicious bread.
Customers from all over have given this cafe very good reviews, and said that it’s the perfect place to chill with a cup of coffee and fragrant, fluffy bread.
Yu Zhi Wei, a 20-year-old with special needs, has said that he took 2 months to make coffee and 4 months to learn basic coffee art! He is grateful towards his teacher who taught him patiently and never gave up on him. He says proudly,
“We have three people here who can make coffee, but I am mainly responsible for it.”
His dream is to open up a restaurant that can make guests happy.
The address of the cafe is as follows,
No442, Jalan Zamrud 11, Taman Pekan Baru,
08000, Sungai Petani, Kedah
That is certainly a very good concept and if you’re in Sungai Petani area, why not give them a visit? I’m sure they’ll be ecstatic to meet someone new!
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