F&B social enterprise for the deaf recognized by the Singapore Kindness Movement

SINGAPORE — Social entrepreneur Sylvia Teng was inspired by her deaf friend and business partner to co-found a social enterprise to provide jobs for deaf people in the food and drink industry.

Social enterprise F&B Don8uri, which was founded in 2019 by the two former social service practitioners, was among eight social enterprises and charities, 12 grassroots movements and three Voice of Loving Kindness inducted into the Kindred Spirit of Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM). Circle on Friday (May 20).

This is the first time that SKM has honored social enterprises on Kindness Day SG.

Kindness Day SG, which was inaugurated in 2013 as an annual celebration of acts of kindness, falls on May 20 of this year.

SKM General Secretary William Wan said, “Over the past 10 years, we have celebrated exceptional individuals who have done their part in building a nation of kindness. This year, we want to shine a light on these extraordinary people and ordinary Singaporeans like you. and me.”

Since its inception in 2012, the Kindred Spirit Circle has initiated over 150 grassroots movements, which are self-initiated volunteer projects that help promote kindness, Voices of Loving Kindness – individuals who embody the spirit of kindness and benevolence, as well as social enterprises.

“In recent years, we have seen social enterprises and charities step up their efforts to promote the message of caring and the values ​​of kindness to the community. We need to recognize and affirm this,” SKM said.

Ms Teng, who was executive director of the Singapore Association for the Deaf, said: “With our background in social work, our understanding of deaf culture, sign language and the challenges faced by deaf people , my business partner and I hope to champion the social integration of deaf people by offering them gainful employment.

“We have the ultimate social mission of equipping them with the relevant skills and eventually the ability to embark on their respective entrepreneurial journey to move it forward.”

Don8uri works with various companies to set up live stations serving food at corporate events.

Deaf people may take on leadership roles in serving customers and taking orders.

“I hope my co-founder, who is deaf herself, can share her experience as an entrepreneur and inspire others in the community. We hope to send the message that they can play whatever role they want. .”

The social enterprise also runs sign language workshops to foster inclusion and establish communication between deaf and hearing people, Ms Teng said.

She added that Don8uri is considering Singapore Sign Language to be recognized as the fifth official language of Singapore.

Another initiative launched on Friday is a grassroots movement offering low-income groups the opportunity to take photos using semi-professional cameras.

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