Our vision for the Youth Development Program is to empower disadvantaged youth with the tools to change their future.
We strongly believe in family here at Big Onion. We take care of everyone who works with us, as an important part of this family. But we also understand that there is a whole world out there, and as people we are interconnected. What we do today will affect our future. The future of our family, our children. The future of our friends. And the future of our world.
Big Onion’s mission is to help, to make a difference in the most practical and concrete way we can. Disadvantaged youth who have the desire for their future to lie in the culinary arts will find a welcoming embrace in Big Onion, and a place in our family.
Our programme will set disadvantaged youths on the path to success in the culinary arts. Be it housing, personal development or career development, we seek to provide a holistic, nourishing environment, just as we do for our Big Onion staff. Once training is complete, we will welcome these newly forged professionals into our family, or gladly see them placed in suitable employment with other companies.
Toh, the youngest member of our Big Onion family
The story of how this programme came about is one of serendipity, or happy chance.
Toh was a young man of 15, who had just recently been orphaned. He was also completely uninterested in going to school. Now there are many ways his story could have turned out.
But what made Toh different is that he had already made up his mind to be a chef, despite not having any experience or expertise in the culinary arts. He was single-minded in his ambition, and could not be persuaded to forget it and just go to school.
The PIC from Shelter Home for Children approached us at Big Onion. We wanted to help, but we did not have such a programme at the time. After careful deliberation, we knew what we had to do.
We took Toh in on September 2016, and welcomed him into our Big Onion family. He is now being trained in the practical aspects of culinary arts from our professionals at Big Onion. We provide lodging as well. Big Onion houses full-time employees from outstation in hostels, so the employees and Toh have banded together like family. Toh has developed positive peer influences that have encouraged him to live a better life.
We provide mentorship, and provide for his personal growth and career development. When he is ready, he may choose to become a full-time employee at Big Onion, or he may decide to spread his wings and move to another place of employment. Our job is to ensure that he will be prepared, regardless of his choices.
Toh is happy, and flourishing under our guidance. He has learned a lot, and so have we.
Encouraged by the results we have seen, we wish to offer this opportunity to others who need it. Big Onion will launch a Youth Development Programme, for disadvantaged youth, from the ages of 16-20. Whether they are orphans, from broken homes, or have no financial support, we wish to give them a choice they may not have had before.
We will welcome these young adults who choose the culinary arts as their path, and give them the tools to find their way to success.
Big Onion will welcome them into our family, and nurture their talents, for a better future for them and for all of us.