Special Skills Training Program for Single Mothers
Hi all! We know we’ve been a little quiet lately but we’ve been busy putting together the right ingredients to make our latest program: training single mothers with the knowledge and skills to become confinement ladies!
How this idea came about:
We identified that there are single mothers who needed help to supplement their household income. However due to their background, they are more likely to obtain odd jobs or low-paying labour jobs. Life can tough as a single parent, with primary or highschool level education qualification, to bring up 2 to 4 children all on your own.
Then we identified that there’s a high demand for confinement ladies, particularly among the Malaysian Chinese community who believe in the traditional wisdom and practice of caring for mothers and their newborn child in the first month after birth. However the existing pool of confinement ladies seems to be getting smaller as the years go by (confinement ladies are typically grandmothers themselves).
Seeing that there is a need for such services and skills, Because thought this is a gap that single mothers could be well suited to fill. So Because teamed up with the Malaysian Spring Single Mothers’ Society (MSSMS) to test out the idea of training single mothers to become confinement ladies, in the hopes that they will have another alternative means of earning a living and to carry on the “confinement lady skills”.
Our first batch of participants were selected by MSSMS based on their maturity, emotional stability, willingness to learn, their children’s age (i.e. old enough to look after themselves), and have good health (among other criteria). This first run of the program consists of 10 classes, held every Saturday and Sunday of March 2013. Participants will be taught the basics of caring for the mother, baby, and themselves during the month, and very importantly, on the secrets of preparing the nutritious and delicious confinement dishes to help the mother recover / rejuvenate quickly.
We are extremely lucky and grateful to have our venue sponsored by the kind and generous Mrs Janet Yeo, founder of NASAM, and the bubbly and enthusiastic Mrs Veronica Lim, a mother of 5 and grandmother of 2, to impart her vast cooking secrets and skills for our pioneer group. Mrs Veronica Lim is also very happy to share her own knowledge and experiences on caring for mother and child during the confinement month.
We’ve completed our first 2 classes for the month, and we are pleased to share that the participants were very eager to learn and share, and the sessions were very interactive with light hearted moments. Here are some of the photos of the past 2 days:
Mrs Veronica Lim giving useful tips for caring for the mother and baby – valuable knowledge that can’t be learned from books!
The weather was hot, but everyone was happy to be there to learn
Ginger + chicken + wood fungus + egg + sesame seed oil + rice wine dish
Important ingredient: Happiness
Hands on teaching and practice
Dishes and tonic drink taught in Class #1
Dishes and soup taught in Class #2
Our participants giving thumbs up for the yummy food!
The participants are asked to each cook a dish that was learned in the past 2 days to bring for the next week’s classes for everyone to try. This is to help build their confidence to cook for “outsiders” and also to refresh their memory.
We look forward to learning more from Mrs Veronica Lim, and later on from a nurse who will talk about the tricks to breastfeeding well. Stay tuned for more updates and photos! 🙂