Ray of Hope, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) located in Bercham, is lauded for providing hospitality training and a career platform to those with learning difficulties. At the official opening of Cafe Ray of Hope recently, Dato’ Chong Phaik Kee, Director of the Perak Welfare Department and the guest of honour, complimented the NGO for their altruistic efforts.
Ray of Hope has been in existence since 2001. In 2007, it opened its one-stop centre at Taman Sri Kurau in Bercham. An extension of the centre is Cafe Ray of Hope.
The eatery serves as a fully operational non-profit cafe, which gives job opportunities to people with learning difficulties. It aims to be financially self-sufficient although being generously aided by donations from well-wishers.
Those that partake in the running of the cafe go through the routine of learning the various skills required in managing an efficient establishment. A curriculum has been drawn up to assist the trainees in developing a sense of dignity, pride and self-worthiness so they can integrate with society.
The cafe too provides training for students who have completed their secondary education at special schools. The objective is to help prepare them for employment in normal cafes and restaurants upon completion.
Currently, some 27,299 individuals in Perak are registered as people with special needs. Of this number, 9644 (35 per cent) are those with learning disabilities.
Cafe Ray of Hope, located at 26 Persiaran Bercham Selatan 31, Taman Sri Kurau, Ipoh (GPS: N 04° 37.464’ E 101 7.454’), is open from 9am to 5pm daily. It is closed on Sundays and Mondays.