“We meet no ordinary people in our lives. If you give them a chance, everyone has something amazing to offer!”
Here at WOBB, we had the honour of communicating with the brains behind The Picha Project. We were curious to know how this enterprise came about and how much they have grown and gained so much recognition in such a short period of time.
Founded by three young and determined women, Suzanne Ling, Kim Lim and Lee Swee Lin, The Picha Project is a social enterprise that runs a food delivery and catering business. “All of our cooks are refugees in Malaysia. Currently, The Picha Project has 9 families from 5 different countries (Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Myanmar, and Afghanistan) cooking with us,” according to Kim.
Get to know The “Picha”-Perfect Team:
How Did It All Start?
Previously, these three girls had worked together as volunteers at Hands of Hope, which is a social project under UCSI University. They volunteered to teach in a refugee learning centre in 2013 and discovered a big financial issue in the community. They noticed that the students in the class started dropping out of school.
Being as inquisitive as they were, they decided to help the families by combining a skill that everyone in the household from the community knows. COOKING! With the right resources, The Picha Project was created. As of now, it is more than a year old and they have served more than 30,000 pax. With that, they have garnered a revenue of more than half a million in ringgit!
How Do They Operate?
No surprise, they operate just like any other food delivery or catering service. For meal boxes, there’s a minimum of 10 pax per kitchen, per order. For catering, on the other hand, there’s a minimum of RM1000 spending per event. Customers can either contact them at 012-6794353 directly or head on to their website at www.pichaproject.com to place orders 2 days in advance. The team will then deliver the orders accordingly. Delivery is free on orders for more than 20 pax each. Customers get to enjoy and experience a wide range of menus from different countries.
Notable Milestones Achieved
Kim tells us, “Recently, the team was just awarded The Edge’s Young Leaders Award (only official on July 11th). Besides that, we spoke in events like MaGIC’s SEHATI, TEDx INTI, Brandfest 2017 and others to raise refugee awareness among the public. The Picha Project was also selected to be part of the MaGIC Accelerator Program Social Enterprise track and currently one of the grantees under the Air Asia Foundation.”
What does the future hold for The Picha Project?
The Picha Project wishes to gain around 35 families by 2020. More importantly, they want to ensure all of them have a decent amount of income for a better livelihood and ensuring all kids from the family go to school.
Kim also states, “We wish to expand The Picha Project to a well-known catering company serving authentic traditional home cooked food as a brand. Hopefully one day we get to form our own delivery team to improve customer service. We value every Picha Hero who has supported and purchased from us.”
Furthermore, Kim also tells us that they are currently working on non-perishable or on-shelf products to head into cafes, restaurants or big stores. It is clear that this is a group that thinks long term in terms of their growth for the future.
Here’s A Little Fun Fact
So, why do they call themselves Picha Project? Well, the name Picha is the name of the first cook’s youngest son from Myanmar. By naming the social enterprise after his name, it provides the team a constant reminder of the reason why they do what they do today.
On top of that, all food produced and prepared are Muslim friendly and pork free. All of the cooks source ingredients from halal stores.
Generally speaking, managing a social enterprise is no walk in the park. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears goes into building their success. Nevertheless, they managed to steer in the right direction with one clear goal in mind: to give fair opportunities to refugee families.
And hey – you can work in their team if you want to! SEE JOBS.