Inspiring marginalized youth in Bangkok through the power of food!
“Leaders in the kitchen, are leaders in the community.”
We help students who are at risk of:
- Poor Education
Although Bangkok is a city well known for it’s food, there are still communities where people struggle to feed themselves. Courageous Kitchen’s aim is to fund basic needs, feed the hungry, and educate people so they have the means to lift themselves out of poverty. We currently work with at risk students and their families in a few small communities in Bangkok.
The kitchen is a hands on classroom and our kitchen education includes basic cooking, food safety, and nutrition. We don’t stop there, however, we recognize the kitchen demands a variety of skills and provide support for students to learn English, Math, and business basics.
- provide an immediate application to English language instruction
- support students with supplementary education
Nutritional deficiency plagues the mental, physical, and spiritual health of the communities we serve. In a community where people commonly scavenge the trash for produce that’s still edible, Courageous Kitchen provides rice and other staples to help people put food on the table.
- encourage more nutritious eating and cooking methods
- expand palate and introduce new cooking techniques
We believe the heat and the fast paced nature of kitchens forge leaders and build strong teams. While education and nutrition is our focus, our emphasis on leadership and the personal development of each student is what drives us.
- offer a safe space where children can learn to be leaders, gain self esteem, and have fun
- provide skills for future employment opportunities
At Courageous Kitchen we work with extremely vulnerable children in Bangkok, Thailand. These children are at risk of extreme poverty, malnutrition, a lack of access to education, and a lack of safe shelter. As a result, they are at risk of being exploited.
We currently provide these services at no cost to participants:
- Informal Pre-School for 3-6 year olds
- Cooking & English Classes
- Distribution of Food and Hygiene Products
- Support for Housing and Medical Emergencies
With this in mind, Courageous Kitchen works to combat these risks and their consequences through its core program. Through our work in the kitchen we fight poverty by providing both broad and specialized skills for future employment opportunities. Children learn hard skills that can be used in kitchens across the world, but also learn how to work with others, use their creativity, and delegate tasks. We encourage a multilingual environment where children learn Thai and English. We also work with parents in the communities with job placement and livelihoods assistance when appropriate.
To combat the risk of malnutrition we teach and encourage our students to prepare nutritious foods and teach the best cooking methods. With every class our students experience new foods, new flavors, and learn about cuisine and cooking techniques from around the world. We want to make sure that our children learn to enjoy nutritious foods and never go to bed hungry.
The children we work with tend to face discrimination and exclusion from education opportunities. We also provide supplementary education in the areas of language, math, art, and culinary instruction. We also support students without the financial means to be enrolled in local public schools with support for tuition, uniforms, and activity fees.
We offer a safe space where children can learn to be leaders, gain self esteem, and have fun. Research shows that children with high self esteem who are part of a close community are less likely to face exploitation. We work to ensure that our children have a safe space to play and learn. In addition to our free education programs, we offer emergency shelter support and emergency medical support to families in need. We want to make sure children are not out on the streets and have a safe place to sleep and access to medical care.
The Origin of Courageous Kitchen and our Fun Philosophy
Courageous Kitchen began in 2009 as a small Bangkok based initiative called In Search of Sanuk which aimed to provide emergency food and housing for children and families most in need. The word ‘sanuk’ is the Thai word meaning fun/enjoyment. We chose that name because we believe every child, regardless of their situation, has the right to have a happy and healthy childhood. We believe fun and learning should come first and that all children should be free from worry and the burdens of poverty and suffering.
Later, in 2014, Dwight and Christy began to cook regularly with a small group of students who had especially poor nutrition and self-esteem. The response to the kitchen project was overwhelmingly positive. Soon after In Search of Sanuk came to be better known for our activities in the kitchen, and in late 2015, the project was registered in the US as tax exempt 501(c)3 under the name Courageous Kitchen Inc.
We still believe fun and learning come first and use the kitchen as a space to create a fun environment where children can learn the life skills needed to be leaders in their communities.