Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime
Taking heed from Luke 11:10–13, which speaks on the value of knowledge and self-sufficiency, it dawns on Hoi Yan that if people work hard enough, they can find whatever they seek in life– material wealth or spiritual guidance.
As a House Guardian to 10 children and single moms at the Girl Shelter, Hoi Yan beckons to God’s promptings and recognizes the financial needs of the communities. Even with no knowledge of baking nor an interest in baking, she has decided that she needs to take the lead to venture into this workable course that can uplift the livelihood of the communities. Rather than offering short-term aid, she knows she should teach those in need how to become independent. It will involve instructing them on acquiring a skill and/ or providing a platform for sharing expertise.
Having been involved in the ElShaddai Centre work since 2019, Hoi Yan has observed that throughout times of hardship and poverty, these individuals feel unable to break out of their current situations due to the lack of resources available. Therefore, she decided to impart practical living skills by arming these people with the ability to gain long-term security that can make positive changes in their lives independently.
Many of this group of single moms are relatively young and able, seeking opportunities to earn a living to help pay mounting bills. However, these people need proper legal documents to go out and apply for a job.
Considering that sweet pastries appeal to the general public, Hoi Yan set up the Yummy Bites Bakery with basic baking equipment and then engaged a professional baker to teach the interested refugee ladies this bakery skill.
The project started humbly in April 2023, presently having 5 refugee ladies and 3 local women trained by this professional baker in baking cakes, cookies and other popular pastries. Without a shop front at the moment, the pastries have been produced based on pre-order demands from ElShaddai Centre contacts, the publicity generated on Facebook and Instagram, and other church contacts.
Yummy Bites was established solidly as a business to enrich the lives of the communities economically and spiritually. Managing the demand and supply chains, Hoi Yan ensures that the output will be purchased, and product quality will be maintained, as well as controlling the cost factors and timely delivery. The business must be founded on concrete ground, and further development must be progressively conserved.
Many of the single moms involved here are moved to experience graciousness and provisions, particularly when almost all their husbands are jobless; Yet, many of them have young children who need to go to school. The ability of these ladies to produce marketable products and earn a constant income helps to elevate the despair and hopelessness they once faced. The fact that they can help to pay some bills helps to build confidence in them besides experiencing a comfortable sense of belonging to this “newfound community”.
Lives have been transformed with hope for a better future.
With the support of other members of ElShaddai Centre, Hoi Yan and the team have proved that love and compassion prevail. People like these in the communities have an intrinsic worth that goes beyond material possessions. While assisting them, they have been building trust and have had several precious moments sharing their lives with them. This is the essence of sharing their time and resources with them and the integral to building vibrant communities together.
Hoi Yan and the team have explored several marketing avenues besides the present channels to grow the business. This included the possibility of working with a professional marketing company to develop a website and use marketing software for a wider reach.
Besides capturing the opportunities in several local festivals, e.g. Mooncake Festival, Chinese New Year, Christmas, Mother’s Day, etc., selective popular items like The Coconut Pandan cake can be highlighted as a lead-in product to enhance orders.
A visible shop front at a high-traffic walkway would be a very effective way to entice attractions to the products and to increase sales.
Ultimately, Hoi Yan and the team believe that in the right timing, God will bring about all things needed so that many single moms will excel in this bakery skill, enjoy a sense of financial freedom and a bright future.