23 men volunteer to cook for a cause

Mr Mathur (left) and some of the 22 other volunteer cooks join chef Geraldine Tan in preparing dinner for 70 children whose mothers are beneficiaries of local charity, Daughters of Tomorrow, which trains and coaches underprivileged women.
Mr Mathur (left) and some of the 22 other volunteer cooks join chef Geraldine Tan in preparing dinner for 70 children whose mothers are beneficiaries of local charity, Daughters of Tomorrow, which trains and coaches underprivileged women.PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Software analyst Dheeraj Mathur, 30, has never peeled quail eggs for a lunchbox before, but he is glad to do this for the first time and contribute to a good cause.

He was one of 23 men who volunteered to prepare dinner for 70 children whose mothers are beneficiaries of local charity, Daughters of Tomorrow (DOT), which provides training and coaching for underprivileged women.

Volunteers from financial information service firm Markitserv, social enterprise Unsaid and Yu Sin Engineering Work took part in the cooking effort.

The charity served the bento boxes to the children at its "Empowering Women, Great Moms" dinner celebration at Amara Hotel last night.

DOT executive director Carrie Tan said that the celebration was "dedicated to all mothers who are juggling caregiving duties and their aspirations to provide better lives for their families".

The dinner was also meant to honour volunteers and role models who had actively participated in the charity since it started last year.

Graduates of the charity's confidence curriculum programme, which imparts soft skills such as communication skills, also received their certificates.

One of the volunteer cooks, site supervisor Lim Gin De, 27, said: "More than anything, I am happy to prepare these meals for the children, who really deserve it."

The amateur cooks observed a demonstration by chef Geraldine Tan from My Nonna's Social Enterprise Stalls, after which they broke into groups to prepare the meals.

Ms Tan said: "I think it's a great project and I can't wait to see the children's faces."

Many volunteers enjoyed the cooking exercise.

"I think the initiative is wonderful, and done in the right spirit," said operations manager Nicholas Allcock, 35.

Ms Wai Ling Chow, 27, a public relations consultant and volunteer of the charity, said that as more women enter the workforce, it was now a necessity to have men and women sharing household responsibilities like cooking.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2016, with the headline '23 men volunteer to cook for a cause'. Print Edition | Subscribe