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Team Building through Cooking - A CSR Initiative by Ben Line 11-May-2015

How do we spend a weekend honing our culinary skills whilst having fun at the same time?
When we first scouted around for a team building programme at the beginning of this year, we communally agreed that nothing equalled the experience of cooking. With an additional promise of a fun-filled day outside the office, bonding & working together as a cohesive team.
As the team building programme started taking shape, it dawned that there was another event that goes above and beyond to deliver powerful results - our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Fourteen Ben Liners from the Human Resource & IT department were fortunate to be part of such an event on Saturday, 11th April 2015, when we organised a team building activity through our “The Nasi Lemak Project” – a non-profit organisation providing humanitarian food-aid service for the homeless and poverty stricken areas in the city of Kuala Lumpur.  Our working kitchen was a double storey house in a suburb called Taman Sunway, Batu Caves which had served as the Headquarters of “The Nasi Lemak Project”, spearheaded by the ever bubbly Ms Mastura Binti M Rashid. 
It started with the preparation of ingredients that went into making nasi lemak and curry puffs. For some, it was the first time they peeled an onion and for others, they learnt what it took to boil an egg!
As the team members worked tirelessly through the process of making nasi lemak, curry puffs and sandwiches, through perserverence and teamwork, we believed that great things would happen.  Ideas turned to action, and words of encouragement became sources of support and pride & satisfaction to achieve the ultimate result. 
A quick lunch break and it was then packing time. The team members raced against time packing the prepared food into containers and ensuring that each package had a bottle of drinking water. Before we knew it, the food was packed and stacked into our cars waiting to be served to the homeless.
The areas we served our delicious packed meals were in the alleys of Jalan Hang Lekiu, Jalan Syed Putra, Jalan Perdana, Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Hang Tuah.  Between 180 - 200 packets of food were distributed to the homeless. Distribution work went past midnight. and neither did the rain hamper our efforts nor did it detered us from our mission.
The direct contact with the people who live in these conditions has been truly an “eye-opening” experience for each and every one of us. 
Experiences such as these are humbling and invaluable.  Not only do they foster co-operation and productivity, but they also provide a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes from doing good unto others – what we sometimes take for granted may mean the only meal for some of the homeless whom we had served on that day!
As part of our continuous CSR initiative to make a difference in the lives of many more homeless in the future, Ben Line Malaysia will run “The Nasi Lemak Project” on a quarterly basis. 
We found out that there is no better way to bond as a team, boost team morale, improve communication and strengthen ties than in a cooking class – and we did just that!


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