KPMG Cares x PLove Skills Training Programme
KPMG Cares x PLove Skills Training Programme
The Silent Artisans website was incepted in the first phase of a skills upgrading programme sponsored by KPMG in Singapore. The collaborative initiative saw KPMG Cares and Personalised Love (PLove) curate a curriculum to enable people with disabilities to be trained and skilled to produce corporate tokens as a form of employment.
As part of the programme’s first phase, Mimi, Kok Wah, Caroline and Ani, pioneer KPMG Cares beneficiaries were guided by trainers from PLove to design and create products, set up this e-commerce site and learn to run it, conduct public workshops and to communicate confidently.
This website is the start of a journey for building dreams for The Silent Artisans, it is a platform for them to showcase their artistic talents as well as interact with the public.
Currently in its second phase, The Silent Artisans are joined by two new members – Gracie and Kelly, and will continue their journey to explore workshop opportunities and new craft items focusing on a more sustainable approach to reduce our impact on the environment.
“I find dignity in and passion for the arts.”
Mimi’s parents realised she was deaf when she stood in front of firecrackers instead of running away as a toddler. She tried her best in a mainstream school but had to leave at the age of 15, unable to cope with the pace at which the teacher was speaking. Impressively, Mimi went on to obtain a Diploma in Art at Laselle Art College. Subsequently, she took up several jobs ranging from bookworm artist to pottery assistant to part time draftsperson.
Proving to her parents that she could find a job as an artist was a breakthrough for the kind lady who was born deaf. Playing with crayons as a child ignited a passion for art within Mimi that has never ceased to grow. This cheery lady believes in “respecting the individual” and likes how arts has given her worth and a form of livelihood. The KPMG Cares initiative has given her a platform to showcase her arts and crafts and is bringing her one step closer to fulfilling her dream of owning her own art studio!
‘Give us a chance to show our strengths.’
The ever-cheerful Hairiani, known as Ani, is one who can put a smile on the face of others. Born deaf due to her mother contracting German measles when she was pregnant with her, Ani had to wear a hearing aid from young and tried to attend mainstream school, but the teachers spoke too fast for her to understand.
Together with her friends, she founded an organisation for the deaf in 1998 and participated in art performances. An advocate of ‘we work together’, the uplifting lady believes in a better world if we all integrate and support one another. Through the KPMG Cares initiative, Ani has shone; she has created numerous new designs and has enhanced her craft workmanship. This has opened up various job opportunities for her as an artist.
“I want to show people I’m healthy and well!”
Diagnosed deaf at the age of four, and having to deal with family issues from a young age, Caroline appears solemn and serious until you see her golden, sweet smile. Fashion is her middle name as she dreams about being a designer. As a matter of fact, her love for fashion is reflected in her craft as she is extremely gifted at selecting cloth designs to sew beautiful soft toys from scratch.
Caroline hopes to improve her business as she learns more technical and marketing skills thanks to the KPMG Cares initiative. She has produced a greater variety of craft and has gained confidence through various training sessions, proving that everyone has hidden strengths within themselves.
“I want to be remembered as being unbearably silly.”
A child at heart, Kok Wah is a friendly and optimistic artist who has a good sense of humour. You will be forgiven for not noticing that Kok Wah is deaf, for he has a very bright mind and is able to lip read well. He believes that people should be ‘open and honest in communication’ and freelances as a facilitator, teaching people to take a pause in life and reflect on their mental health. In his free time, he read mystery and thriller novels and watches Japanese anime such as Naruto.
He is glad to be part of the KPMG Cares initiative where artists can showcase their talents using their hands and minds. Through training, Kok Wah has improved his marketing skills as he is working towards attaining his dream of a owning a house of his own.
Hong Pei Shan, Kelly
“I am happy to learn new crafts and to be part of a team. I feel appreciated by them and I see a joyful version of myself”
Be it food or flowers, photography is a hobby Kelly enjoys whenever she goes around Singapore or when travels. As a beneficiary of KPMG Cares since 2019, she has picked up crafting skills like embossing, paper quilling and candle-making techniques, but most importantly she is empowered by the program to earn an income through craft making. Kelly shares that the program makes her feel included and encourages her to believe. She is particularly proud of her quilling skills.
“This is the first timeI'm learning these new skills and I enjoy gaining experience in different ways. I hope to lean more new things”
Gracie is a beneficiary of KPMG Cares' Inclusive Employment Initiative and is born deaf. She enjoys learning new things, trying new foods and exploring new cultures. Encouraged by Kelly, Gracie joined in the program in 2019 and has since started her own product series named "ecofreshdesign" that focuses on sustainability and upcycling pf materials. You can check out profile at @ecofreshdesign on Instagram.