SUNGAI KOYAN, 8 MARCH 2014:Celebrity Chef, Dato’ Redzuawan Ismail or popularly known as Chef Wan, returned to his hometown of Sungai Koyan to conduct a cooking demonstration cum motivation session called “Masak Biar Best Bersama Chef Wan” for some 300 empower ECER participants.

Organised by the East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC), the cooking demonstration had the international chef who is also well known for his extensive knowledge of Malaysian cuisine, sharing his recipe for success with empower ECER participants from Cameron Highlands, Temerloh, Raub and Lipis.

Chief Executive Officer of ECERDC, YBhg. Dato’ Jebasingam Issace John said, “Our empower ECER participants are being introduced to the best of the best such as Chef Wan, so that they will be inspired to excel in what they have set out to do, just like Chef Wan.

“Cooking is a very popular course conducted by our empower ECER’s Skills and Enterpreneurship Training programme, and it has groomed many single mothers, housewives and unemployed youths to become entrepreneurs in their own right. All participants attending today’s event are running their own food business.

“Chef Wan is an accountant turned chef. He is a living testament of someone who cherishes his passion, follows his heart and knows that money will follow as a result. This, I hope, is the message our participants will take home.”

The guest of honor was Jelai State Assemblyman Yang Berhormat Dato’ Wan Rosdy bin Wan Ismail who officiated the event that was held at Dewan JKKK Felda, Sungai Koyan.

empower ECER is a twin-pronged human capital development initiative launched by ECERDC in 2010 to help reduce economic disparities between rural and urban communities. It consists of the Skills and Entrepreneurship Program for adults and an Academic Training program for examination-year students. The former focuses on vocational training for single mothers, jobless youths and disadvantaged individuals. The Academic Program addresses the needs of academically disadvantaged students from low income homes. To create a more level playing field, empower ECER focuses on exposing participants of both programs to a variety of learning experiences.

To date, a total of 22,216 participants, comprising 8,725 adults and 13,491 students have benefitted from empower ECER that is conducted in 17 ECER locations, namely, Jeli, Bachok and Ketereh in Kelantan; Kemaman, Dungun, Hulu Terengganu and Besut in Terengganu; Bentong, Temerloh, Raub, Lipis, Cameron Highlands, Jerantut, Maran, Rompin and Kuala Pahang in Pahang; and Mersing in Johor.

It is estimated that 80% of adult participants will gain employment after completing their courses or have sufficient knowledge and practical experience to start their own business, and the ability to generate income of between RM500 and RM1,500 per month, or even more. Meanwhile, UPSR, PMR and SPM students attending empower ECER’s remedial classes have recorded a 100% pass rate, with several scoring outstanding results.