A Full-Time Position for Auntie Keo

Auntie Keo has been working at Little Hearts for almost a year as a weekend cook. (Ma Khun, our weekday cook, does need a break once in a while!) Her work on Saturdays and Sundays begins very early, sometimes as early as 4 am, to ensure that breakfast is ready for the children by 5 am. And as Ma Khun herself knows, preparing food for three dozen fussy kids is no picnic.

Indeed, Auntie Keo worries incessantly about whether the kids will eat what she makes, and whether the pickiest youngsters (we know who you are, May, Chrissy and Naomi!) are getting adequate nutrition. To make sure everyone eats, she often resorts to everyone’s favourite – fried food, like deep-fried chicken or fish. But even then there are so many likes and dislikes to tackle. While most kids love fried chicken, there are always a few holdouts who’d rather have soup!

Despite these challenges, Auntie Keo does her cooking job diligently and cheerfully. If only there was something less stressful she could do at Little Hearts…

Sure enough, the opportunity came in early March. Nat, our laundress, had to stop working due to ill health. Knowing how well Auntie Keo gets along with the children and the other staff, our facility manager Ruth offered her to take on laundry duties as well, and thus to become a full-time employee. Keo is a youthful 54 years old and a mother of three, but all her children are now grown up and married, so she just so happened to be looking for additional work to fill her weekday hours. She was overjoyed by Ruth’s proposal and accepted immediately.

‘I’m extremely excited to work here full-time,’ she beams. ‘I was actually looking for another job to earn some extra income for my family, and this is the perfect place for me because Little Hearts offers flexible working hours, and there are so many different things to do here, so it never gets boring. And I get to be around the children all the time. I can’t thank Tony and Ruth enough for this opportunity.’

Auntie Keo now works at Little Hearts every day of the week. From Monday to Friday, she launders the children’s clothes and linens; she also cleans the ground floor classrooms and the office. On the weekends she continues her role as a cook. She’s a hardworking and industrious woman who always offers to help whenever and wherever she’s needed.

What does she prefer, laundry duty or weekend cooking? Definitely the former, she laughs. Choosing what to cook for so many children is pretty darn nerve-racking!

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