Autism Cafe Project finally opens its door in USJ after four years in the works

Workers of Autism Cafe Project preparing food at their DaMen outet in USJ. — Photo via Facebook/ Adli Yahya
Workers of Autism Cafe Project preparing food at their DaMen outet in USJ. — Photo via Facebook/ Adli Yahya

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 5 — After labouring for over four years, the cafe by Autism Cafe Project (ACP) is finally ready. 

In a Facebook post yesterday, ACP’s founder Mohd Adli Yahya shared that the cafe has opened its door at DaMen Mall in USJ. 

“All I can say is Alhamdulillah. We have been working hard for more than four years now and we finally have a place to call our very own home.”

“Autism Cafe Project finally opens at DaMen. It was just a soft opening but our supporters Takaful FWD and Nasom (National Autism Society of Malaysia) were in full force to support us.”

Adli also heaped praises on the workers at the cafe saying they “were simply great”.

“It is done to the best of their abilities and I could not ask for more,” he said of the boys in the cafe, who were involved in the cafe’s operation from cooking to serving and cleaning.

Saying he was happy and felt blessed, Adli admitted things were difficult at times but he pushed ahead, adding that he just focused on the mission.

The cafe, located at LG-12, DaMen Mall, USJ is open from 11.30am to 8pm.

Speaking to Malay Mail, Adli said the cafe was officially opened on Saturday, April 3 and there are seven boys, aged between 18 and 25, working at the cafe currently.

“At the moment, we are only serving honey glazed chicken rice, curry puff, toast bread, and drinks,” he said, adding that they would gradually introduce more choices as time goes.

“We want to get the boys to get used to the current menu before expanding,” he said, adding that someone will be around to supervise them. 

“At the moment it is me and a volunteer,” he said.

He said the boys are given tasks that are based on their abilities at the cafe.

“Those who can cook will work in the kitchen while those who can serve will be at the front attending to customers.”

The cafe, added Adli, also has a space allocated for autistic people to showcase their talent.

“Those who can sing are welcomed to do so. Hopefully, those who appreciate their talent can give a token,” he said, adding that his son, Luqman, sells his self-made bracelets there. 

Parents with autistic children can also send them to work at the cafe.

“At least parents can see how their children perform when working in the real world.”

Despite opening the cafe, Adli said ACP still continues with their catering business.

“That still remains our main income earner,” he said, inviting corporations to work with them if they wanted to conduct corporate social responsibility projects.

Those who want to cater their food from ACP can do so by giving them a week’s notice.

Adli can be contacted via Instagram or Facebook. Just search for Autism Cafe Project.

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