Training individuals with special needs to be independent

A lot of patience is needed to train the people with special needs. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily

KUCHING, Aug 27 (Sin Chew Daily) -- If given proper training, an individual with special needs could also be turned into a competent farmer, baker, craftsman or anyone who can contribute positively to the society.

Instead of handing out a fish to these people, House of Joy Double Blessing Caring Society of Kuching, established in 2015, believes in teaching them how to fish instead.

During an interview with Sin Chew Daily, the society's founder Shen Chiu Hsiang said some of the trainees were more suitable for indoor jobs while others could excel in outdoor assignments.

She said although it might take plenty of time and effort to observe the strengths of individual trainee, it was nevertheless a necessary process in order to identify the most suitable skills for each of them.

A lot of patience

Yayasan Sin Chew earlier donated RM30,000 to the society which has since been used on horticultural development in hope of providing an additional channel for the trainees to apply their newly acquired skills.

“At the initial stage of the training, they couldn't even tell between vegetables and weeds. We do not have time to feel frustrated. Instead, we continue to remind and teach them with patience.”

The trainees are being encouraged to participate in each of the farming procedures, including weeding, turning the soil, sowing, enzyme spraying, applying fertilizers and harvesting. Gardening experts and professional trainers have been hired to help them.

Shen said although the harvest was unsatisfactory at this stage, it was hoped that this would improve as the trainees slowly command the skills and tricks.

Shen insisted that enzymes were used in the farm instead of agricultural chemicals with the objective of instilling in the trainees the concept of environmental protection and the importance of caring for our planet.

In addition to gardening, the center also teaches these trainees with special needs how to make soap which could be very tacky although it looks simple.

House of Joy Double Blessing Caring Society also provides handworks training, including paper folding, ornamental flower creation and environment-friendly products, as well as organizing baking class to teach the trainees how to bake cakes and pastries.

Currently there is also a housekeeping service team coaching the trainees how keep the environment neat and clean.

To raise fund for the center's day-to-day operation, a “Light Up Hope” charity bazaar will be held on September 16 Malaysia Day at the Association of Churches in Sarawak from 08:00 to 12:00.

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