30 May 2013
Day 9 in Chicago
Lambs Farm - where people grow
'This is a place where children come to pat lambs and ride the carousel.' A group of about 20 kindergarten kids were rolling frolicking on the grass and climbing up benches to watch the lambs and mules. The picture of the 'Green Farm in Tin Shui Wai', a shabby and poorly managed 'edutainment' came to my mind. The first encounter with amember of the 'staff' sitting in front of the information center told me that this place was different. The response we received from this lady was unusual. Her colleague, a grey haired gentlemen who was tending the grass, grinned at us. There was something innocent and kind about his whole outlook. I suddenly realized that this farm was a social enterprise.
t seems that I am always bumping into organizations that are 50 years old. The array of services and activities offered was amazing. The core was to offer boarding and jobs to 'Participants' with developmental disabilities. Jobs include gardening, housekeeping, looking after animals, serving in the bakery, restaurant, and shops. They organize events such as charity car and bike shows, special Olympics, annual drama performance, as well as antique shows in partnership with various bodies held on the farm and other venues. Besides regular staff, a large number of volunteers were involved in realizing its mission:
"Helping people with developmental disabilities lead productive, happy lives and connecting with the human spirit in us all."
It's value statement encourages me to move forward with the Tinshuiwai project.
Where People Grow