ICC’s Hope Farm in Hengyang Provides Opportunity
Updated: Nov 6, 2020
Teacher Mr. Lee (left) guides Jianxin (right) as they clean up and weed overgrown plants.
On a gentle slope within the Hengyang Care Centre complex sits two acres of verdant farmland—a place where ICC’s children can immerse themselves in nature while learning about agriculture.
First opened in 2016, the Hope Farm is part of Hengyang’s vocational training programme. Here, young people gain first-hand experience in all aspects of farming: ploughing the land; planting seeds; raising the crops and harvesting the bounty. While the work is challenging, it’s also rewarding.
Guided by their teachers, the students not only grow a variety of crops, they grow their confidence as they realize the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor.
Harvest season is an especially exciting time, as the farm-fresh produce is brought to the Care Center’s kitchen. Together, the students get to celebrate the harvest with one another and with the staff, around a bountiful table.
Young people work together on the farm.
HOPE FARM’S NEW VISION
Today 65 young adults (over 18 years old) live and work at the Hengyang Care Centre—a significant increase since the vocational training programme was launched four years ago.
Plans are underway to redevelop the area around the livestock and plantation zones, including improvements to the drainage and landscaping in the planting area that will enable the students to watch the crops grow throughout the seasons. In the livestock breeding area, new heating facilities in the four chicken sheds will increase its capacity to as many as 100 young chicks and ducklings.
CULTIVATING LOVE, HOPE & OPPORTUNITY
The Hope Farm project offers young people a safe place in which they can learn to interact and improve their communication skills as they work alongside one another. In turn, these valuable skills will prepare them as they begin to integrate into society.
One rising star that has come out of Hope Farm’s vocation training is Jianxin.
Affectionately known as The Farmer, Jianxin was once a quiet boy who avoided social interaction. Today, he’s a confident, happy young man who has discovered his gift for farming.
“We’re deeply grateful to the dedicated teachers who are equipping ICC’s young people with life skills as they learn to live independently in new communities.
As we continue to develop the Hope Farm project, we see so much more potential. Through your generous giving, we hope to provide more vocational training opportunities for our young people living with disabilities. Thank you for supporting ICC’s work!”
With love from Hengyang Care Centre’s local staff