ICC Vocational Training: Little Ark Food Trucks
Updated: Jan 31
The success of the first Little Ark in Changsha and the opportunities it gave youth with disabilities inspired our Hengyang team to dream of having a Little Ark at the Hengyang Care Center. The Changsha Little Ark staff helped guide the purchase and build of this new food truck.
In preparation for the food truck arrival, a Little Ark Hengyang team was assembled. Six young people, whom staff felt had talents for hospitality, were offered positions. Twice weekly, the training helped the young people gain awareness of their own strengths and those of their teammates. Over the four-month training period, roles and individuals’ abilities matched up and confidence grew. The extroverts and social butterflies were set to develop their communication skills. While the finishers focused on mastering the recipes, the one with an eye for detail learned to use the cash register. The team grew individually and together. The training brought in key elements of teamwork, encouragement, and ownership as well as how to cook and handle food properly. On November 20th, 2020, the Hengyang Little Ark opened for business.
Covid restrictions have impacted the speed of development of the Little Ark, but the team has achieved and grown in many ways. The impact of the Little Ark has been far-reaching despite being situated right next to the care centre building. The benefits are felt by the children wanting to spend their pocket money on special treats, and the staff needing a bit of variety during lockdown!
When government leaders visit the Hengyang Care Centre, coffee and cake are served from the Little Ark at the start of their tour. An impression is surely made when the Chinese leaders with influence pause to be served by the young people. Who better to advocate for their futures than the young people themselves? It is hoped that the Little Ark will have a location in the community in the future, and maybe that future lies in the hands of a government leader who has tasted the coffee and experienced the warm greeting of the Little Ark team.
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