Updated: Feb 15
ICC’s vocational training project at The Lighthouse is unique, as it engages both the young people in our care, as well as those in the community. Located in the Tian Xin District, it offers vocational training to individuals over the age of eighteen. Our staff work closely with local organizations to recruit young people with disabilities from the surrounding district.
Another integral part of the Lighthouse program is the chance to engage with local middle school, elementary school and kindergarten students. Over the Summer holidays, we encourage students to visit the Lighthouse. During their visit, they are taught to make a simple craft, such as a bracelet. Our staff and young people also share about life at ICC and take them on a guided tour of the building. This also creates an opportunity for our young people to sell their handicraft products, as well as the delicious treats from our Little Ark. Recently, a “disability experience” educational component was added to the itinerary, which involves completing a task such as threading a bead blindfolded, or pushing a wheelchair using one arm. Students will then write a reflection on this experience and share how it has challenged their perspectives.
After participating in a similar activity, one student shared the deep impression our young people had made on her: “Today, we met a group of big brothers and sisters. They appreciate their lives. Some of them can speak English, some of them can make popcorn, and some of them can make great beaded artwork! … We have to learn from them, to not give up when facing challenges.” Another young girl left with a deeper sense of responsibility “to be respectful and be thankful, humble towards our life, and cherish it.”
ICC’s mission is not only to support and uplift children and young people with disabilities, but to help create a more inclusive society. Through vocational projects like those at the Lighthouse, we offer pathways towards independence and self-confidence. We also invite the wider community to learn from the countless lessons our young people have to teach. With education and mutual respect, ICC works toward creating a brighter future filled with love, hope and opportunity for every young person.