Lemongrass Tea anyone?
This lemongrass is part of the fruit and vegetable garden grown by the young adults at Joy Home in Semenyih. This is a place where the young adults with learning disabilities learn to live ordinary lives with minimal support, with their peers and away from their families. They usually check in on Monday and check out on Friday. During the day, they will continue to go to their learning / training centre at PKIK.....
Indeed true that we don't have to look hard to find opportunities to volunteer. One of the best places is in the community we live in. A few phone calls later and I learnt about PKIK or Persatuan Kanak-kanak Istimewa Kajang. It's not a home for special needs' people, rather it's a learning or training centre for children or persons with learning disabilities.
Currently, they have more than 90 students occupying 5 shoplots in Kajang Utama. Some of the students were referred by the nearby hospitals in Kajang and Serdang. If we can categorise the learning disabilities into low, medium or high-functioning students, the PKIK students are mainly in the low to medium-functioning groups. Majority of the students did not receive any early intervention programmes especially when they're young and some of them were abandoned in orphanages / children's homes because the families were unable to support them.
A continuing programme to train those above 16 years old who are able to move, feed and go to toilet independently. PKIK Worklink is a sheltered workshop for the trainees to learn some simple job skills as well as work-related behaviours (punctuality, social, ability to follow instructions, etc). There're a few success stories from Worklink where the trainees are now working at paid employment in the community. But most of the trainees work in this supported environment.
An in-house canteen where the trainees receive on-the-job training on food preparation and cleaning up. The daily meals and snacks for the students and teachers are prepared here. Once in a week, the trainees are also taught to do some baking and these foods are sold to parents or the neighbourhood.
PKIK is an independent NGO, not affiliated with any particular group and is dependent on public donations as well as their self-sustainable initiatives.
Related posts: I will be sharing three disabilities that are increasingly prevalent: cerebral palsy, autism disorders and Down syndrome from my experience as a volunteer at PKIK.
1. Early intervention programme (below 6 years old)
2. Therapy programme including physiotherapy & a sensory room.
3. Day Training Programme (above 12 years old)
4. Employment Training Programme (above 16 years old)
5. Independent Living Skills at Joy Home in Semenyih (for young adults to stay in the Group Home for a period of 2-4 weeks)
6. Other services - including parental support, sports' training and participation in Special Olympics Sports, outings etc