Crossroads loves to support Hong Kong social enterprises wherever we can. Meet Shing, just one of those whose lives have been changed through a job with social enterprise.
When Shing graduated from a special school in Hong Kong, he tried for months to find a job, with no success. Shing, who is intellectually impaired, relied on his family’s care and support for everything he needed. People who knew Shing commented that he was living each day having decisions made for him, eating simply what he needed to fill his stomach. Without his own independent income, it was hard for Shing to embrace all that life had to offer.
Finally, though, after a frustrating job search, Shing found an opportunity with iBakery, a Hong Kong social enterprise that trains and employs people like Shing who have physical and intellectual disabilities.
He started his training at iBakery’s small workshop in Aberdeen, making dough, cutting different cookie shapes, adding fillings, and learning how to operate the oven. After two years of training, iBakery employed him as one of their bakers!
Today, thanks to his job at iBakery, Shing has a salary of his own and to his delight, he can choose how to spend his own money. He enjoys shopping, and loves to buy comic books. He likes to eat at his favourite restaurants, savouring the pleasures of different flavours and dishes, instead of just consuming what was put in front of him for each meal.
“He knows how to enjoy life now,” said an iBakery manager. The same can be said for the other employees with disabilities at iBakery. “Now that they have their own salary, they can make choices about their lives. They have self-confidence.”
Crossroads’ Silk Road Cafe sells iBakery’s delectable muffins, pastries and cookies, alongside our fair trade tea and coffee. We love to be part of the solution in the lives of people like Shing and his co-workers, who might otherwise have trouble finding fair and reliable employment. Thanks to iBakery, they are not just surviving each day, but thriving!