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Vertical farm to train people with mild intellectual disability launched
SINGAPORE — A vertical farm and realistic training rooms are among the features of the new Association for Persons with Special Needs Centre for Adults (ASPN CFA), which was officially opened on Friday (July 8).
The centre, which currently provides sheltered work, training and job placement for 120 people with mild intellectual disability, is located at the Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub in Jalan Ubi.
The farm, which is part of the ASPN CFA’s horticulture training programme, is the first vertical farm in Singapore that is used to train persons with mild intellectual disability.
Apart from learning how to germinate and harvest crops at the farm, the centre’s clients are also taught the mechanics of growing crops, such as transplanting and soil care and mixing.
The income generated by the vertical farm will be used to run the ASPN CFA. The centre is also equipped with training rooms, such as a bakery and a kitchen, and an occupational therapy room featuring the latest equipment.
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development, who was the guest of honour at the centre’s official opening, noted that the Kembangan-Chai Chee Community Hub also houses several other voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs).
Such proximity will provide the VWOs with opportunities to collaborate and share best practices and resources, he said.
“Through these collaborations, everyone within the hub, including staff, caregivers, beneficiaries and volunteers, can co-exist and explore areas where they can support each other to serve clients better,” Mr Tan added.
This year marks the Association for Persons with Special Needs’ 40th anniversary of serving persons with disabilities (PWDs). The association provides specialised educational pathways for clients aged between seven and 21 years, while its centre for adults offers continued vocational training and preparation for open employment for clients age 17 years and above.