JFF turned 32-years old yesterday and celebrated its birthday together with about 30 special-needs children on a sponsored tour. These first-time visitors are from Lighthouse School – a school providing special education to children with visual impairment, hearing impairment or autism.
These children, aged between 7 to 17 years old, were accompanied by their teachers on their learning journey to JFF. Teachers used various means, such as sign language for the hearing-impaired children, and guiding the visually-impaired children by hand to touch the frogs at the farm.
The children were given a short introduction to the life-cycle of frogs, and told about physical differences between male and female frogs. Some courageous children even held the American bull-frogs in their hands, while some shied away. They then got to feed the frogs in the pens, and toured the farm together with their teachers.
JFF sponsored a two-way transport and guided tour for these special kids to mark their anniversary, as part of our ongoing efforts towards building an inclusive society.
Conducting a tour for children with mixed abilities is not without challenges, but the farm guides learnt more about accommodating differences.
Having seen how excited the children were and having received the positive feedback on the experience from the teachers, JFF aims to repeat a sponsorship like this next year. In general, it is important to give more opportunities to people with special needs to integrate into the working world and community at large. With that purpose in mind, JFF has hired a staff who is visually-impaired to work at their farm, and he will be starting work next week.
“This is a refreshing break away from the routines at our school. The children need more outdoors hands-on experiences like this to bring to life what they’ve studied in books. Going out to public places also gives them opportunities to practice social skills such as exhibiting appropriate behaviour, being thankful to hosts, sharing food among friends, etc. We hope to make more tours like this possible with the support of our corporate partners like JFF.,” commented Mr Danesh Kandasamy, teacher for ICT (Info-Comms Technology) at Lighthouse School.