Liangxingyuan Sheltered Workshop

Introduction of the Spot

The farm of happiness for mentally challenged children is irrigated by love and patience.

The founder of Liangxingyuan Social Welfare Charity Foundation, Chang Tien-Tang, was born in a rural village. With a passion for social issues, he actively participates in the democratic development and social movements of Taiwan and can be regarded as a “political man.” When exploring entry level workers, he also gets in touch with the dark corners. During the rise of economic conditions in Taiwan, the underprivileged seemed more helpless and miserable. The lonely elderly have no support, and physically and mentally challenged people drag down their family. Accordingly, he decided to help the underprivileged by working for social welfare at the frontline.

At first, Liangxingyuan took care of the elderly living alone. Later, he expanded to include the physically and mentally challenged. In addition to basic life needs, major issues involve taking care of them in life and employment. Most importantly, they can learn to be mainstreamed into society and live independently like us. Therefore, in 2014, with assistance from the Bureau of Labor Affairs, Liangxingyuan Sheltered Farm was established. At first, he only thought of farming and supporting his family. He had not expected farming to be so healing. More than 10 mentally challenged people work at the Farm, developing from being awkward to skillful. Their personalities have even changed. The vegetable garden is filled with happy laughter every day, and the vegetables grown there taste more and more delicious.

Liangxingyuan grows stronger in mercy. There is always another way.

The Farm covers every step of work on its own, from weeding, sowing, and sprouting to harvesting, cleaning, sorting, and packaging. It is not easy. To train the mentally challenged for farming, technicians have to adjust the process from simple to difficult. Through repetitive practice, the mentally challenged gradually become familiar with the job. It seems simple for people to harvest each leaf of lettuce, arugula, flowers, and plants, but for the mentally challenged, it is not easy at all. Some of them are even afraid of touching the soil. Sometimes mistakes happen, such as pulling out green onions when they are supposed to remove the weeds or harvesting the weeds when they need to pick green onions. Without love, patience, and perseverance, harvesting would be a big problem.

It takes a lot of time to train them to plow, weed, and grow vegetables. Although a lot of work, it is worth it. Seeing the vegetables and fruits growing healthily, the mentally challenged farmers would smile and proudly declare that “I grew all these!” Despite failing and getting frustrated in the beginning, they gradually acquire the skills and complete the job. They become more and more confident. Some of them even take the initiative to acquire a farming license. These years, several of them have successively reentered the workforce. Then the technicians who first coached them feel a sense of achievement too.