According to statistics conducted in 2012, China has more than 82 million disabled people. Of those, 5.5 million are mentally challenged. The disabled people, who lost their hearing, their arms, legs or eyesight, can acquire training and rehabilitation skills such as massage, typewriting, electric appliance repairing, shoes repairing after training. So they have the chance to find a job or start their own business. But, for the mentally challenged people, there’re no opportunities to work. No company is willing to spent money and take efforts to train them. At present, the most common training offered to mentally challenged people in China is life-skill training and to enhance their ability to care for themselves. However, it still doesn’t change the fact that they are among the underprivileged people in China and are not viewed as valuable in society. As result, most of them are staying at home being isolated from the society.
Amity Bakery was founded in 2007 with the aim of running Amity’s own social enterprise. The idea was opening a bakery and creating vocational training opportunities for young adults who are mentally challenged. Potential apprentices come from Amity Home of Blessings. Amity Bakery promotes youth employment and provides hope, equal participation and a dignified life for the mentally challenged people and their families.
In order to operate the Bakery according to the market rules and to provide the Bakery with professional support in the long run, the Bakery registered in the local industrial and commercial bureau. Every year Amity Bakery runs various events to draw attention of people from all parts of society and to help the young adults better to adapt to society. Over the years the Amity Bakery developed from a small workshop to a social enterprise.
The Amity Bakery made a breakthrough in 2011. It accepted three trainees with learning difficulties as employees. Nowadays, the Amity Bakery is selling high-quality products at several Amity Bakery shops in Nanjing and more than 30 employees are working for the bakery.
Amity Bakery serves as a platform for advocacy and raises awareness on issues of underprivileged people in China. Company employees and school classes are visiting the Amity Bakery every year, attend cooking classes and learn about the concept of inclusion of challenged people. By obtaining a wide media coverage Amity Bakery has a huge outreach for the concerns of affected people and their families to the society at the whole.