At the garden and greenhouse in Santiago, Chile, a group of young adults with Down syndrome planting and growing vegetables and herbs that they can sell in their neighbourhood.The aspiring gardeners also work in the kitchen,
peeling, chopping and cooking some of their produce to make gourmet marmalades and preserves.I like to cook gourmet marmalade. I like to work in the garden.We all have cooking classes. We have classes to make marmalade with our teachers.The young Chileans participate in a program called “Garden on the Corner” which was started about a year ago as a way to help young people with Down syndrome bridge the gap between their school years and their entry into the labor market.
Gourmet affectively allows the kids to have autonomy which is what we want for them: autonomy in terms of job placement of young people with Down syndrome. And their own autonomy is people in a social world where by producing and selling the marmalade, they’ll receive money which allows them to have greater independence.As their garden blooms with the latest produce of the season, so do the young adults’ confidence as they venture into the community seeking neighbors who are eager to share in their bounty.Julie Taboh, VOA news.