Introduction to the Syin-Lu Foundation
The ECCT's Corporate Social Responsibility committee hosted a lunch on the topic "Introduction to the Syin-Lu Foundation - How the foundation is enriching lives in Taiwan". The event was held to inform ECCT members about the foundation to which every year, for the past 16 years, a portion of the proceeds from the ECCT's Europe Day Dinner have been donated. At the event Feng Bi-hua, Chairperson of the foundation, gave short opening remarks in which she thanked the ECCT for its support over the years, emphasising that the ECCT's donations have been put to good use. After this Lydia Liu, the foundation's Director of Public Affairs, gave an introduction to the foundation and its main programmes and activities.
Established in 1987, the Syin-Lu Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes empowerment and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities and their families in Taiwan. The foundation provides support mainly to people with intellectual disabilities including developmental delay, intellectual disability, Down's syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy.
Through a variety of projects and a network of 30 branches located in Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Kaohsiung, Yilan and Penghu, the foundation provides a range of services for people of all ages. Every year, the foundation provides comprehensive care and employment assistance for more than 5,000 people who are mentally and physically challenged.
The main programmes cover early intervention and psychological treatment for children and community living support for adults, employment skills and aged care.
The early intervention programme provides a professional team to help children with disabilities. This includes special education teachers, rehabilitation therapists and social workers, who arrange appropriate medication, treatment and rehabilitation in daily activities, enabling children with developmental delays to play and learn. In 2016 Syin-Lu directly supported 1,911 children with developmental delays to learn to walk, eat, brush their teeth, and explore the world.
The foundation's adult community life programme aims to strengthen communities to welcome and include people with disabilities by offering day care living services, leisure activity clubs and gatherings, counselling and lifelong learning courses. In 2016, 1,335 adults benefitted from the programme not only by providing activities but also helping marginalised people to cultivate interests and make new friends.
The foundation helps youths with disabilities develop work skills through vocational assessment, pre-work and on-the-job training, job matching and employment advocacy. It also runs a sheltered workshop. In 2016, 1,974 adults found a job through the programme, thereby becoming more independent and making a contribution to society as well as their own families.
Many jobs are through sheltered workshops which offer services including laundry and cleaning services, hand-made soap and baked goods.
For the elderly with intellectual disabilities who are unable to work, the foundation's aged care service provides accommodation support, a community-based resource network to fulfill health and aging-related needs and home delivery services. In 2016, the service took care of 210 elderly people to help them stay healthy and socially active and to help relieve the burden on their families.