Show of special needs youths’ potential


A customer being served by a special needs youth at Tender Hearts Cafe.

SOCIAL enterprise Tender Hearts Cafe hosted a fundraiser highlighting the capabilities of special needs youths making a living independently.

With the aim to show visitors how they interact with people and work, the Tender Hearts Special Needs Day was also held to encourage acceptance and equality where special needs youths are concerned.

At the one-day event, visitors browsed around the mini bazaar comprising various stalls selling crafts made by the special needs community, pre-loved items and food. There was also henna art and a small exhibition by the National Autism Society of Malaysia (Nasom).

The event that raised over RM8,000 through the food and merchandise sold, also aimed to champion the rights of special needs youths to be given equal opportunities in the workplace and ultimately, play an active part in society.

Tender Hearts Cafe founder Sharon Lee, who is also the mother of one of the cafe’s special needs youths, Sue Ann, is hopeful that the event would show the public their potential.

“I hope this event brings awareness that the children are able to create equal opportunities at the workplace just like everyone else,” she said.

Tender Hearts Cafe in Summit USJ, Subang Jaya trains special needs youths with the hope of running the cafe independently or with minimal supervision in five to 10 years.

Proceeds from the event will go towards improving the cafe’s kitchen equipment as well as the youths’ training needs and income.

The event was also made successful with the support of Rotary Club of Damansara-West, Brickfields Asia College founder Raja Singham, Nasom chairman Feilina Muhammad Feisol, a group of 13 law students from Brickfields Asia College and mothers of the special needs youths.


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