Max was working at an international special needs school and became aware of the lack of transition to employment opportunities for adults here in Bangkok. Max and Uang had been working together to provide work experience opportunities for people with special needs at Uang’s coffee shop and cafe (Theera), as well as at various market stalls. Seeing the positive outcomes of this fuelled us to do better and create an accredited service with more options for the trainees and in an environment which can begin to evoke change in society by demonstrating what these amazing people are capable of achieving.
Both of us are incredibly passionate about this project, Uang’s young son and Max’s younger brother have autism. Every member of our team is passionate about what we are working towards at Steps with Theera, we are very much a family here. Our extended family is growing as more people connect with us and we have other businesses willing to offer employment opportunities to our trainees once they have completed our programme. For us, that is the ultimate aim; providing a fulfilling employment which enables people with special needs to be independent and contribute to their community.
This project is about evoking change and attitudes towards people with special needs. By being in the community and showing society our trainees are capable of so many things, we will slowly start to bring a brighter future for them. They deserve the same opportunities as all people and to be treated with dignity. Their voice is so often not heard so it becomes our job to advocate for them/ provide them with the skills and opportunities to self-advocate, make decisions and give them access to a life of independence. We want to empower these people to reach their full potential; the boost in self-esteem gained from purposeful contribution to society is invaluable.
Running an accredited vocational training centre is just the first step for us, what we will strive to create for the future is so much more. We would like to set up other vocational centres for different areas such as art & design, mechanics, hair & beauty and ICT. This will work hand in hand with being able to offer semi-independent living facilities on site at Steps with Theera. We truly believe in creating these vital necessities for adults with special needs, because they deserve the same opportunities as everyone else to lead independent and fulfilling lives.
If you or your company are interested in hearing more about our future plans, please get in touch by clicking here.