Embracing diversity: Zhenru Town's path to inclusive integration

March 29, 2024 |

As World Autism Awareness Day approaches, a forum was held on Wednesday in Zhenru Town to discuss how to integrate individuals with autism into society.

Located among the storefronts at 171 Beishi Road in Putuo District, there is an unassuming community charity supermarket. Within its modest 49 square meters, the supermarket offers goods at attractive prices, some even less than half of market value, making it popular among nearby residents.

The shop assistants in the supermarket are eight young people with autism. Tailoring the work assignments to each assistant's unique strengths and characteristics, the manager of the charity supermarket has arranged various tasks for them, including stocking, customer assistance, cashier duties and restocking.

In February last year, the Putuo District Civil Affairs Bureau collaborated with Zhenru Town to launch a charitable trial, creating the "Charity Supermarket" brand project to help young people with autism develop life skills and integrate into social life. Today, this small charity supermarket has become a bridge connecting the "youths from the star” with society, making valuable strides towards their social integration.

During the event, Zhenru Town announced the launch of the Zhenru community education "Mom Salon" project to further enhance care and support for special groups; unveiled the "charity culture social practice point for minors" to increase minors' attention and understanding of the children with autism; and established a volunteer service point to leverage volunteer forces from various sectors of society to provide stronger support and assistance for the social integration of special groups.