Friday, September 3, 2010

The "We Can" Approach to Life's Problems

A common problem for social welfare programs is finding ways to help the handicapped. Many who have succeeded in life, as we know, had handicaps: the four-fingered pianist, the Chinese young man who lost both arms in an accident and plays the piano with his toes, the blind who have graduated at the top of their class. However, those who are mentally disadvantaged are not so successful in life and are also the most difficult to help.

A Religious Sister in Seoul wanted to do something about the problem, so she started the We Can Center. Her intention was to form a company that hires only the mentally handicapped workers and also to make a quality product: a premium cookie using only the best home-grown organic ingredients available.

The Catholic Times reports on the success of the enterprise: Started in 2001, the company is committed to producing a quality product, and when on a number of occasions the only ingredients available did not meet their high standards, they preferred to close down rather than compromise their commitment to quality. In  2008  they increased sales by 44 percent and made a modest profit for the first time. This  past year they had  over a million dollars worth of sales. But, Sister says, success will not come simply because of the sympathy many have for the handicapped, but because of a good product that can compete with others in the marketplace. And with the interest in the product increasing,  she believes this will spur more people to show an interest in the  handicapped.

The Center is interested not only in producing a premium cookie but also in helping their workers become premium members of society. Therapy programs are available to all workers in order to build confidence, gain respect for themselves, and be more responsible and socially aware. The Sister is helping them fit more easily into God's plan for creation. "Our company is interested in people more than money," she says. "The company can run with 6 or 7 employees, we have 37. And there's always the possibility of using cheaper ingredients to increase income;  we have never given in to that temptation."

The article concludes with an invitation to drop by and taste the product at the We Can Center--they are waiting to serve you. For online shopping, they can be contacted at

No comments:

Post a Comment