The Deaf Population of China, numbering around 72 million and with their own language and cultural identity, could be classed as China’s largest minority people group. They exist in every city, every township and thousands of small villages.
The majority of Deaf young people do not find suitable employment and turn to Deaf-led gangs in the large cities for a sense of belonging. Their means of living comes from petty theft or worse, from drug trade and prostitution.
It was with this in mind that Hearts and Hands began its work in 2000, first as a training class in patchwork and quilting for young Deaf, then as a small handcraft business employing young Deaf people who would otherwise struggle to make a living. Currently we have over 40 workers with hope for greater expansion in the future.
Our workers are all deaf or disabled, learning useful life skills in a friendly working environment. Our hope in providing this environment is to help them realize “plans that will prosper and not harm them, plans for a hope and a future.”
Hearts and Hands produces a wide range of handcrafted goods and soft furnishings. The workers are skilled in sewing and quilting and can make items to order. They combine use of Chinese fabrics with Western designs to create interesting new products.