Inclusive communities with John Lewis

15 May 2024

We are delighted to announce a new two-year partnership with The John Lewis Partnership Foundation. Together, we’re launching the ‘Inclusive Communities’ project, aimed at helping young people with deafblindness and multi-sensory impairments to access employment in Delhi and Alleppey.

Over two years, the partnership will provide 80 children and young people with education and skills training, so they can build their experience ready for employment. Our collective goal is to foster inclusive communities in regions where the Partnership’s supply chains operate.

In India, people with deafblindness often live isolated lives, excluded from meaningful employment and their communities. This project will provide opportunities for young people with deafblindness and multi-sensory impairments to develop their vocational skills, learn a local trade and be connected to longer term employment opportunities.

It aims to reach young people like Chandra from Southern India, who has deafblindness.

When Chandra left school at 14, he was very shy and lacked opportunities to interact with peers, compounded by difficulties in reading and writing.

However, after meeting Sense International India and our local partner at 16, Chandra’s journey took a positive turn. With the guidance of a trained educator, he gradually reintegrated into his community, honing essential skills such as time management and literacy, while discovering his passion for glass painting.

Chandra’s independence began to grow and, after his hard work and support from his parents, he passed his secondary school exams. In recognition of this fantastic achievement, Chandra was presented his certificate by a local district councillor.

Chandra’s father owned a local shop, and always dreamed his eldest son would take it over one day. Chandra received tailored instructions in money management and customer service, gradually taking on responsibilities including running the shop while his parents ran errands.

Today, Chandra is flourishing.

Thanks to his newfound business skills, Chandra runs his parent’s shop, sells his painted glass, is voting in the election and loves to swim and travel. If life is a painting, then Chandra is painting his own rainbows every day.

Thank you so much to The John Lewis Partnership Foundation for supporting children and young people with deafblindness to become full and active members of society.

Together we can transform more lives.