Kang Ai Ling, 47
Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS) | i’mable
In her artwork ‘Ice-cream Cart’, Kang Ai Ling drew a man selling ice cream from an ice cream cart. By the side, a group of children are holding hands and waiting excitedly for their ice cream sandwiches.
Ai Ling’s desire to reminisce about happy memories inspired this artwork. She recalled how, when she was younger, she would look forward to indulging in her favourite ice cream sandwiches.
Many of us identify with Ai Ling, and even today, our heart leaps when we come across an ice cream cart on a hot day. It is shared experiences like these that provide a sense of connection amongst Singaporeans.
Ai Ling is a member of MINDS’s Idea-Employment Development Centre, a programme providing vocational training to individuals with intellectual disabilities. At the centre, she has produced handicrafts like tile magnets, and has learnt glass painting and saori weaving.
According to Suvarna Dayanandan, Senior Training Officer, Ai Ling is a remarkably dedicated and focused worker. She smiled as she elaborated: “Ai Ling is creative, clever and hardworking. She’s almost like the supervisor of the projects we do – in fact, sometimes we forget that she is a trainee.”
Although this year’s National Day will be unlike any other, Ai Ling is just as excited. When asked for a message that she would like to share with Singapore, she said: “I hope we Singaporeans will all remain happy and healthy!”