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Celebrating 70 years of inclusion

Organization marks milestone with 1950’s-themed event

This year marks a significant milestone for inclusion as they celebrate 70 years of community and service in the qathet region.

Established in 1954 by visionary parents, inclusion began as a bold initiative to educate children excluded from the school system due to their intellectual disabilities.

“Children who had been bullied, segregated and sent to institutions were given the opportunity for learning, socialization and, most notably, hope,” explains inclusion CEO Ocean van Samang.

Over the decades, inclusion has broadened its mission to support individuals at all stages of life, from infants to seniors. The organization now manages 13 support homes and facilitates numerous programs that have transformed the lives of more than a thousand individuals in the region, providing opportunities they may not have had otherwise.

However, inclusion's services extend well beyond supporting people with intellectual disabilities and developmental delays.

The non-profit also operates an outdoor eco-preschool, diverse youth programs and social enterprises such as OneLight and Kindred ReBuild. Additionally, it offers enriching activities and support for seniors – lifelines for many and pillars of a healthy community.

Reflecting on seven decades of progress and community engagement, inclusion is inviting qathet region residents to join its 70th anniversary celebration. The event is scheduled for June 1 at the ARC Community Event Centre from 12 to 3 pm.

“We hope to see as many people out as possible to support our organization’s continuous mission of advocacy and inclusion,” adds van Samang. “This mission is only possible with the strength of this amazing community.”

The Rockin’ 50s-themed anniversary celebration will feature live music, delicious food, fun games and inspiring words, honouring past achievements and rallying support for the future of inclusion.

inclusion is a non-profit organization and relies on government funding and grants to provide much-needed services in the community. It is also one of the region’s largest independent employers, significantly impacting local economic stability and community growth.

“While we are grateful for our funding, not all our services are funded,” says van Samang. “Our social economy programs rely on short-term grants, and our Wish Fund for individuals is supported solely through fundraising. This is where your support can make a tangible difference, whether through monetary donations, donations of goods, services or time.”

Donations and volunteers play an integral role in helping inclusion exceed expectations. They enable advanced training for people with disabilities and provide essential resources, such as communication devices and exposure to new experiences. They also offer opportunities for the individuals served, as well as for parents and caregivers to attend conferences and workshops. Services that support seniors to stay in their homes are almost exclusively volunteer-run.

Every contribution to inclusion supports the expansion of its social enterprises, senior programs and the Wish Fund. Donations help provide superior care, assist those often overlooked in the job market, and improve access to essential resources for families. Additionally, increased funding boosts public education efforts on the importance of inclusion and creating environments where everyone feels welcome.

inclusion believes in a community where everyone, regardless of their abilities, can participate fully and be recognized as valued members of society. Join the fun on June 1 to witness firsthand the impact of inclusion and show your support for a more inclusive society.

For more information on how to donate and volunteer, go to Also, to donate used furniture, building supplies, bicycles and more, or to pick up supplies for DIY projects, go to