A trip to Italy will be all the more worthwhile now if you visit the Ké Bar in Pozzuoli, near Vesuvio.
This brand new coffee bar has just opened this year with a staff consisting entirely of young adults with Down’s syndrome.
Quite an exciting move, as you can see from their happy faces! For many of these youngsters, this is their first professional working experience.
What’s truly wonderful is the freedom given to these kids to manage all the operations for Ké Bar, entirely themselves. From welcoming guests, mixing drinks, serving coffee and collecting tabs, these youngsters are managing everything under minimal supervision.
This wonderful initiative was kick-started by an Italian organization called La Bottega Dei Semplici Pensieri. This purpose of this noble project is simple: to train and prepare these kids for future employment. After all, what better way to train young people in customer skills than by actually getting them to interact with customers?
Explains, Mariolina Trapanese, the president of the association, “the management of a bar is not just an opportunity to acquire the right job skills, but also to increase direct interaction with people.” According to her, this direct contact will help these youngsters develop key work-related and behavioral skills which will help them succeed later in any future employment.
In fact, one of their bartenders, Roberto has even found work, all thanks to the skills he picked up at Ké Bar.
Started in 2012, La Bottega Dei Semplici Pensieri is an voluntary organization that focuses on enriching the professional training of disabled children so they could better integrate into the labor market.
Affecting 1 in every 1000 babies each year, Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic disorders. The afflicted person shows physical growth delay and a variable degree of intellectual disability. There is no cure for it, currently.
Let’s hope more organizations take a cue from this story to encourage and facilitate the employment of people with disabilities.
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