Turkey's Changemakers: Down Cafe becomes light of hope for people with disabilities
This week’s Changemaker of the Sabanci Foundation is Kazim Demirel Youth Association that implemented the “Down Cafe” project which involves employment of young people with down syndrome and mental disabilities.
Supported under the Social Development Grant Program of Sabanci Foundation, Kazim Demirel Youth Association first opened “Sevgi (Love) Down Cafe” in Eregli district of Konya to provid job opportunities to young people with down syndrome and mental disabilities.
The Down Cafe project aims to change the perception of society towards young people with down syndrome and mental disabilities and create an area where these people can be employed and can practice what they learnt at the special training school.
Within the initial phase of the project, 37 young people with mental disabilities are trained in food and beverage services and 24 young people receive applied trainings in the cafe. As a part of the internship program, students work in the cafe from 9:00 to 17:00 every day and at the end of each month they get paid for the hours they have worked during that month. 8 of the students, who were trained and employed in the cafe, already started to work in two different restaurants in the district of Eregli.