In 2017, the “Step Forward” Social NGO initiated the production of cardboard cups in order to create employment for teenagers with developmental disabilities and integrate them into the society. Now 19 teenagers with special disabilities work in shifts in the production, the employment is 12 hours a week.
“Step forward” Social NGO was created by the parents of children with special disabilities, so that the teenagers can become full members of the society. Therapeutic activities are also held for children at the center.
“Hand in hand” Social Enterprise of “Step forward” Social NGO is one of the winners of the annual grant program of “Stepan Gishyan” Charitable Foundation. One of the machines for the production of paper cups was purchased with the support of the Foundation.
Branded cups can be ordered by anyone, including individuals and organizations. “The production process represents a chain of repetitive actions, which creates ideal conditions for these teenagers to work independently and earn their money under the supervision of masters and specialists. Children enthusiastically participate in this production process and we know that among disposable dishes, these laminated cups are the safest for both people and the environment,” said Anna Gishyan, Director of the “Stepan Gishyan” Charitable Foundation.
“While conducting the therapeutic work, we had the idea to start a small business and show by our example that children with disabilities also have abilities and that these abilities can be developed and integrated into the society through them. In this case, children have the opportunity to talk to a new person every time when registering orders, which is quite a big step to overcome these obstacles. At the same time, they go out to do delivery work and meet different addresses and people each time, which allows the children to overcome communication problems. From this point of view, the program was of great importance for us,” said Arpine Ashotyan, the Head of the Educational Department of the Center.
“Stepan Gishyan” Charitable Foundation was created by Akba Bank, French Credit Agricole, Credit Agricole National Federation and the Stepan Gishyan’s family. The Foundation’s programs are aimed at strengthening Armenian-French ties, improving and perfecting Armenia’s socio-economic, scientific-educational, cultural, and healthcare systems.
More details in the video.