“Mirtillo Cafe” – a cafe in Athens that employs young adults with special needs, because they see their potential as employees. It has become a learning hub for those who can’t find it elsewhere.
Some employers say that if “normal” people can’t get jobs then “special” people won’t either. What they don’t know and have not experienced is the drive and passion these young adults with special needs have when they work; because for them, they know it’s their chance to prove themselves.
Mirtillo Cafe in Neo Iraklio (Athens) does what larger organisations can’t: offers possibilities, true opportunities, to people with special needs, so they can develop themselves further, and become included in the commercial marketplace.
Today, in Mirtillo Cafe there are 13 employees (waiters, barmen, trainers) of whom 10 have special needs. Some of them have hearing impairment, medium intelligence or mobility issues, but most of them have Asperger’s syndrome. They’re little Einsteins; but they can’t tie their shoe laces. The waiters will never need to write down an order, they remember everything. The aim is to enable them to use their practicality in more aspects of their lives.
There are more activities in Mirtillo Cafe, such as the ongoing training of 19 young adults with learning difficulties. After a year or two of training, depending on on each one’s abilities, they are encouraged to look for jobs in the commercial markets. Two have already been hired elsewhere.
Source: Het Podium