Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Italian restaurant finds new way of looking at disability  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 15/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) IT was another busy night for the staff with Down syndrome at the Girasoli restaurant in Rome, which serves up traditional pizza and pasta dishes along with a new way of looking at disability in the workplace

The neon-signed restaurant was set up in a suburb southeast of the Italian capital by the parents of children with disabilities, and it functions just like any other eatery — except 13 of its 18 employees are handicapped

“I love this room, monitoring it, making myself available, being in contact with people,” said Simone, a 24-year-old who after a paid internship of 600 hours now has a permanent contract with Girasoli (Sunflowers)

“And above all I just love being here!” he said

When a group of women came in Simone deftly showed them to a table, clutching a few menus in his hand

“We heard good things about it so we wanted to come,” said one woman, while her friend added: “Basically it’s a normal restaurant — except the waiters are nice!

As he tucked into an amatriciana pasta dish, 64-year-old teacher Giuseppe said: “When you come here for the first time, you have certain expectations but you quickly realize that there is no need to have them

The restaurant was set up in 2000 and is aimed at offering work to people with Down syndrome — a genetic disorder usually associated with physical growth delays and intellectual disability but many manage to complete university degrees and hold down jobs

“My waiters do their job and do it very well,” said chief waiter Ugo Menghini, who is not handicapped, praising the efficiency and speed of his staff

“If I was to set up my own business, I wouldn’t hesitate, I would hire people with Down syndrome.

Like many businesses in Italy, the restaurant has been hit by the recession and was forced to shut for several months last year for restructuring and renovation

It is now being run by Consorzio Sintesi, a social co-operative association which specializes in giving jobs to disabled people and also manages three call-centers for the Italian mobile phone operator Wind

“The state pushes for assistance but we prefer professional training. Everything here is self-financed with no subsidies from the state,” Enzo Rimicci, the head of the association, told AFP

“Every employee here manages to find their place based on their skills,” Rimicci said, explaining for example how one staffer, Marco, was too shy to work with customers but proved to be “a real machine” in the kitchen

“Seen close up, no one is normal.” he said, repeating an old Roman proverb that he likes

The restaurant’s training is rigorous and out of the 13 employees with Down syndrome, nine are still interns

When Girasoli is closed in the morning, another team comes in to make cookies and cakes for the evening customers

Anna, a 22-year-old waitress, came in even on her night off to have dinner with her parents

“For us, for her it’s a great victory,” said her father, Carlo, tearing up as he described his daughter’s transformation since she started work

“Our daughter has gained autonomy. When she comes home from work, she is happy, proud of what she’s done,” he said, adding that Anna had also made progress “in how she relates to other people, in her language.

A further sign of the restaurant’s success is that another one is in the works

A new one is expected to open soon in Palermo in Sicily and Rimicci said there were even plans to turn the idea into a franchise and create many more outlets.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 Nov 27 2014 - Lebanon mourns 'songbird' SabahArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) BEIRUT: Iconic Lebanese singer and actress Sabah died Wednesday at the age of 87 after a seven-decade career and a colorful love life that kept her in the headlines until the ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Egypt drops ban on 'adults only' filmArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) CAIRO: An Egyptian court has revoked a government ban on a film by Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe that had been deemed sexually provocative judicial sources said on Wednesday.In April ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Prince vanishes from social mediaArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) NEW YORK: Prince whose distaste for the music industry's conventions is well known has abruptly disappeared from social media after tentative efforts to promote his two new ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Cumberbatch quits smokingArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) LONDON: 'Sherlock' star Benedict Cumberbatch has revealed he left smoking one month back.The 38-year-old actor said staying away from cigarette is helping him stay healthy ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Dilip Kumar perfectly fine: Big BArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) MUMBAI: Thespian Dilip Kumar is 'perfectly fine' says actor Amitabh Bachchan quashing rumors of the former's health scare.Social networking platforms were abuzz with rumors ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Turki Khan: Changing society one step at a timeArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Dreams ambitions and determination have no limits dedication to those three traits can take that dreamer ambition-seeker and determined young man or woman to places he or she ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Exploring fine art through pencilArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Eman Al-Qahtani is a successful talented and ambitious young Saudi artist. She combines thoughts and colors in her paintings. She has her own art method; a painting is to deliver ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Qatar lifts 22nd Arabian Gulf CupArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Qatar rallied to get the better of Saudi Arabia 2-1 to win the 22nd Arabia Gulf Cup football tournament at the King Fahd International stadium in Riyadh Wednesday night.Playing ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Saudi- Al Kabeer climbs to No. 2 after honors sweep in Globe CupArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) One mighty performance that saw Al Kabeer Frozen Foods sweep honors had the defending champion moving up the leaderboard after the eighth week in the Thursday League 12th ...

 Nov 27 2014 - Al-Taib wins Fastest Car Race 2014 in RiyadhArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) Ahmed Al-Taib a Saudi topped the Fastest Car Race 2014 which was organized at Dirab Park racetrack in Riyadh. Al-Taib won the race in a Porsche 911 Turbo which is characterized ...

more...


 






Google

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help