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 habeen 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
 May 27 2016 - Qatar- Five key clashes in the Champions League finalThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The 2016 UEFA Champions League Final logo at the Piazza Duomo in Milan, Italy, on 26 May 2016. EPA/DANIEL DAL ZENNARO Madrid:Real Madrid face local rivals Atletico Madrid ...

 May 27 2016 - Qatar- Al Shaqab students graduate at a glittering ceremonyThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Students who received equestrian training at Al Shaqab, pose for a photograph with special guests during their graduation ceremony after receiving their certificates ...

 May 27 2016 - Qatar- Four international players to continue with Al RayyanThe Peninsula
(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Ali Salem Afifa, Head of Football at Al Rayyan Doha: Following a successful local football season, Al Rayyan have secured the services of their four foreign players ...

 May 27 2016 - UAE plays vital role in development projects in JordanMENAFN
(MENAFN) Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and Jordan worked together towards achieving their sustainable development goals, supporting projects in fundamental sectors.Moreover, ADFD has funded ...

 May 27 2016 - Cairo USD 3.6bn residential project attracts foreign investmentMENAFN
(MENAFN) The Ministry of housing introduced Egypt's biggest upcoming project, USD 3.6bn Mountain View iCity, which will be launched in New Cairo.Furthermore, the project's main layout will encompass ...

 May 27 2016 - Qatar, Luxembourg trade relations growMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar and Luxembourg have viewed growth due to the exchange of official visits between the two sides and the signing of mutual deal on many areas.Moreover, Qatar sees innovation as a main ...

 May 26 2016 - Saudi- Living cost index in the Kingdom rises 0.2% in AprilSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Riyadh, Sha'ban 19, 1437, May 26, 2016, SPA -- The index of the cost of living in the Kingdom rose by 0.2% during the month of April 2016 compared to the previous month ...

 May 26 2016 - Governor of Riyadh Region receives Cyprus' AmbassadorSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Riyadh, Sha'ban 19, 1437, May 26, 2016, SPA -- Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh region, received here today the Ambassador of Cyprus to the ...

 May 26 2016 - Israeli warplanes launch raids on Gaza StripSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) Ramallah, 19 Sha'ban, 1437, May 26, 2016, SPA -- Israeli warplanes launched today a series of air raids on sites and targets in the Gaza Strip. Local security sources ...

 May 26 2016 - Saudi- Three dead, many injured in Mumbai chemical factory blastSaudi Press Agency
(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) New Delhi, Sha'ban 19, 1437, May 26, 2016, SPA -- At least three people have died and several have been injured in a huge blast at a chemical factory on the outskirts ...

more...


 





Google

Join Our Newsletter

 
 

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