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
 Dec 25 2014 - Iraqi Prime Minister Heads to TurkeyQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Iraqi prime minister Haider Abadi began Thursday morning a two-day official visit to Turkey. During the visit, Abadi will hold talks with Turkish officials on means of developing ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Turkey Condemns Deadly Explosion in BaghdadQatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) Turkey has condemned an explosion in the Iraqi capital Baghdad that killed around 50 people on Wednesday. "We strongly condemn this reprehensible attack that targeted Iraq's ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Abraaj, Kellogg bidding war continues for Egypt's Bisco MisrMENAFN
(MENAFN) The bidding war between UAE's Abraaj and Kellogg Co, the world's largest breakfast cereal maker, continues to intensify to acquire the USD144 million worth Egyptian snack maker Bisco Misr as ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Qatar's beIN to buy USD820m stake in Turkish TVMENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar's beIN Media Group, which runs beIN Sports, announced it has agreed to pay USD820 million for the acquisition of 53 percent of Turkish pay-TV giant Digiturk, Arabian Business ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Arab region to invest USD356b on power projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN) According to a new study by Kuwaiti-based Arab fund for economic and social development (AFESD), Arab states will need to pay nearly USD356 billion in investments for the construction of ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Summary of Local News ReleasedWednesday - 1-Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - QNA) - Trading volume of real estate last week December 14-17 was worth in excess of QR 567 million, the Real Estate Registration and Authentication Department at the Ministry of Justice ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Zionist soldiers gun down Hamas fighterArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) GAZA CITY: Israel launched an airstrike in southern Gaza on Wednesday and killed a Hamas man.Palestinian medical sources said Tayseer Al-Ismary 33 was killed 'as a result of ...

 Dec 25 2014 - 'IS responsible for pilot's safety'Arab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) AMMAN: Islamic State fighters took a Jordanian pilot captive after his warplane came down in northeast Syria on Wednesday the first captive taken from the US-led coalition ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Iraq bomber kills 26 in attack on anti-terror groupArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber attacked Sunni anti-jihadi fighters south of Baghdad on Wednesday killing at least 26 people while a senior counter-terrorism officer was shot dead in ...

 Dec 25 2014 - Israeli land grab: 380 new settler homes approvedArab News
(MENAFN - Arab News) JERUSALEM: Israeli authorities gave final approval on Wednesday to the construction of 380 new settler homes in two areas of annexed east Jerusalem a local official said.Yosef ...

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