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Civic Participation

K. Demirel Youth Association

Down Cafe Became The Light Of Hope For People With Disabilities

This week’s Changemaker of the Sabancı Foundation is Kazım Demirel Youth Association that implemented the “Down Cafe” project which involves the employment of young people with down syndrome and mental disabilities.

Supported under the Social Development Grant Program of Sabancı Foundation, Kazım Demirel Youth Association first opened “Sevgi (Love) Down Cafe” in Ereğli district of Konya to provide job opportunities to young people with down syndrome and mental disabilities.

The Down Cafe project aims to change the perception of society towards young people with down syndrome and mental disabilities and create an area where these people can be employed and can practice what they learned at the special training school.

Within the initial phase of the project, 37 young people with mental disabilities are trained in food and beverage services and 24 young people receive applied trainings in the cafe. As a part of the internship program, students work in the cafe from 9:00 to 17:00 every day and at the end of each month, they get paid for the hours they have worked during that month. 8 of the students, who were trained and employed in the cafe, already started to work in two different restaurants in the district of Ereğli.

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