The institutionalized in Bulgaria have little opportunity to interact with the outside world and contribute to society. Our project creates an occupational therapy workshop for 15 men with intellectual disabilities. It pairs them with young volunteers to learn to make arts and crafts from corn husks. The profit from the sale of these items will be invested back into the men and the workshop. (The project works exclusively with males because the partner institution serves this population only.)
I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living. - John Rockefeller - Those living in Bulgaria's institutions have little contact with the outside world. This leads to discrimination and stigma, and it also allows the institutionalized few opportunities to contribute to society. This project would allow 15 men to learn skills to make arts and crafts for sale to outside markets.
This project would create an occupational therapy workshop to teach 15 men to make arts and crafts out of corn husks. In this way, it would give intellectually disabled men the opportunity to make a livelihood. This project will also bring young volunteers into the institution to interact with the men and teach them arts and crafts. Thus, it will allow both parties to form new friendships and reduce misconceptions among the young people who train the men.
Employing the intellectually disabled gives them the opportunity to contribute to society and also combats the belief that they are a drain on the economy. This project will give 15 men the chance to learn a new trade and sell their goods on the open market. These goods will come with clear information regarding their production, and this will reduce stigma toward intellectual disabilities in larger society.