JuHu, designed to empower.

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JuHu, designed to empower.: We are fighting stigmatization of disabled people by presenting their skills as craftsmen of high quality design objects.

Riga, Latvia
Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We are creating a system based on a community of people, uniting their skills and knowledge with the aim to create, produce and sell high quality responsible products.

We are fighting stigmatization of people with disabilities by presenting their skills as craftsmen of high quality design objects.

We provide high quality design, manufacturing tools & a way for the craftsmen to gain recognition from the society for their quality work.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

People suffering from disabilities are hidden from the society put in boxes we call "care centers" where they are taken care of. This has as a side effect to restrict their interaction with the "outside world", with as a consequence the impression for the "client" (social structure attendee) not to be part of the society. Social structures are doing in the vast majority of cases a great job in providing assistance to those with disabilities. However there is a need for a possibility for the clients to have a contact and get recognition from the society, based on their skills. By being recognized and appreciated for what they do, the clients become better integrated in the society. Fighting stigmatization by changing the attitude.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We aim to fight this stigmatization by showing the high quality skills these people with disabilities have, working on empathy and not sympathy by presenting them as highly skilled craftsmen. Throughout the system we designed, the "client" can receive recognition in a safe way through specifically designed tools, such as an online platform, and their names proudly written on each object they produced. In our team are a social designer, a product designer and an ergo therapist, we also developed a specific way to adapt existing designs or create new designs in the particular context we are working in. Aside from the design guidelines, we also developed tools to assist the therapist in his work . And sharing the stories of the objects.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

By gaining recognition from customers through a safe channel for the high quality design objects they have been making in the workshop, the clients are feeling better accepted in the society. At Gaismas Stars is working a client named Ralfs, throughout his participation in the project he gained self confidence, and does feel comfortable being around people. During an event we co-organized in the premises of the social structure, he was responsible to present the project to the visitors. He is now working part time in a high quality charity shop as a salesperson (the charity shop is called Otra Elpa). He came later to us and expressed his envy to see the JuHu products made at Gaismas Stars to be sold in the Shop he is working in.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The collaboration scheme developed in collaboration with G.S. has allowed us (JuHu) to design a system that can be replicated in different contexts of disabilities. We are continually developing new tools to support the mission. In an immediate future: We will start a collaboration with a second partner in Riga (the house of Bethlehem) to produce a second design object (planned to be in the shop shelves at the begining of April). The same partner invited us to participate with JuHu products and platform in the opening of their wood production facility 20km from Riga. (currently hunting for designs to be adapted). We want to bring a 2nd design object to be produced by "Gaismas Stars" Within a year: We aim to start the first collaboration abroad with one city in Finland which approached us. We aim to have 5 different products produced in 5 different production locations.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

In the market, we do observe a quantity of small size operation working directly with the people impaired and excluded by providing work to them directly with a production imperative. JuHu is a link between different partners. In the JuHu project, we aim to collaborate directly with the social structures and we offer them : • a tool for their client to gain recognition from the society in a safe way • high quality designs adapted to their environment (and the packaging going with it) • retribution for the production of quality designs • an access to a network of selected shops accordingly to the designs • a platform to communicate with the other social structures part of JuHu • useful tools as "work certificates" for their clients, and we develop new ones with our partners. • tools for production and the first batch of material (if not covered by the fundraising)


The most important aspect is for us to have a good contact and collaboration together in the aim of developing and replicating the system. We need a team who embraces the same ideals and dreams than we do, with knowledge in educational therapy, design, marketing and business. The expertise of Janis (therapist at Gaismas stars) and his colleagues is extremely valuable, nevertheless with their open minds and envy to experiment it is an empowering experience working together with them. We aim for Gaismas Star to be a "research center" for JuHu and invest more in them to develop more methods and experiment different approaches in the future. They have very interesting possibilities to expend at their location. The relation on the "business side" has been simplified to a manufacturer --> wholesale distributor for administrative reasons. Both teams meet on a regular base.