Creating employment opportunities for people with permanent mental disability.

Creating employment opportunities for people with permanent mental disability.

Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

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

The basic purpose of the project is to provide mentally disabled youth of both sexes with employment opportunities and thus enable them to subsist and integrate into society. The specific objectives are: a) to offer training in ceramics, carpentry and sewing for mentally disabled people, b) to create jobs in the area of souvenirs and ceramic objects confection

About You
Association of Parents with adult children suffering from mental disability “Speranţă şi Sănătate”
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Section 1: About You
First Name


Last Name



, CU

Section 2: About Your Organization
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?


Organization Name

Association of Parents with adult children suffering from mental disability “Speranţă şi Sănătate”

Organization Phone

373 22 71 85 54

Organization Address

Vasile Lupu Str., 81/2, Chişinău

Organization Country
How long has this organization been operating?

More than 5 years

Your idea
Country your work focuses on

, CU

What makes your innovation unique?

By developing modest professional skills, mentally disabled young people will be able to live a more self-dependent decent life, according to their individual abilities. The project will thus ease their integration into society as productive members and lead to a change in societal attitudes towards such groups. Furthermore the project will also assist the affected guardians by taking away part of the daily financial and psychological burden they face while providing subsistence for their protégés.

Mentally disabled people can not participate in the social and economic life of the country, so they feel inferior - can not work due to lack of legislative base in this area. Therefore, creating the appearance of employment, and enable them to feel useful to society - is a big step in the integration of mentally ill people.
The ability to sew, work with clay and wood will make it possible to gain individual profit and to obtain employment. In addition, the beneficiaries will participate in vocational training classes specially tailored for mentally ill/disabled, which will strengthen and enhance their personal developmental skills which are an integral part of their social adaptation. These classes will focus on skills related to small-scale hand-productions in order to produce goods which will then be sold. Funds raised from the sale of the products will be split between the beneficiaries and the Association to sustain the continuation of the project. This project will provide support for tools and equipment for the start-up of the production process.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Tell us about the social impact of your innovation. Please include both numbers and stories as evidence of this impact

The activities of our organization, after its nine years of existence, demonstrate that society’s attitudes can, with a good deal of effort, be changed.
Association «Speranţă şi Sănătate» (Hope and Health) for many years engaged in the integration (reintegration) in society of people with mental illness. During these years the number of beneficiaries/recipients of our services has grown to more than 100 people. Many of these people have repeatedly been subjected to violence by both strangers and relatives. Rehabilitation Center 35-40 people attend each day. Here they interact with each other, get a basic knowledge of self-care, learn songs, poems, doing crafts with own hands. Each beneficiary has their own sad story. Most of them are from disable families. They have been repeatedly subjected to violence, used as slaves and exposed to traffic. This category of people easily fed the negative effects and can be used by criminals.
Employees of our organization have extensive experience in this direction, studying the problems of each beneficiary and plan for the reintegration of each individual.
Over 9 years of work proved that people with psychological disorders, although it was difficult, managed to apply what they had learned in the center. They often start with depression and reach progressive satisfaction after they manage to achieve more independence after developing motor skills. Some even receive specialty (ceramics, sewing, carpentry). They become more informed about the existing problems and know how to avoid them.
The association works in several directions in order to help change attitudes in society towards mentally retarded people. The development and implementation within the rehabilitation center of social services will create better opportunities for social integration of persons in difficult situations, while respecting their fundamental rights. Main objective of the project is an effective social integration of persons with mental retardation and mental illness, based on a comprehensive assessment of the user and his individual needs, strengthening family support.
The participation of our organization in 14 environmental projects increased awareness throughout society, including families themselves, where live mentally ill people, and strengthened the rights and dignity of such people. These events are often covered by local television.
Our participation in different projects, promoting the capabilities and contributions of people with disabilities, thus, fighting stereotypes and prejudices

Problem: Describe the primary problem(s) that your innovation is addressing

The intellectual disabilities of the affected young people lead to a marginalization of such individuals, as they face permanent discrimination. They exist outside the realms of society, incapable of living a self-dependent life and cannot exist without the permanent help of their guardians. The problem arises especially when these people become older. After a certain age, usually after the age of 16, they have no chances to find their place as a productive member in society. After the commencement of the respective schools and boarding schools, the young woman and men cannot get a job because of the low vocational training skills and the existing restrictive attitudes of employers in accepting people with intellectual backwardness. Thus, they do not have means of covering their daily expenses (food, clothing, medication, housing…etc.). Due to their disabilities, these people have the lowest general educational level. They are not able to help themselves, or in a condition to understand the complicated realities of life. The discriminative attitude of society and the danger of being misused from criminal structures complicate the matter further.

Actions: Describe the steps that you are taking to make your innovation a success. Include a description of the business model. What might prevent that success?

The present project proposal aims at developing life-skills and professional abilities of target beneficiaries by organizing activity workshops on sewing, ceramics, making leather and wood handicrafts, shoe repair, and the manufacturing of folk art objects.
For best results, participants will be divided into 3 groups depending on their level of development and capacity.
The first group will include the beneficiaries who have the intention to live independently and earn their living after finishing their training; the second group will include the beneficiaries who will be able to work and to carry out strictly defined activities under supervision; the third group will focus on beneficiaries incapable of working (living only with assistance).
Each group will have its own work plan, i.e. step-by-step training, using new training methodologies and techniques, technical possibilities, taking into account the situation with demand and supply in Moldova. Persons with mental illnesses or disabilities will be trained to develop sewing skills or skills in ceramic and manufacturing and will be supported to obtain employment either in a protective environment or in an otherwise suitable work place, e.g. in their own neighborhood.
Training methodologies will be similar for the first two groups. In workshops, beneficiaries will be trained in the methods required for manufacturing (sewing, ceramics). Taking into account mental health conditions of beneficiaries, they will be divided into groups of 5 - 7 people. Each group will have an assigned instructor, who will not only train the beneficiaries, but will also supervise the dynamics of the beneficiaries’ development.
The training program of the third group will include practical training on primary self-service skills (to eat by themselves, to clean the table, to dress, etc.); practical training on personal hygiene skills; lessons on reading, writing and articulation and trainings with a speech therapist (to correct the grammar of speech, enlarge the vocabulary).
Classes will focus on skills related to small-scale hand-made-productions, using a wide range of materials. Funds raised from the sale of the products will be split between the beneficiaries and the Association, in support of sustaining the program in the long term. This project will support tools and equipment required for the start-up of the production process.

Results: Describe the expected results of these actions over the next three years. Please address each year separately, if possible

First year: Beneficiaries will be trained in ceramics, sewing and carpentry depending on their abilities. Their works will participate in different kinds of exhibitions; will be sold to obtain first income.
Second year: The sewing workshop will be opened for the start-up of the production process. Signing contracts with local organizations for order fulfillment. During this period we will find new opportunities for production – what kind of souvenirs is required on the market.
Third year: The ceramic and carpentry production will start. The center will continue its work and might expand its sale activities in order to increase the living standard of the pupils.
The financial subsistence of the center will be carried out from following sources:
- sale of products;
- continue our cooperation with different charitable organizations in order to:
- open a network of similar centers in the city and the republic;
- increase sale opportunities for the work of the pupils;
- increase the quantity of trained people with intellectual disabilities.

How many people will your project serve annually?

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your innovation seek to have an impact on public policy?


If your innovation seeks to impact public policy, how?

1. Exchanging experiences and cooperating with other NGOs, as well as local and central authorities in matters concerning the coordination of efforts to create a comprehensive system of social services.
2. Cooperating with mass media to influence public opinion.

The main problem is the lack of services for mentally retarded adults. There are only a few NGOs working in this field. Another problem involves the need to further develop the legal and regulatory framework in this area. Our organization, along with other NGOs, involved in the creation and promotion of these laws.

What stage is your Social Enterprise in?

Operating for less than a year

Does your organization have a board of directors or an advisory board?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with NGOs?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with businesses?


Does your organization have a non monetary partnerships with government?


Please tell us more about how partnerships could be critical to the success of your Social Enterprise

Certainly for our organization (especially with such a severe category of people) simply require different partnerships. It is necessary to maintain constant communication with the public to change attitudes towards mentally retarded people. This involves working with other NGOs in this area, local authorities, government, media, etc. In addition, work in shops and not only requires different work materials (clay, wood, cloth, etc.), so the contracts entered into with local organizations. Association “Speranta si Sanatate” – is an organization that works on the basis of charity, it is vital to work with foreign partners

We would like to learn more about how your initiative is financially supported. Please explain your business plan/revenue model

refurbishing the workshops
purchase and installing new equipment
supply of materials
development of education methods
distribution and testing groups
work in the workshops
sale of products

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

“Speranţă şi Sănătate” (Hope and Health) is an association of parents with mature mentally disabled children; it is the only organization in Moldova dealing with the social integration of these people with mental disabilities. A considerable percentage of the overall caseload of victims of trafficking and slavery are mentally and/or intellectually challenged. Such people are often prone to human trafficking, using them as slaves (in bars, construction sites, sexual). Because of their handicap this category of victims cannot fully benefit from the regular vocational training program.
The major tasks of Association are:
- to work out the necessary skills of self-service in a daily life;
- to teach professional skills in accordance with their individual development and possibilities;
- to support and consult their guardians.
For the realization of these tasks the Association opened a rehabilitation center for mentally disabled people. In the rehabilitation centre they are trained to do house work (cleaning, washing dishes, etc.), they learn some basic school curricula (grammar, mathematics, geography, etc.); they socialize and spend their free time. At the rehabilitation centre they are being taught to work with wood, paper and other natural materials. Furthermore they visit museums, exhibitions, historical places and develop some artistic skills. The center also includes a garden where the beneficiaries work - grow their own vegetables and fruits.
Due to the fact that they have a place where they can usefully spend some time, they do not walk the streets, thereby avoiding the dangers that await them there. Moreover, such people are hitting the streets themselves become dangerous to society. In the center of them carried out by specialists such as psychologists, speech therapists, etc. Over 9 years of work proved that people with psychological disorders, although difficult, but served learning. They go from depression, learn how to behave in society, develops motor sk

Tell us about the person—the social innovator—behind this idea.

Ludmila Andreiciuc was born in 1950, graduated from two high schools, and got married, worked in the Republican House of Models. Usual life, as everybody’s but the second Alexander was born and he was ill. The sick child has completely changed her life. Alexander has endured eight surgeries and all these operations were made on a background of delay in mental development. All this was not simple at all. Alexander has finished a special school. Afterwards, she’s mother-in-law, who although a little, but helped, has died, and she’s husband died too. All these events have taken place with a difference of half of a year. Fourteen years she has no possibility to work, because in our country there was no organization where she could place her son. She gave him all she could. He has learned to play the piano, had skills to read and write. She understood that he should be placed in collective, should be trained to do something, and should develop further. She realized that they needed a special organization, but in Moldova there was no such organization. Therefore, in 2001 she has organized the Association of parents who were facing the same problems. Alexander’s state of health and behavior has improved, he has learned to make different hand-made articles, found new friends.
Today our center is visited in a free schedule by about 70 beneficiaries. Users of our services are more than 100 mentally ill people. On a daily basis the center is visited by 35-40 pupils.

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