In Almaty, Kazakhstan, Daryniana trains people living with psychosocial disabilities to work in restaurant-cafés, offering them the chance to be socially and economically included in their community and increasing their opportunities for leading a fulfilling and independent life.
(Programme concluded and no longer supported by the Trafigura Foundation)
Created by the Daryniana Charity Fund in collaboration with the local Psychanalytic Association, three restaurant-cafés in Almaty serve a very special menu of hope and social inclusion. Staffed by people with psychosocial disabilities (PWDs), these “training cafés” aim to change the approach with which people with disabilities are treated - and often stigmatised - in Kazakhstan.
By training and employing PWDs, Daryniana not only provides confidence and other tools for their personal and psycho-social development but also proves that these persons can actively contribute to society and lead dignified, independent lives.
The work of training cafés is innovative and necessary in today’s Kazakhstan. Many PWDs are often placed in long-term social care institutions or health facilities, with little opportunity to work, live and interact with the wider society. Other major challenges are the societal prejudices and the lack of preparedness of businesses to employ, train and include people with disabilities in the workplaces.
Our partnership helped Daryniana launch its third training café in Almaty. Lockdown restrictions made 2020 challenging for Daryniana, with its restaurant-cafés closed for much of the year.
One beneficiary, Vanya, describes her experience: “Today, I feel free. I can work, I can read, I can do my own grocery shopping. I’m still afraid, but at least now I have my wings trained to make my long flight achievable. I believe in my future”.