Daryniana, Kazakhstan

In Almaty, Kazakhstan, Daryniana trains people living with mental and intellectual 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.

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 mental and intellectual 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.

Specifically, we have helped Daryniana launch its third training café in Almaty, which in 2018 has trained 23 people to work in the café. Our support is also helping Daryniana build its advocacy operations in Kazakhstan to fight the stigmatisation of people with disabilities and raise awareness about the alternatives to institutional social care and the unrecognized potential of this special population segment.

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