The social employment workshop “Dobrodel” [do-gooder] offers jobs for people with mental conditions who are able and willing to work, but cannot find employment in the market because of their disability. It was established in spring 2018 as with the aim of helping people with mental disabilities overcome stigma and social exclusion, build professional and creative skills, become productive members of society through work, and provide them with a livelihood.
Each person is approached individually in order to have their needs accommodated in the best possible way. The production process is divided into a sequence of simple operations. Depending on their ability and health, each worker is assigned a simpler or more complex task. By gradually progressing from the simple to the more complex jobs, the worker will recover the lost job skills and learn an occupation of his liking. Eventually, the people with disabilities will progress to doing more regular jobs at the Convent’s workshops, or find employment in the open job market.
About 15 people with disabilities have completed the occupational rehabilitation programme to date. The workers can choose from a variety of jobs, such as painting over porcelain or wood, making simple items from wood or cardboard, or practising decorative and applied arts. The products include a wide variety of souvenirs, wooden rosaries, strong envelopes, and piece goods.
It’s been almost twenty years since the sisters and brothers of Saint Elisabeth Convent started to visit the Boarding Home for children with special needs, which is located near the Convent grounds in Minsk.