A group of 10 young Catalans with Down syndrome or other intellectual disabilities is preparing for an unprecedented experience in their lives. In mid-January 2018 these young people will make a 10-day stay in Rome, where they will meet the group of young people who run a pizzeria called La Locanda dei Girasoli. For that reason, the project has been baptized as “A world of sunflowers”.
These ten young Catalans are Marta and Cristian, from Down Tarragona, Noelia and Sandy, from Fundació Astrid 21 in Girona, Núria and Arnau, from Aura Fundació, Eva María and Gerard, from Andi-Down Sabadell, and Ramon Xavier and Joan, from Down Lleida. All of them are between 20 and 30 years old, an essential requirement to participate in this exchange experience, co-financed by the European Erasmus Plus program. They will be accompanied by Down Catalunya director and two more techniques.
Through this video young people and techniques have been presented to their Italian counterpart.
During these ten days this youngsters will have the opportunity to meet man and women from another culture, and to exchange with them reflections on disability and labor inclusion. For them it will also be the first time they travel to another country, which they have had to inform previously, without the protection of their families, so they will have to assume a plus of responsibility.
The initiative for this adventure came from La Locanda dei Girasoli, a project created in 1999 by the I Girasoli work cooperative in order to find a dignified work place for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities. The pizzeria is located in the neighborhood of Quadraro, on the outskirts of the Italian capital, and currently employs eight youngsters with intellectual disabilities. In Rome it is so well known that in a recent audience of Pope Francis with the disability sector the catering was served by the Locanda dei Girasoli.
This video will allow you to get a closer look to La Locanda dei Girasoli.