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Civil Participation > Season 03 > IZEV-Down Cafe

Date: 04.11.2011 (Season 3 - Episode 1)

IZEV Provides Employment Opportunities To Youth With Down Syndrome

On November 4 2011, Turkey's Changemakers featured the Istanbul Foundation for People with Mental Disabilities (IZEV), which established the Down Cafe in order to provide employment opportunities to youth with Down syndrome.

"You all are very sweet and lovely. I have never witnessed such respect and kindness from servers in any other place. I am very glad to have met you." These words are written by a customer on a cafe's guest book, which is filled with similar comments by customers. This is because all of the cafe's servers are hardworking youth with Down syndrome.

The Istanbul Foundation for People with Mental Disabilities (IZEV) was established 18 years ago by a group of families of children with mental disabilities. It began operations in a shack built on a schoolyard in Mecidiyekoy, Istanbul. IZEV, supported by the Ministry of National Education, built a four-storey school, a sports hall and a kitchen over the years. Their latest project is Down Cafe, where youth with Down syndrome who hold a certificate in hotel management are provided with employment opportunities. IZEV hires young people with Down syndrome to work at Down Cafe, and makes a significant difference in their lives by helping them build a better future.


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