Date: August 16, 2013

Ten parents of children with disabilities and social service workers have refined their skills of producing handbags and purses out of recyclable materials, within a workshop, which took place in the period of 13-15 August, in Chisinau. The workshop was organized by Keystone Moldova, within the project "Economic Empowerment", with the financial support of the Open Society Foundations/Mental Health Initiatives.

During three days, participants have benefited from the assistance of the young Hungarian designer Piroska Gyetvai, aimed at improving the technique of making handbags and purses. They are made of recyclable materials - wastes from packaging, bags, colored films etc. The technique used in the manufacture of handbags and purses was invented by prisoners in Mexico, later being taken over by enthusiasts in Turkey, from where it arrived at Moldova. All workshop participants were previously trained to apply this technique and now work in the social enterprise created by Keystone Moldova in 2012.

Also, within the framework of the workshop, models of handbags to be manufactured were chosen, the standards for the production of the selected models were developed: size, shape, color, etc. and potential points of sale and target clients were identified. The products are to be marketed in October of the current year.

Social service workers and parents, who take care of people with disabilities, make the purses at home and this allows minimizing production and administrative costs. At the same time, working at home allows them to take care of children or adults with disabilities, and to get them involved in the manufacture of purses. Through this enterprise, Keystone Moldova provides the possibility to obtain an income to families that have children and adults with disabilities placed in social services.

At the same time, Keystone Moldova promotes inclusion of persons with disabilities in the labor market through the development of small enterprises, which can provide jobs and a permanent income to improve their quality of life. Small enterprise development is also important for parents of children with disabilities, who are often unemployed or looking for a job.

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