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In addition to employing people who have the genetic disorder, bar X21 is also raising awareness about the syndrome.11 July 2017
A coffee shop staffed by people with Down syndrome has proven popular in Kosovo’s capital. Opened in March, Kafeteria X21 is a project of Down Syndrome Kosovo (DSK), an NGO that collaborated with donors to offer an employment opportunity to people with the syndrome, AP writes.
The Balkan country has around 900 people with the disorder, who are subjected to widespread discrimination, according to DSK director Sebahate Hajdini-Beqiri.
“We are very happy with the number of people who come and enjoy a cup of coffee with ‘a different taste’. It is breaking down prejudices and stereotypes,” Hajdini-Beqiri said, according to Balkan Insight.
At the time of the opening, 10 of the cafe’s 18 staff members had Down syndrome, and although the café couldn’t pay a fixed amount to its employees, Hajdini-Beqiri hoped that would change with enough public support, Prishtina Insight wrote in March.
In interviews with the media, the café’s staff has expressed deep job satisfaction. One of them, Linda, told Balkan Insight that she “loves our guests and they love us also,” while Aldi said he worked “from 8am to 3pm, but I never get tired because the guests are really polite and they always encourage me.”
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