Al-Estinara Café: The Start of Projects for People with Special Needs
Prepared by: Salwa Youssef - Ihsan Adam
Photography: Majdi El-Rouby
Khartoum, Mar.12 (Sudanow) -Al-Estinara (Enlightenment)Café..the first café to provide services for people with special needs in Sudan and the Arab world, and the second in Africa in terms of the idea, as the idea was borrowed from a café in Kenya, located in the heart of the capital, Khartoum, where the two Niles meet, and works in perfect harmony with a team of people of determination, and strong will.The café offers its services to all groups, with a focus on the special needs group.
Khalaf Allah Al-Afif, Director of the Project, interviewed by Sudanow said underlined that the project finally emerged, despite a number of obstacles, as the idea came five years ago, and it was implemented with funding from the French Embassy, which continued to fund the project for a year until the opening. The official website was announced on the first of February of this year, and the cafe has gained support, and there is an idea to expand the project so that there will be branches for the cafe in the cities of the capital and then the states. He added, saying that the project is part of a series of Al-Khatem Adlan organization's service projects under implementation, which would come up with new ideas that serve the community and benefit the concerned groups.
and about the idea of the Enlightenment Café, Khalafallah Al-Afif says that the idea came from the premise that people with special needs have their rights violated, and they suffered from marginalization a lot, whether from governments or society itself, and it was necessary to change the prevailing concept towards this group, so the idea of the Enlightenment Café was enough to It is a place for them to meet, to integrate with society, and to provide job opportunities for some of them.
Al-Afif added that the employees of the café are mostly deaf and dumb, and they have been trained to perform services in the café, such as cooking and customer service, and they are of both sexes. The motor-disabled will also be trained to serve the “cashier”, and he says that the majority of them are university graduates, especially the College of Fine Arts. Which explains the huge amount of creativity in the cafe on the walls and the outdoor environment of the cafe as a whole.
Maha Ali Suleiman is one of the workers at the Enlightenment Café. She is a deaf-mute student at the University of Sudan who specializes in making sweets, juices and hot drinks. She says that she is very happy with this work and considers it a beautiful and useful experience from which she learned a lot and increased her skills in dealing with people in general and customers in particular.
Maha adds that many people with special needs are able to do anything that others can do, and she hopes that they will be accommodated in order to train and employ them in many fields, as some suffer from difficult conditions and need to work and do not find the opportunity to do so despite being able to perform some tasks better than healthy people. .
Muhammad al-Hadi Abdul Qadir, one of the pioneers of the cafe, said that he learned about this cafe through a friend of his who advised him to try it. Muhammad did not expect to find such friendliness in dealing, as he found that the employees of the cafe were surrounded by an aura of kindness and sophistication, and communicating with them was not difficult at all. Also, the location is suitable and the café is beautiful and tidy. Muhammad added that sign language is not difficult and everyone who wants to can learn it, and this café provides an opportunity to learn a little, hoping that the café will be the beginning of a series of projects run by people with special needs.
One of the pioneers of the café, who visits it for the first time, advised everyone to visit it, as she found the café beautiful and clean, and the services in it are excellent, and the location is quiet and distinguished. She hoped that more projects would be provided for them, as they are able to perform the tasks that healthy people do with ease, and they deserve support, encouragement and attention. .
We add here that the café welcomes customers from eight in the morning, and continues to provide services until the evening, and serves hot and cold drinks, in addition to food, and there is a delivery service.
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