In 2000, a family in Italy opened a restaurant in the hopes of providing a safe and inclusive work environment for their son who has Down syndrome. Now, La Locanda dei Girasoli (The Sunflower Inn) is staffed by 13 employees, all of whom have some kind of genetic condition or disability.
Twenty-two year-old Anna is one such employee. Her father Carlo described how her work at the restaurant has helped her develop her self-confidence and grow as a person. He told The Tribune, “She’s gained autonomy. When she comes home from work, she is happy, proud of what she’s done.”
The same was said by Emanuele Raffeli, assistant chef and waiter at the restaurant who also has a genetic condition, In an interview with The Culture Trip, Raffeli said that the best thing about working at La Locanda dei Girasoli is that he gets to interact with different kinds of people and set an example for those who have the same disability such as his.
Currently, the restaurant is being run by Consorzio Sintesi, a social co-operative association which specialises in giving jobs to disabled people. They plan to make the restaurant a franchise in order to provide more opportunities for people with disabilities.
Also Read: Raising Children with Special Needs
To learn more about La Locanda dei Girasoli, watch the video below.
Rome restaurant, La Locanda dei Girasoli is staffed by adults with Down Syndrome.
Posted by Culture Trip on Tuesday, December 12, 2017