When Work Is More Than Just a Job

Why do we want to work? What does work mean to us? How do we contribute to society through our work?

People with intellectual disabilities demonstrate the simple but sometimes forgotten answers to these questions.

Although Croatian laws are not perfect, and there are many obstacles to employment for people with intellectual disabilities, a few years ago I filmed few of them while they packaged and wrapped products in warehouses of large companies as part of a “supported employment” program managed by the Association for Promoting Inclusion.

They might have at first appeared to be typical workers in a factory, but something was different. All of them were incredibly happy.

When I asked what made them so happy, they said it was the simple fact that they can work and get paid for it. They also said it was because they can socialize with other people. I asked others in the warehouse including the company’s manager what it’s like to work alongside people with intellectual disabilities. They told me that, thanks to these coworkers, they’ve become more satisfied as well.

Last year Gral Film made a documentary called I Work, Therefore I Am about the Association for Promoting Inclusion’s new Social Entrepreneurship Program, in which people with intellectual disabilities work as artists, designers, and farmers. Just as anyone else with talents or business ideas cannot realize their dreams without a good support network, people with disabilities need job coaches, mentors, and business partners. In this way, they become less dependent on the state and donor funding, and more independent and self-confident as individuals.

Watch I Work, Therefore I Am and see for yourself why work matters to everyone, including people with intellectual disabilities. 

3 Comments

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Good day !
It was so nice to be on this page,it feels like Im near to my dreams,goals and missions in life.
Im Karen Joy from Philippines.Were 2 with my brother.And both my parents have a blue collar job.I 20 years of age.A very goal oriented person,hoping and kept praying that someday I could fulfill my dreams in life by pursuing my studies.I wanted to study but due to financial problem/the course is not suited for me/& my brother is also in college that time, I just keep it aside & stop my 3semester in Business Ad. majoring Financial mngmt.And moved on to the other place.I work in my aunts canteen.And after almost a year there's come a problem,so my aunt decided to go back to our province and so I stayed alone.A day before my aunt moved I kept applying to any establishment and luckily I was hired in an agency for becoming a prod. operator.And 2yrs. had passed.I long so much my family specially my mama.I stayed this long here first,for a reason that this made me an independent person,a strong one yet positive.That I could pursue my dreams here and be my parents proud of me and third,I am working hard and can help my family in a little ways.I moved here because I don't want my parent suffer too much for both of us is in college.My mama is a maid and Im very proud of her.During weekends I goes with her and it burdens me knowing that there's so much effort, sweat that over flows in her,things that a woman don't do but she does because of her love with us.And I ask my self,do my mama really need this hardships for both our studies finish?This shouldn't happen.I can do some,so,I stop and stays far from them for a better perspectives.Lastly,to thank God that thru this challenges He has given me, He always guides me with a very bright light.He has given me a shield to stay away from temptations that might lead me to my fall.And thanking God for I am still working hard with this triumph.
Strong determination leads me to this site,hope that you would appreciate this little dreams of a very hardworking lady.Thank you.

Wonderful depiction of what is important in social entrepreneurship : simple, effective and permanent upgrade of human values.

I congratulate for what are you doing for disabilities peoples, I working on a dream to work with blind people on a massage center with an inclusion approach in Nicaragua

regards
sm

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