The Working Group
After graduating from the Vocational Program, some of our students join the working group. These students earn pocket money as they help in the community in the different workshops, as teacher assistants in the kindergarten sections and in the administration.
They learn their basic rights as employees in the community at large and each term they elect a council officer and representatives. The council meets with the coordinator to discuss working group issues and concerns and to suggest and plan activities. The council-sponsored activities include fund raising events such as bake sales in support of outings and social integration activities.
DIFFERENT WORKSHOPS, DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES
When Rackelle came to FiSTA-Beirut, she was a shy and quiet 15-year-old girl. Eight years later, she is a young woman, proudly employed as an assistant chef in our bakery workshop. For Rackelle, mornings begin quietly at 8:30 a.m. when she puts on her apron, hat and clean gloves and begins her first task of the day, mixing the cookie dough. At break time she helps in the school canteen selling her baked products. Then the quiet routine changes to a vibrant and challenging one when students from different classes join the bakery workshop and Rackelle helps them as the teacher does her job.
Rackelle’s position as chef assistant has taught her the importance of teamwork and how to resolve sudden conflicts with a positive attitude. “Every day we all rise to challenges that we face as best as we can. We bake the best possible and most delicious cookies in a place of care, respect and love.” Rackelle
Ramy Ramy is a 23-year-old who enrolled at Step Together Association at the age of three. Throughout the years he showed continuous improvement and commitment. Ramy joined several workshops, giving him the chance to explore his different skills. He now works in FiSTA’s felt workshop, where he washes, picks, cleans, plants and dyes the felt. He creatively produces different items by compressing the natural wool fibers together with soapy, warm water. Some of the items he makes include small bags, dolls angels, brooches and mats.
Rackelle and Ramy have developed the necessary skills to find employment outside the association. They, along with the others in the working group team, have enough self-esteem and confidence and deserve an equal chance, just like any other adult outside the community, to be active members of society. It’s a challenge we are facing and plan to overcome despite the difficulties and limitations we confront. Presently two members of the team are working as part-timers outside our community.
" Step Together is a therapeutic and caring community for children and adults with special needs." Ramy