There are about 240 million youngsters with disabilities – one in 10 youngsters. Throughout the three-million populated Republic of Armenia, the newest knowledge exhibits 8,771 formally registered youngsters with disabilities (CwD). Of the over 86,000 households in Armenia receiving household and social advantages, 2,933 are households with a baby with disabilities, and 2,726 are single moms.
As sole caretakers of their disabled youngsters, single moms are at a drawback in terms of securing versatile jobs to complement their meager state-provided pensions.
Now one social enterprise is shifting that paradigm!
“At Ardook we imagine that everybody ought to have the chance for a good life,” says Shogher Atanesyan, Founder and CEO of Armenia-based Ardook (ironing) Family Assistant–social enterprise which launched final yr and gives sustainable revenue to single moms with disabled youngsters.
An authorized challenge supervisor, with over a decade of retail administration expertise in 4 international locations, Ardook is Atanesyan’s third social influence challenge. “I hate ironing and love designing tasks with social influence,” she explains.
Serving each residential and business prospects, Ardook at the moment has 5 moms/staff–with one other 5 in coaching. All staff practice with industry-standard washing, drying and ironing methods and do business from home and care for his or her disabled youngsters. Two of the 5 staff have a number of disabled youngsters with disabilities starting from extreme autism to cerebral palsy to blindness.
Ardook presents every day washing, drying and ironing companies to over 160 prospects who commonly, or every so often, request companies obtained through Fb and Instagram. People crunched for time, and business companies like such eating places as Ankyun and Avocado Queen in Yerevan (Armenia’s capital metropolis), and homeowners of condominium leases in want of fresh every day linens worth Ardook’s customized customer support.
As soon as requests are obtained, couriers choose up the gadgets and ship it to the 5 staff. As much as 5 kilograms of garments/linen gadgets are serviced in a single day–there’s a 2000+ AMD ($5) charge for every kilogram. They assign every buyer to a selected mom and overloads are often divided between the workers to fulfill the 24-hour turnaround deadline. Couriers choose up and ship the clear, ironed gadgets to the purchasers.
Hayk Aslanyan, who owns rental residences in Yerevan, considers the social enterprise a “lovely initiative.” He has contracted Ardook for practically a yr.
“We couldn’t be happier. Once we heard of Ardook, we realized we needed to be part of it and haven’t regretted our resolution. From the primary day of our cooperation, it was inconceivable to not discover the love and care the entire staff places into what they do. We sit up for persevering with our profitable cooperation with the staff,” says Aslanyan.
Offering Sustainable Earnings
Ardook pays staff primarily based on the amount of orders they service. On common, the moms earn a month-to-month revenue of practically $200. Minimal month-to-month wages in Armenia are practically $170.
I meet up with one in all Ardook staff, Kristine Arakelyan, on the outskirts of Yerevan as we wait at a road nook for her nine-year-old son, Grigor, to be dropped off from college. As one in all Ardook’s first staff, she is now a supervisor and coordinates all of the pickup and supply schedules.
“We’ve got a superb staff of moms proper now. Ninety p.c of them stay in rental residences and are single moms. We’ve got a powerful camaraderie and assist one another out quite a bit with chores,” Arakelyan explains as a white minivan stops in entrance of us and a cheerful dark-haired scrawny boy is assisted out of the van and embraced with a decent hug and kisses by Arakelyan.
The federal government supplied particular wants bus is a blessing since Grigor can’t stroll, eat, or carry out any bodily features with out assist. Apart from a state supplied 24,000 AMD ($60) month-to-month pension and 39,000 AMD (practically $100) for Grigor, all different bills–from hire to clothes to diapers and bodily remedy are Arakelyan’s accountability since Grigor’s father left when he was 4 years previous–and by no means took a lot accountability for his son’s care.
I comply with the mom and son by way of a metallic doorway and up a set of dilapidated cement stairs. Grigor walks forward of me. Greedy the free iron railing, he pulls himself up every stair, balancing his twisting legs as his mom walks forward to open the door to their condominium.
Grigor is just now capable of climb the steps after a month-long muscle remedy afforded by a fundraising Ardook organized. With shortages of bodily therapists–there’s a two-year ready listing for added remedy companies.
As we enter the tight, heat condominium, Arakelyan leads us to a room the place a big industrial ironing board sits on the foot of a mattress in opposition to the wall. On the other facet sits a sofa and a few straightforward chairs–a TV display screen sits in opposition to the wall.
Grigor drops on the sofa, cradles a big plastic Coke bottle, and is completely immersed within the TV program on the display screen whereas his mom places on his slippers.
“I’m Grigor’s arms and legs and life,” Arakelyan’s contagious laughter echoes within the room. Disappearing from the room, she reappears with a plate of meals and takes a seat by the ironing board. Grigor walks over and leans himself in opposition to his mom as he’s fed.
Arakelyan does most of her ironing whereas Grigor is in school or busy watching TV. She will be able to’t work whereas he’s asleep because the sound disturbs him. Childcare is her full-time dedication throughout summer season months and for many of December when college is out. However just a few family and friends members assist out.
Assembly UNSDG Objectives
As a worthwhile social enterprise that fosters inclusive development, Ardook staff obtain 50% of income. The “major aim is to offer salaries to the moms,” Atanasyan explains how income are divided as bonuses between the moms–or cowl unaffordable transportation prices for the youngsters.
In advancing two UN Sustainable Improvement Objectives: lowering inequalities, whereas offering first rate work and financial development, Ardook additionally adhers to eco-friendly enterprise practices by utilizing recycled plastic hangers and woven luggage for deliveries. It has already earned worldwide awards: Social Affect concept and the Artistic Spark by the British Council in Armenia, in addition to two European Union grants which afforded the acquisition of a supply automotive and state-of-the-art tools for the employed moms.
“Shogher Atanesyan’s Ardook was a well-designed social enterprise enterprise concept that confirmed a agency dedication to influence a singular and deserving group in Armenia–moms of disabled youngsters. After going by way of our five-month-long coaching workshop mastering advertising and marketing, monetary planning, enterprise mannequin elements of her social enterprise, her enterprise concept pitch was a winner at our annual Social Affect Award,” explains Gevorg Poghosyan, CEO of Affect Hub, Yerevan–a social innovation incubator, group, and house that helps promising social influence tasks and enterprises with a “constructive social change in Armenia and past.”
Unfold throughout 1200 sq. meters and three flooring of workplaces and open co-working areas the Hub’s 360-member “group of change makers and innovators” take pleasure in academic workshops, mentoring, networking, helpful assets and applications that elevate tasks from “concept to implementation to influence” and assist “prototype a future that works for all.”
Ardook’s companies are at the moment accessible solely in Yerevan. However Atanesyan plans to develop to different areas in Armenia and throughout post-Soviet international locations.