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There are about 240 million kids with disabilities – one in 10 kids. Throughout the three-million populated Republic of Armenia, the most recent knowledge exhibits 8,771 formally registered kids 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 kids, single moms are at a drawback in relation to securing versatile jobs to complement their meager state-provided pensions.

Now one social enterprise is shifting that paradigm!

“At Ardook we consider 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 offers sustainable earnings to single moms with disabled kids.

Ardook team
Ardook workforce with Founder, Shogher Atanesyan (in pink gown).

An authorized undertaking supervisor, with over a decade of retail administration expertise in 4 nations, Ardook is Atanesyan’s third social influence undertaking. “I hate ironing and love designing tasks with social influence,” she explains.

Serving each residential and industrial prospects, Ardook at the moment has 5 moms/staff–with one other 5 in coaching. All staff prepare with industry-standard washing, drying and ironing methods and earn a living from home and care for his or her disabled kids. Two of the 5 staff have a number of disabled kids with disabilities starting from extreme autism to cerebral palsy to blindness.

Ardook affords day by day washing, drying and ironing providers to over 160 prospects who frequently, or every so often, request providers acquired by way of Fb and Instagram. People crunched for time, and industrial companies like such eating places as Ankyun and Avocado Queen in Yerevan (Armenia’s capital metropolis), and house owners of condominium leases in want of fresh day by day linens worth Ardook’s personalised customer support. 

As soon as requests are acquired, couriers decide 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 particular mom and overloads are often divided between the staff to fulfill the 24-hour turnaround deadline. Couriers decide up and ship the clear, ironed gadgets to the purchasers.

Hayk Aslanyan, who owns rental flats in Yerevan, considers the social enterprise a “stunning initiative.” He has contracted Ardook for practically a yr.  

“We couldn’t be happier. After we heard of Ardook, we realized we needed to be part of it and haven’t regretted our determination. From the primary day of our cooperation, it was not possible to not discover the love and care the entire workforce places into what they do. We stay up for persevering with our profitable cooperation with the workforce,” says Aslanyan.

Offering Sustainable Revenue

Ardook pays staff based mostly on the amount of orders they service. On common, the moms earn a month-to-month earnings 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 avenue 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 a superb workforce of moms proper now. Ninety p.c of them stay in rental flats and are single moms. We’ve a powerful camaraderie and assist one another out lots 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. Moreover a state supplied 24,000 AMD ($60) month-to-month pension and 39,000 AMD (practically $100) for Grigor, all different bills–from lease to clothes to diapers and bodily remedy are Arakelyan’s duty since Grigor’s father left when he was 4 years previous–and by no means took a lot duty for his son’s care.

I observe the mom and son by a steel doorway and up a set of dilapidated cement stairs. Grigor walks forward of me. Greedy the unfastened 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 record for added remedy providers. 

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 towards the wall. On the alternative aspect sits a sofa and a few simple chairs–a TV display sits towards the wall.

Grigor drops on the sofa, cradles a big plastic Coke bottle, and is completely immersed within the TV program on the display whereas his mom places on his slippers. 

“I’m Grigor’s fingers 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 towards his mom as he’s fed.

Grigor and his mother
Arakelyan and Grigor at their condominium.

Arakelyan does most of her ironing whereas Grigor is at college 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 time months and for many of December when college is out. However a number of family and friends members assist out.

Assembly UNSDG Targets

As a worthwhile social enterprise that fosters inclusive development, Ardook staff obtain 50% of income. The “main purpose 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 Targets: lowering inequalities, whereas offering respectable work and financial development, Ardook additionally adhers to eco-friendly enterprise practices through the use of recycled plastic hangers and woven luggage for deliveries. It has already earned worldwide awards: Social Impression thought 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 gear 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 kids. After going by our five-month-long coaching workshop mastering advertising and marketing, monetary planning, enterprise mannequin points of her social enterprise, her enterprise thought pitch was a winner at our annual Social Impression Award,” explains Gevorg Poghosyan, CEO of Impression Hub, Yerevan–a social innovation incubator, group, and area 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 places of work and open co-working areas the Hub’s 360-member “group of change makers and innovators” get pleasure from academic workshops, mentoring, networking, precious sources and packages that elevate tasks from “thought to implementation to influence” and assist “prototype a future that works for all.”

Ardook’s providers are at the moment out there solely in Yerevan. However Atanesyan plans to increase to different areas in Armenia and throughout post-Soviet nations.




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