People with SN display entrepreneurial skills in industry

dg1By Jamil Khan | DUBAI

A GROUP of differently-abled people under the Desert Group have proved to be highly skilled and motivated entrepreneurs by selling hundreds of their developed products in the last two months.
“As part of the Desert Group’s ‘Enable’ initiative, the group of 6 people with different special needs, but highly motivated, have been making a wide range of home decoration and garden products. In the last two months, over 500 such products have been made by these people, thereby drawing a huge admiration as well as having an exclusive portion of the proceeds go into their pockets as reward,” said Reem Al Ghaith, CSR Manager, Desert Group in an exclusive interview with The Gulf Today.
The Dubai-based Desert Group has been dealing in a diverse range of products related to garden, nursery, landscaping, pools and waterscapes, turfcare and indoor plant solutions for the last 27 years.
The group has been engaged in different corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives to develop a sustainable society. One of the major CSR initiatives through which the Desert Group has drawn huge attention in the society is its programme to support differently-abled people.
Since 2006, the group has been working on a multi-tier programme in which they have created a vocational training-style in-house facility with the induction of a number of people with special needs. A total of 32 such people are part of the programme, 28 of whom have been working in nurseries to take care of plants and garden products.
“Our training programme for disabled people has achieved many milestones in the past couple of years and some of our team members with hearing impairments now work with mainstream workers,” she said.
With the aim of creating a self-sustaining agricultural model Desert Groups has launched its Enable Progamme for its special needs team members. As part of the programme, a group of six individuals have been trained to develop different products with their creative design. Every product is unique using a variety of durable plants that require minimum care. Each product is environmental friendly: made of re-used elements and organic soil. “The aim of this project is to create entrepreneurial skills for people with special abilities and deliver a 360 degree retail model starting from product concept, manufacturing, merchandising and selling. Through this programme, these individuals with special abilities will be able to start their own retail units and therefore achieve financial sustainability,” Al Ghaith said.
These products have been put on sale in different places across Dubai such as at events in various schools, malls, weekly bazaars like Ripe Market and Garden Centre, where visitors showed great interest and bought with keen enthusiasm upon learning the background the products. There has been overwhelming support from the public and the special section in the Dubai Garden Center has been of great interest.
“Displaying the products made by these individuals at public places has also raised awareness on our Enable initiative. We have been working with different government departments and private organisations to spread this module as a role model for people with disabilities,” she said.
“Desert Group a pioneer in landscaping and horticulture in the region has been at the forefront of social initiatives that aim at creating an equal environment for young people with special needs so that they can become productive members of society,” stated Michael Mascarenhas Group CEO at Desert Group. “We believe that Enable is another initiative that will endorse the idea that a CSR program can be self-sustaining.”
-Published in The Gulf Today-Sharjah | June 14, 2015

~ by jamilkhan on June 14, 2015.

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