The Miracle Shop

A miraculous experience that values difference
We support the inclusion of young people with Down syndrome by promoting a socially responsible business of great value.

The results

  • Young employees in the shop
  • Young people with down syndrome employed
  • Training hours provided
  • Internship training hours provided
Pisa (Tuscany)
Pisa (Tuscany)

In collaboration with: ALZAIA – Cooperativa Sociale

THE CHALLENGE: intellectual disability and social discrimination

In Italy one in every 1200 children is born with Down syndrome.
Until recently, the idea that such individuals would always rely on their parents, without an opportunity for social inclusion nor access to the job market, was widespread.
Nowadays things look very different. Children with Down syndrome attend school, they are relatively self-sufficient, and thanks to the commitment and determination of their families and the support of many associations, about 12% of adults with Down syndrome work.
Nonetheless, the number of people with this condition who are employed is still too low. Yet work experience indicates that individuals with Down syndrome who have been inducted according to a disability employment policy, i.e. placing the right person in the right job, can on average reap a productivity of between 60% and 80%.
The challenge is to help develop their self-sufficiency by creating the best conditions for social inclusion, work and independent living, and prepare them to face the future and keep living autonomously even as adults.

THE GOAL: to train and engage special-needs individuals using ethical and sustainable criteria

The Miracle Shop provides opportunities for permanent employment and real self-sufficiency for youths with Down syndrome; just like “Ethical Hotel”, the aim of which is also to facilitate job placements for these young people.
The aim of the project is to create an emporium in which to train and employ the youths, promoting inclusivity by upholding the values of quality, ethics, and environmental and social sustainability.

OUR PROJECT: to create jobs for individuals with special needs by training them for the job market

The project led to opening the first ever shop to the public, in Pisa’s famous Piazza Duomo.
The concept is based on a welcoming, Renaissance-style workshop, i.e. a place designed to develop the professional skills of the young apprentices, by equipping them with the necessary training to subsequently enter the job market.
That is why, in addition to the resources invested in renovating and furnishing the premises, space was set aside for a permanent training workshop to be attended each year by at least four young NEETs and five people with Down syndrome, who will have the option of doing an internship in the workshop.
A workshop that offers small, quality miracles to the public, where besides the souvenirs of Pisa made on site, the shelves display organic, locally-sourced produce grown on land confiscated from the mafia, or from the fair trade economy.
The Miracle Shop is a unique place to do sustainable, quality shopping, which is why the Costa ships recommend it to anyone wanting to explore Pisa, additionally, every guest receives a complementary bookmark that promotes this valuable project.

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