October was dedicated to Down Syndrome awareness. Awareness campaigns around the world, through powerful messages and supporting activities, brought to attention the skills and achievements of individuals in this community, whose extra chromosome does not prevent them from making a special contribution to society. Fashion Group Albania, part of BALFIN Group, has long been known as a company committed to raising awareness about Down Syndrome, through implementing an employment program for people belonging to this community.
Ornela and Arjo were employed by Fashion Group Albania in December 2019 and quickly became familiar with the work environment and colleagues. The CEO of the company, Elda Hysenbelli, says that the most delicate period was the beginning of the pandemic, when the unusual situation required increased measures for health safety. The company drafted a special plan for Ornela and Arjo, also consulting family members. Their relationship with the company continues unchanged even today, while they themselves are able to work part-time and in suitable conditions.
This example was followed by SPAR Albania, another company of BALFIN Group, which earlier in October welcomed Adri, its first employee from the Down Syndrome community, in the framework of the ‘I FIT IN’ project organized by Jonathan Center in partnership with the Embassy of the Unites States of America in Tirana. “We are happy to have Adri aboard and look forward to supporting his potential,” says Elona Hametaj, CEO of SPAR Albania.
“The partnership with BALFIN Group has directly affected the improvement of the quality of life for children and young people with Down Syndrome in terms of both education and employment. But especially as a pioneer in youth employment in the country, BALFIN Group has set the standard and the model of social responsibility that every company should follow! Immeasurably grateful for the transformation we promote together in the Albanian society,” said Oreada Kita, the founder of the Jonathan Center.
Their employment was also applauded by the President of BALFIN Group, Samir Mane, who has made sure that social responsibility is an inseparable focus of all Group companies. Such practices show the spaces that are created when businesses collaborate to add value to society.