U.S. Ambassador Richard Mills Praises Save the Children for Disability Employment

Monday 8 June 2015

On May 21, U.S. Ambassador Richard Mills visited Lentex Factory in Gyumri, which employees 14 persons with disabilities with the support of Save the Children’s Livelihood Improvement through Fostered Employment (LIFE) for People with Disabilities program funded by USAID. At Lentex, the Ambassador talked to the people with disabilities who found employment at the factory through the USAID-funded LIFE program. Ambassador praised the co-owner Sevak Gomtsyan and the LIFE program for their contribution to the economic development of Gyumri, and for recognizing the capabilities of all Gyumri’s citizens regardless of limitations or differences.

The people with disabilities shared their happiness of working at Lentex, emphasizing how important employment is for them to become full members of the society as well as to have sources of family income.

The Ambassador spoke, addressing the people with disabilities: “Lentex is a good model for other businesses, and you are very good models for other people. You are, actually, the most important part of this project.” He also added that given the vivid results of the LIFE program, the Embassy is definitely interested in continuing it.

Lentex is one of 18 “social enterprises” established or supported by Save the Children’s LIFE program in Armenia. These enterprises are operating today in 6 regions of Armenia. More than 200 people with disabilities have gained employment within these enterprises in areas such as leather goods production, textile manufacturing, photo and 3D printing, and solar heating systems installation.

LIFE program works to promote equal employment opportunities and access to employment as a basic human right for people with disabilities (PWD). Within the framework of the program's first phase (2012-2014), 367 PWDs were provided with employment, 900 young people received short-term vocational training, 200 more PWDs were involved in long-term educational programs provided by technical and vocational institutions, 485 PWDs accomplished work readiness and life skills trainings, etc. In 2015, the second phase of the program commenced.

See more photos here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1013723958645487.1073741841.21...