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Customers are attracted by quality gastronomy and design products, social dimension of the service is often realized afterwards (Supported by the EEA and Norway Grants 2009 - 2014)

Dept 58 - International Relations
Dept 58 - International Relations

Published

Jiná Káva in Beroun and Jedna Bedna in Prague are examples of places, which serve as training space for people returning to the labour market after going through mental health problems. On the other hand, customers visit them for a good coffee and homemade cakes or for handcrafted decorations made of glass and textile. People with mental health problems meet there naturally with others attracted by food or product offer and atmosphere. Implementation of these projects was supported by Norway grants.

They have draft beer specials from the Matuška brewery and you can taste thoroughly selected tea leaves and coffee from all over the world including specialities like honey coffee with cardamom or grain coffee. “We are a vegetarian restaurant, we cook  daily meals, bake our own cakes, make homemade lemonades, we periodically organize concerts, exhibitions or movie screening”, explains Petra Zemanová, social worker of organization Lomikámen, which runs the café.

Jiná Káva is a training space for people recovering from mental health problems. The organization’s clients begin their rehabilitation and gradual return to the labour market by cleaning in the café or helping out in the kitchen, some of them help behind the bar and attend barista courses. The café keeps high rating on social networks and review portals. Its customers have already found out that people with mental health issues are able to perform professionally and create friendly atmosphere. “Amazing place for a chill, fire cracking in the stove, great vegetarian cuisine and great culture events”, is one of the reviews on TripAdvisor. Lomikámen provides complete care programme for people with mental illness including contacting them in psychiatric hospitals and providing following support in many life situations and other areas. Lomikámen helps clients even with return to open labour market when contacting particular employers with emphasis on individual capabilities of the clients.

Similar place as Jiná Káva, although with different range of products, is design shop Jedna Bedna in Žitná Street in Prague. It focuses on handcrafted decorations made of glass, textile or ceramics. After deeper exploration customers can find out that stylish teddy bears or recycled bags for vegetable made of curtains were made by people with mental illness in sheltered workshops. The textile workshop is situated right in the basement under the shop, while the glass workshop resides in neighbourhood Bohnice. Both workshops are operated by BONA as well as the shop Jedna Bedna. Other goods like ceramics, stationery or soaps come from other NGOs and mental health facilities.

The path of a client returning to the labour market begins with rehabilitation, then client gains basic habits in craft and then he/she is forwarded to the sheltered job in workshop or store. Workshop is led by an experienced craftsman who himself used to have mental health problems. A large number of clients eventually reach the mainstream labour market. “We organise craft workshop for public and produce goods for the market like presents for employees, trophies for golf tournaments or sew bags for zero-waste store. And our clients often don’t know that we are organization with some social impact. Thanks to Norway grants we have grown on 6 jobs in the workshop and 3 in the store. We have run this store for 18 years and we always wanted customers to get in here but it never really worked. A breakthrough came thanks to Norway grants and Vodafone foundation project ‘Year differently’. We have got money and know-how necessary for further development. The concept and design of the store has changed (thanks to Wellen company). We offer beautiful and quality goods and in the same time, it is about mental health,” describes Aleš Lang, director of organization BONA, which runs the store.

The name Jedna Bedna refers to the fact that all of us have just one ‘box’, meant head, and one mental health, which we have to take care of. The store is a gateway to the community centre where thematic events like movie nights or exhibitions take place. Those in need can use personal counselling and consultations. Employees of BONA most often help people with questions about mental illness in family, but even with themes like partnerships, domestic violence or bullying.