For the last twenty years, Borche, a beneficiary with special needs at a Community Daily Center, has dreamed of working at a car wash. With assistance from the PCPP grant, Poraka would like to make his dream a reality. People with disabilities in North Macedonia have faced serious discrimination from institutionalization. Progress has been made in the last five years regarding the general public’s attitude towards people with disabilities, however, there are still many barriers that prevent beneficiaries from finding employment. The Center provides residential facilities as well as vocational and life skills training to 48 adults with disabilities, and has been a model for the country on integrating beneficiaries into their communities. Creating a car wash business would allow beneficiaries to gain employment experience and opportunities for independence in the confines of the current barriers. A car wash business would also raise awareness of the income-generating opportunities people with disabilities can contribute to the community, increasing future opportunities for employment and economic development. The Center will purchase car wash equipment which will be installed at the daily center. A local car wash will consult the Center on best practices on operating a car wash business, as well as train beneficiaries on using the car wash equipment. Beneficiaries will also participate in employment skills trainings conducted by university students. The local municipality has agreed to contract with the Center to wash their government vehicles, as well as to help find other organizations to create similar contracts in order to ensure sustainability.
Since the car wash will be generating income, future expenses needed to continue its operation (such as repairing equipment and purchasing soap) will be covered. Half of the profit from the car wash will be saved for future expenses to maintain the car wash, a quarter of the profit will go to the Center to fund future projects, and a quarter of the profit will be given to beneficiaries for pocket money. The car wash will also be visibly facing the preschool across the street. For the youth to see people with disabilities working and as active contributors to the community, will help lessen the stigmas concerning people with disabilities. Lessening negative perceptions of people with disabilities will have lasting positive impacts on the community. The car wash business will increase beneficiaries work repertoire and establish new partnerships with local organizations and relationships with local citizens, which will increase future employability opportunities for beneficiaries. Businesses and people in the community will be able to see what the beneficiaries at the Center are capable of, hopefully inspiring them to create more jobs for people with disabilities.