The Vocational Training Center MARGARITA is a specialized center for vocational training and employment for people with intellectual disabilities living in the Region of Attica. MARGARITA was founded in 1979 by Ioanna Tsokopoulou, mother of Leonidas, a child with Down syndrome. MARGARITA’s mission is to improve the lives of people with mild and medium intellectual disabilities (PwID) by increasing their inclusion in the society through their employment. Our services are based on the anthropocentric social model, where our professionals, the service users and their families cooperate on the design of an individualized plan related to their needs. Our personnel consist of 35 people with multidisciplinary background on the social services, special education & psychology. We train 100 students in vocational and everyday skills and offer social services, supported employment services & psychological support.
MARGARITA as an educational entity focusing on intellectual disabilities has a curriculum that promotes the autonomy of its beneficiaries, their inclusion by investigating and creating ways of accessibility in the society. A large part of the population of the beneficiaries in MARGARITA is adults and a significant proportion of them have been integrated in the employment market as workers.
At this moment we run a pilot project for a model of social entrepreneurship in the field of Catering that we have developed and we hope soon enough it will be launched in the open market. Also, MARGARITA, runs a shop, called Gallery13m2, in which people with intellectual disabilities are getting trained in real working conditions.
In EQUALvet, MARGARITA will research the needs of the learners with intellectual disabilities and the needs of the job market to design and implement training activities to develop the vocational skills of the participants.