In Rahovec, his small hometown in Kosovo, Fatbardh helps people with disabilities. How? He created a social enterprise that employs them and finances Braille courses to blind people.
Combining his desire to help and to create
“About two years ago, on my way home, I saw a blind man having difficulties to cross the street. This affected me and I decided to get active and help people with disabilities,” Fatbardh explains.
While thinking about the best way to achieve this, Fatbardh listens to his desire to create handmade products in wood printing. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the appropriate tools and looks after other techniques. This is how he discovers the String art which consists in intertwining threads on a pattern. By showing his first products online, he realizes that people like them and sees the opportunity to set up a social business. In his head, Wooden Eyes takes shape.
Enabling people in need to integrate in the society
Wooden Eyes has today five employees, including three people with disabilities. Five volunteers are also involved to help them. Between product creation, communication, customer relations, etc., the tasks within the project are diverse and multiple.
The sale of the products financed the first session of Braille courses. The classes, provided by the Society for the Blind People, brought together ten illiterate blind people both adolescents and older one. For three months, they could follow three classes per week. This first session has ended but the second one will soon start.
Increasing the positive impacts in Kosovo and elsewhere
Wooden Eyes mainly creates products based on customers’ orders from Kosovo, Albania, Montenegro, Macedonia, Switzerland and Austria. The company would like to find a store in Europe to show the products and values they carry. “Our goal is to increase our activity in order to employ more and more people with disabilities and in need,” Fatbardh says, “but also to gain space and be able to give Braille lessons to more blind people”.
Find Wooden Eyes on Facebook.