“The Christmas Market triples the production of all our workshops. We are then able to take the profit and put it into the salaries, the projects, the people, into IRAP,” says Nada Said, a community helper with @IRAPReeducationAudioPhonetique, a non-profit based in Lebanon that aims to rehabilitate deaf children and youth.
Relying on a passionate community of volunteers, IRAP organizes an annual Christmas Bazaar that helps fund the foundation’s diverse operations. The unique model of financial sustainability has helped keep IRAP alive and growing for decades, and the proceeds of holiday sales go to expanding the workshops, products and operations, and, in turn, allows the organization to employ more people.
“All the workshops in IRAP – the patisserie, the frozen food, the handicrafts, the textiles, the wool, the sewing, all of them employ a lot of families in need. And if are unable to sell more and have more exposure, there was always risk that they would close down,’ explains Nada.
“There is a problem we always face in IRAP, that all the deaf youth reach a point where opportunities are closed. They reach a point that if they even find a job, specifically in this country, the position won’t be at the front, not people-facing,” explains Nada, which is why their workshops, boutique and market are run by people from this community.
“There is this level of awareness now that is crucial, that the disabled – like you and I – are equal and we can work together and interact. So this project is really aligned with our goal,” she adds.