Springboard to work for the Disabled

Foundation Trampolin pa Trabou, translated Trampoline to Work, makes the difference between ‘hidden and seen’. “This is all about acknowledge by society that persons with a limitation count. Our clients can do a lot, you just need to open up. To them it is so much more than a job. Here we give them self-esteem, skills, happiness and a pay check. Emotionally and financially we – and hopefully you – empower. Who does not want to be part of that?” says Manager Lionel Rumnit, the motor behind the foundation, driving force by skills and heart. Rumnit also is a certified Job Coach, teaching is in his veins.

Trampolin pa Trabou is part of Foundation Sonrisa and offers a day care and teaching school for adults with limitations. “Meaning preparing the clients in this building to give them the best starting qualifications as possible to begin working. We have deaf, visually impaired, Down Syndrome, Autism and other kind of limitations, but that does not mean you cannot work,” Rumnit explains. He reaches out to the private sector, as well as the government to find job opportunities; two assistants take care of the daily in-house tasks and administration and three to six trainees from EPI College plus the cook complete the team. “We have 15 to 20 clients approximately for the full day, together with the ones that have a job we are 40 to 50, of course not all at the same time.” It is a built-up process whereas clients start with a couple of days and accumulate. Rumnit: “I have more requests than I can handle, therefore we could use support in many ways, and an incentive to companies for hiring our clients would also be more than desirable.”

In-House Program

Attitude, work ethic, structure and discipline are all part of the program. In the morning, they stack away their bags and start an exercise program to activate their bodies and their brains, after that several tasks begin. “This can be cleaning, helping the cook in the kitchen or organizing. All tasks are timed to teach them to work efficient and be responsible. It starts playful but on the way gets serious,” says Rumnits. 40 to 50 healthy meals are prepared on a daily basis for outside clients. “It gives my people work and an income.” Work and income are provided as well with the production of ginger syrup, lemonade, sauces and turmeric. “After the ginger is brought in here, we scrub and wash, chop it up and grind it by machine. The cook cooks it and we also clean and fill the bottles plus stick the etiquettes on them. It gives 2-3 clients daily work, teaching, empowerment and income.” The ginger is sold in all big supermarkets.

7.000 Disabled and More

The need of companies that open up to the foundations clients is significant. “A lot of hotels and companies already cooperate, it is not always easy but very rewarding. Social responsibility is a part of society, we must never forget.” The clients usually stay home alone, do not have many friends and in most cases depend on family. Rumnit points out that there is a lack of insight and motivation of the caregivers. “Due to that the family often gets frustrated because of the non-understanding of the limitation. Plus they do not know where to turn to, often not directed by a house doctor to the right organizations.” In 2010 there were 7.000 people with a limitation on Aruba, where are they, he wonders. Every month there is taking place an amputation of an arm or leg in the hospital, but we do not know about these people. Most are live isolated or hidden because of the taboo and the shame of the family.

If you feel inspired by this article, do not just turn the page but act upon it. You can help and support this wonderful foundation to jump higher every time. The foundation welcomes:

  • More companies with job opportunities
  • Financial support for their our own bus to pick up clients and take them to work
  • A sign language interpreter
  • Anybody with expertise in the field to share knowledge/contribute

If you would like to visit the foundation, please call + (297) 582-9485 and ask for Lionel Rumnit. For more information visit the website: https://www.trampolinpatrabou.com or Facebook: Trampolinpatrabou.