Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

A catering service training and vocation programme

In 2012 the Eco-Razeni Association, an NGO based in Razeni, Moldova, founded a catering service called Floare de Cireş (Cherry Blossom). The aim is to give disadvantaged young people the chance to gain their first professional experience by working in a catering service. In 2015 the project was expanded to include a job training programme, which more than 100 people with disabilities had completed by 2020. Five organizations from other regions of Moldova are expected to adopt the model.

“Eco-Razeni provides support to young women and men, allowing them to redirect their lives.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Floare de Cireş – Cherry Blossom project
Organisation:Eco-Razeni Association
of Implementation
Start Year2012
Sub-CategoryA project of Civil Society


  • Floare de Cireş has 25 employees, 16 of whom are young people with disabilities
  • From 2015 to 2020 more than 100 persons with disabilities completed the work-based training and employment programme


There is a lack of employment opportunities in Moldova for youth at risk of poverty and social exclusion, including young persons with disabilities.


Floare de Cireş is a social enterprise that gives young people with intellectual and physical disabilities, and from a diverse range of backgrounds and situations, the chance to find their first “real job“ in a catering company. The concept was developed together with young people with disabilities, their family members, and representatives of the public administration.

The project started in 2012 with seven employees, and in 2020 Floare de Cireş has 25 employees, 16 of whom are young people with disabilities. In 2015, Floare de Cireş extended its support to a four-month work-based training and employment programme. In a safe, supportive, and inclusive environment young men and women with disabilities learn fundamental job skills, while simultaneously building their resumes and work experience. The programme includes a monthly survey of participants.

The long-term financial situation improved for 79 per cent of the beneficiaries by finding employment after working at Floare de Cireş.

Four women in work uniforms hold trays with bakery products in front of them. There are ovens in the background and more trays with bakery products on the side

Floare de Cireş staff present their bakery products.


Total cost for the training programme is €50,000 per year. Floare de Cireş is financed by public funds and national and international fundraising. About 25 per cent of programme costs are covered by income from the catering service.

Floare de Cireş is a simple model and the programme is easy to replicate. On the verge of scaling nationwide, the organization has found partner organizations to launch the programme in five regions of the country.

In 2017 the programme served as a case study to develop legal rules for state-subsidized job creation and adaptation for persons with disabilities.


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