The first social café named “Dar Yak Zamin” (On One Earth) has opened in Dushanbe.  The café has been established in the framework of the Center for Children with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities program, Social Club for Teenagers with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities.  

The café-opening ceremony has been attended by senior representatives of the Dushanbe education department, public associations, international organizations active in Tajikistan and parents of children with autism and other developmental disabilities.    

This project has been initiated by the “IRODA - Parents of Children with Autism Initiative” Public Association.  

Director of the “IRODA - Parents of Children with Autism Initiative” Public Association, Ms. Lola Nasriddinova, noted that a long-term experience of their partners from the United States – Reality Kitchen Nonprofit – had spurred them on establishing that social café, “where children will be trained in baking and serving customers.”  

“This initiative aims at assisting teens and young people with developmental disorders in getting job skills and working alongside other members of our society,” said Muhabbat, the mother of one of the Center pupils.  “They should feel themselves to be necessary for our society and it is very important for them.”  

Reality Kitchen is a nonprofit organization that provides job skills training and professional development services for young adults who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities in a workplace setting.

Reality Kitchen offers employment path experiences designed to nourish and inspire all learners, with and without disabilities, to thrive personally and professionally with supports and resources in a community inclusive setting.

“IRODA - Parents of Children with Autism Initiative” is working to establish services and support for people with autism in Tajikistan.  Until very recently in Tajikistan autism has not been recognized or diagnosed and children and their families have been without appropriate support.  IRODA is working towards establishing the necessary services and is striving to see people with autism treated with dignity and respect as valued members of society.

IRODA advocates for the rights and interests of people with ASD, and endeavors to ensure that they have access to quality services appropriate for their unique needs.  IRODA is doing this by providing Early Intervention Services, running a program for children who are without access to educational services, facilitating parent support groups, working with the local education and health services, providing training, creating access to appropriate information on Autism and lobbying legislators.