By Tika Bujiashvili
Coming across wooden puzzle-toys-funny rabbits, donkeys and even The Bremen Town Musicians at the toy-shop Super and already at Mtatsminda Park at the weekends, you may not imagine that in Tbilisi, on Rustaveli Avenue there is a small social enterprise “Kodala” where these hand-made, well -wrapped toys are made.
Kodala, established in 2013, operates a social enterprise woodworking business which fabricates wooden assemble toys, which develops imagination and memory of children and helps them exercise their eyes and mind.
People employed here are people with limited abilities, minor probationers, social insecure young people and even former prisoners. They don’t rely on grants or donations, but instead earn their income through selling their hand-made products. Here you will meet a cheerful, blue-eyed old man who likes posing and taking photos very much. He doesn’t have a hand but still works to make ecologically pure toys for young generation.
People, employing at Kodala, acquire new professions through different innovation techniques. They can also study artistic processing of wood.
Today the organization produces more than 50 kinds of wooden toys and different miniature wooden products puzzles, mechanical toys and souvenirs.
As Kontstantine Svanadze, The General Director of the Social Enterprises “Kodala” said, the aim of the organizations is an integration of the people with limited abilities. Since employing people with limited abilities has a positive impact on employers, increases in customized and supported employment will not only help individuals with disabilities, but also benefit the workforce and society as a whole.
One thing is that Kodala is ready to host people not only locals, but guests who are interested in such kind of social enterprise. They can give masterclasses and show how children’s favorite puzzles or toys are made. It will be a good encouragement and motivation for the people employed here.