- MECO Foundation is the first non-governmental, non-profit initiative sponsored by a private company that is aimed at people with disabilities.
- Approximately 10.5% (452,859 people) of the Costa Rican population has some type of disability.
- 65% of this population does not work due to the lack of employment opportunities.
San José, Costa Rica. MECO’s commitment to ensure the welfare and labor participation of people with disabilities was awarded the prize “Costa Rica Incluye” (Costa Rica includes) in two categories: Inclusive Recruitment and Community and Inclusion.
These awards are granted by the International Labor Organization (ILO), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the National Council for Rehabilitation and Special Education and the Ministry of Labor of Costa Rica as a way to encourage and raise awareness of the labor needs of this population.
This is the second consecutive year that the Costa Rican company MECO receives the Community and Inclusion award, thanks to the promotion of the rights and support provided to the Special Education Schools through its Reconociéndonos (Recognizing Ourselves) program. MECO also won the first place in the inclusive recruitment program category, thanks to its internal efforts to change its philosophy, business policy, awareness of staff, physical space and furniture to ensure inclusion for people with disabilities.
The Incluir (Include) program from MECO Foundation provides supported employment for people with disabilities, which not only provides them a physical space, but comprehensive care, accompaniment and support to find a quality job, either at MECO or another socially responsible company.
“We are pleased to know that our intervention has placed 3 people with disability in quality employment positions. Laura, Ernesto and Jeimy work and perform successfully, providing not only the company but also their families, “said Johana Cerdas, Director of MECO Foundation.
To become part of Costa Rica Incluye, Fundación MECO received training from the Asociación Empresarial para el Desarrollo (Business Association for Development), AED, to make a diagnosis of the company on topics regarding inclusion and pilot schemes to inform and sensitize employees.
Fundación MECO was responsible for modifying recruiting systems, to open opportunities for this population. Internally, training modules were designed for staff and management to become aware, and create a more humane atmosphere toward peers with disabilities, promoting their human rights and equality.