Ana Belén Lemes Parilla
Location: Lanzarote, Spain, where she was born
Profession: Ana has been working for 12 years with the organization “El Cribo” – an organization that accompanies people with mental illness and integrates them.
In 2007, Ana founded her screenprinting workshop, a special employment center, in Arrecife. The peculiarity: Ana works exclusively with people with mental illness.
They learn the print technique and earn part of their living in a normal working enviroment.
Ana says that people on the island mostly don’t know how to treat their family members if they recognize them being “different”.
Most families tend to isolate them and keep them from doing anything.
A lot of Ana’s workers have already reached a certain age, sometimes without ever leaving their hometown or riding a bus by themselves. El Cribo and Ana’s screenprint workshop teach them that they can do things and help them gain trust and lead a life without dependency.
“There are some prejudices”, says Ana, “sometimes clients see the printresult and are surprised that it turned out perfect.
Other clients are really happy to collaborate with us and to see the benefit our workers have from it.”
The Spanish law requires every company with more than 50 employees to contract at least 2 percent of people with disabilities. “In reality there are some big enterprises that prefer to pay a fee, or others that contract people but don’t have the sensitivity to take good care of them.”
You see an evolution in every person that comes here. The important thing is to make an individual plan for everyone, since we are all individuals with different needs.
Visit Ana’s screenprinting workshop on Facebook: El Cribo. Agrupación para la defensa del paciente psíquico.
Text and Photos: Esther Suave