In his early years, Joshua had difficulty walking and talking due to developmental dysphasia. He learned to walk with the help of a physiotherapist and entered special education with the support of a speech therapist. Through practical courses in his school, Joshua discovered that he had a flair for cooking and soon achieved numerous certificates in cooking.
Two years ago, Joshua was offered a one-month work placement in the kitchens of AFC Ajax, one of the largest football clubs in Europe. Thanks to his talent and hard work, when that month ended, he was offered a contract, and he has now been in the role for two years!
“Now, I am very proud to say that I have a 32-hour per week work contract,” says Joshua. “In the kitchen I help the chefs with cleaning, cutting, peeling fruits and vegetables … Of course, I also help to keep the kitchen clean. I’m really proud of my job. It’s important work because I am helping people to eat healthily.”
Joshua took time out from his full-time job earlier this year when he represented Special Olympics Netherlands at the Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. He won gold in tennis singles and silver in the doubles competition.
“My workplace is really nice, it feels like home. My colleagues accept me as I am. I’m really happy Ajax gave me the chance to work in their kitchen.”
Every day, Joshua and AFC Ajax are showing that INCLUSION WORKS!