Providing a workplace for injured people

Project location: BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA, Sarajevo
Project start date: March 2002 - Project end date: October 2002
Project number: 2001-16
Beneficiary: Center for Self-Reliance

Final results

In the project "Life goes on: providing workplace for people with disabilities" the NPF accepted to co-finance the Center for Self-Reliance for a project of training and self-employment of people with disabilities of various categories (paralysis cerebralis, paraparesis spastica, paraplegia spastica, quadriparesis) who live in the area of Sarajevo. In the past period (2000-2001), the Center carried out preparational activities, so called retraining of persons with disabilities in the area of applied arts:
  • Theoretical part (introduction to marketing in applied arts, basic knowledge on family business, banking with the aim of self-employment or becoming member of an association which sells unique items)
  • Practical part (making useful items using glass (candle-holders, stained-glass items), silk (scarves, dress belts, articles of clothes, greeting cards), wood (toys, puzzles, trays). In order to achieve their primary goal - initiation and realization of planned activities of training and employment of people with disabilities - school for manufacturing of unique items, opening an internet center, hobby - of educational center, thanks to the donors' help the Center has already managed to:
  • Equip the adapted space with necessary furniture (UN Mission in BiH as donor)
  • Procure computers for opening an internet center and training of the members (UN Mission of BiH as donor)
  • Partly obtain finances for transport of handicapped persons involved in our project (Embassy of Holland as donor for period Nov 2001 - March 2002)

    After that the Center has successfully started all planned activities, by using the NPF's grant. Opening a workshop for manufacturing unique items made of silk, natural (hand-woven) materials involving persons with disabilities. The project has been accepted very well by the persons with disabilities and their families who are very satisfied with psychophysical progress of the handicapped, very good concept of rehabilitation and for the first time gained confidence that they can do something by themselves and sell it. Also, the participants felt worthy and equal at least when it comes to work abilities, because it all grew into becoming work retraining and offered a possibility to provide financial security through such work. In addition, that work is aimed at making a useful product, at something which has both market and economic dimension to it.

    Self- sustainability: In order to make sure that their products are sold, the Center became member of an association called "Unikati Lejla" (Servicing association for production of unique fancy- work and works of art in cottage industry" - which also involves a group of women, widows and displaced persons who make these things). The association was registered at Sarajevo cantonal court (Document No.: UF/I- 4500/000 on 31. October 2000. It enabled participants to become members by signing the contract of business cooperation thereby regulating all rights and obligations of the contracted sides. The association also offers the items of the Center for Self-Reliance apart from their own during all events, fairs, selling exhibitions, and sales locations.
    However, in order to improve sales of the products they found necessary to establish contacts with other sales locations as well as a canvasser. That is why a contract of sale on commission was signed between the Center for Self-Reliance and a shop "MA" at Bašcaršija, in the old part of the town.

    Current activities and a plan for next three months: Simultaneously with the project of applied arts the Center has initiated some other activities which should develop the organization and contribute to stability and sustainability of the project, as well as put to maximum use the donated equipment. They are talking about two programs here: computer course (April, May, June) and framing course (planned for July). The targeted group involved in the project has even been expanded by a group of women (40-50 y.o.) who are unemployed.
    The Center has planned to provide free use of computers and equipment and the mini "Internet center" to all persons with special needs as well as to let other people living in the neighbouring area use them for symbolic membership fees. Any profit coming from that center should help solving the problem of transport of the handicapped members. Transport cost is very high, since the city of Sarajevo does not have any means of public transport whatsoever, which could have been used by people experiencing difficulties in moving around.

    In short, the objectives achieved by opening the workshop are as follows:

  • giving persons with disabilities more active role so that they can see themselves in a different light;
  • they became active in doing something which is highly valued by society and in so doing put an accent on their abilities while setting aside their difference;

    Long-term objectives achieved:

    Slight change of attitude of community members toward persons with disabilities and removal of mental barriers thus offering unique opportunities for involvement of people with disabilities in all aspects of life.

    Change of attitude of family members of PWD, where people with disabilities will begin to play more active role in the family itself.

    Change of attitude of people with disabilities toward themselves and the community, because very often, people with disabilities are afraid of how the community will react and how it will accept them.

    During the summer of the year 2002 the Center developed two programs: a computer course (5 days a week) and a framing course (materials have been purchased with part of the NPF funds). The targeted group involved in the project has even been expanded by a group of women (40-50 y.o.) who are unemployed.

    The Center provided free use of computers and equipment and the mini "Internet center" to all persons with special needs as well as to let other people living in the neighbouring area use them for symbolic membership fees. Any profit coming from that center helped solving the problem of transport of the handicapped members. Transport cost is very high, since the city of Sarajevo does not have any means of public transport whatsoever, which could have been used by people experiencing difficulties in moving around. This is the main cost the NPF has covered in the project.

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