Within the project ‘SOCIETIES’, Caritas BiH signed in Sarajevo, agreements with six civil society organizations (CSOs) for the co-financing of six social entrepreneurship and community based services for persons with disabilities and mental health problems.
The Project ‘SOCIETIES’ (Support Of CSOs In Empowering Technical skills, Inclusion of people with disabilities and EU standards in South East Europe) is being implemented in five Western Balkan countries, which are in the pre-accession process towards the European Union. In BiH, it is being implemented in cooperation with the Mutual Assistance Society for the Mental Disorder of TK “Fenix” and with the support of the FBiH Ministry of Health, the RS Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the Mental Health Center Vitez.
With this project, the European Union and the Caritas Network in Southeast Europe along with its partners seek to address the problems faced by people with disabilities and mental disorders. Apart from strengthening development of social services in the community and the small business initiatives managed by the CSOs, the project foresees direct employment of people with disabilities and mental disorders. The project will also support CSOs that protect and care for this marginalized population. The Project ‘SOCIETIES’ is funded within the EU Civil society facility and media program 2014-2015, with a purpose to improve the capacities of CSOs in South East Europe in managing social inclusion processes and in promoting social inclusion policies, through an efficient dialogue with Public Authorities during the decision-making processes.
The local organisations that were supported in the amount of above 86 000 Euro are “Quick Elmo” cleaning service – Cantonal Mutual Assistance Society for Mental Distress “Apel” from Sanski Most,”Greenhouse” cultivation and sale of herbs and flowers – ProReha Association – Center for professional rehabilitation, retraining and training of persons with disabilities and other hard to employ groups in Vogosca near Sarajevo, than “Only persistent and courageous go ahead” Association “Humanitarian organization Lotosice” from Tuzla, “Inclusive entrepreneurship – “Zajednički put” Foundation, city of Prijedor, Work Training and Employment of Disabled Persons “ROZOSI” Association of Parents and Children with Special Needs “Vedri osmijeh”, Mostar and “Book for the Future” Association for the Protection and Promotion of Mental Health In Spe, also from Mostar.
During the signing ceremony, it was emphasised that a considerable number of project proposals submitted for a co-financing reflected a large-scale of the needs, and it was underlined that continued actions in the area of protection of rights and improvement of the position of persons with disabilities and persons with mental health problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina are necessary.
For the next year and a half, local grass-roots organizations will use the resources provided by the European Union to work on the activities for the benefit of people with disabilities and mental health problems in order to reduce their social exclusion.