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EU assists employment of persons with disabilities in Mostar

The presentation of VedriMo social enterprise employing three persons with disabilities was held on 6 November in Mostar within EU funded project “O.P.T.I.O.N.” (Overcoming the Prejudice and promoting new Tools for professional Integration Of people with special Needs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro).

Within the Project aimed at integration and employment of people with special needs in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, the VedriMo enterprise has trained 9 people in total for the work in greenhouse farming of vegetables and seedlings.

Acting Head of Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation of the EU Delegation to BiH Gianluca Vannini, said that in the European Union context, over the last couple of years there was an increased interest in social business throughout Europe. He pointed out an increasingly recognized role that the social business could have in resolution of certain issues in the society and as an impetus to inclusive development.

Danijela Kegelj, Chair of the Vedri Osmijeh (eng. Bright Smile) Association noted that three persons with disabilities were employed in the Enterprise, while nine of them were trained so far. “Opening of a social enterprise is of immense importance since it is not only the message for them that they can, but also to the society that they can do it,” said Kegelj. She added that a market analysis revealed that precisely agriculture and ecological production were the areas where persons with disabilities could take part and in which realistically they could find their place in the market.

The project „O.P.T.I.O.N.” is funded by the European Union, through IPA program of cross-border cooperation between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The total value of the Project is 136,970.70 EUR, where EU provides 99,000.00 EUR. The Project is implemented by Vedri osmijeh and Caritas of the Archdiocese of Bar, in cooperation with Archdiocese Centre for Youth Pastoral “Ivan Pavao II.” (John Paul II), Caritas of BiH and Association of Paraplegics from Bar. Co-funding of 33.470,70 EUR is provided by Caritas Italiana. The Project is implemented between 25 July 2015 and 25 November 2017 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 25 January 2018 in Montenegro.