POWER: EU project helping people with disabilities find employment

The European Union launched a new project aiming at helping people with disabilities to get new jobs without difficulties and delays.

The project was presented on Thursday, 15 March in Sarajevo where representatives of public institutions, non-governmental organizations, associations of persons with disabilities and representatives of partnership organisations gathered. The POWER project will contribute to creating a better environment for people with disabilities, particularly in the area of education, employment and raising public awareness.

Acting Head of Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross-Border Cooperation of the EU Delegation to BiH Gianluca Vannini expressed hope that the project would remove the stigma of people with disabilities.

“This project will increase employment opportunities of people with disabilities, and I hope it will completely change the way people with disabilities are treated. The EU finances this project under the cross-border cooperation programme between BiH and Montenegro for the period 2014-2020. The program provides EUR 7.6 million for projects related to the promotion of employment, tourism, cultural and natural heritage, and environmental protection”, said Vannini.

Participants of the info session exchanged experiences and talked about concrete proposals for good-quality implementation of project activities. The emphasis was put on the preparation of new, professional curricula for education of persons with disability. Four new curricula for education of adult persons with disability will be developed through the project as well as four curricula for informal training that would strengthen professional competencies of persons with disabilities. The project has also foreseen the development of an interactive website, where all relevant information about employment of persons with disability could be found. Participants of the info session also discussed an exhibition fair on employment of persons with disabilities, possibilities of internships at companies and organisations and as well as the measures that need to be undertaken through the public system to simplify and accelerate the employment process.

The Project P.O.W.E.R. is funded by the European Union, through IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Program of Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro. The total value of the project is EUR 459,776, out of which the European Union is financing EUR 390,800. The project is implemented by the Caritas of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in cooperation with the partners from BiH and Montenegro: Archdiocesan Pastoral Youth Centre John Paul II, Association of Parents and Children with Special Needs Vedri osmijeh, Fund for Professional Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disability of the Federation of BiH, Caritas of the Bar Archdiocese, Association of the Paraplegic of Bar and Business Start-up Centre of Bar. The project will last for two years and it will be implemented on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.