Country - Czech Republic
Target group:
drug users
Activity: product sales, commercial

EIKON

“It is crucial to find consensus between the needs of the target group and a business idea that is successful on the market, thus harmonising the social and economical points of view in the project activities.”

Organization

Project officially started in its current location and form in the year 2000. From 1993 to 2000 it was developing as part of a therapeutic community from which it later separated. The idea came from some people working in Sdružení Podané Ruce (SPR), who as believers have connections and experience in religious spheres. They expected that the production of wooden icons could contribute to SPR's fund-raising. Over time the project has developed its business attitude into the WIP it is today. The project aims at the SPR target group, namely people with a history of drug abuse, who have undergone or are currently undergoing some kind of treatment and have evident motivation to change. This target group includes long-term unemployed people, people with health disabilities and people coming out of prison – all of them with a history of drug abuse.

The aim of the project is social integration of marginalised people, training of their work skills and improvement of their employability, while offering access to legal income. EIKON contributes to the employability of former drug users. This is done by involving participants in the production of icons and the overall functioning of the workshop, while teaching clients how to act professionally and self-reflect.

Eikón's applicants go through an entrance interview and assessment. If successful a temporary employment contract is concluded. After that follows an entrance training which takes a maximum of 3 days. New people gets to know every working procedure available in the workshop. Work in the workshop itself is mostly collective, people change their particular working position as needed due to current workshop production and one´s abilities. Two occupational possibilities are available: (medium-term – more than 6 months, nowadays involves 3 persons) and short-term (150 working hours/year, usually 2 months). During their occupation in the workshop clients are encouraged to look for a job on the regular market. Work at the workshop consists of production of religious wooden icons and various souvenirs.

Results

The most important result is contribution to the employment of the target group. About 20 people a year are offered a job in the workshop. On average, about half of the workshop employees move on to regular employment.

The project is evaluated by the income from sales and the interest of the target group in employment in the workshop. While Czech policy does not provide for a solid structure to safeguard the financing of WIPs, the project has three major financial contributors, namely: Česká Spořitelna Foundation (Česká spořitelna is one of the largest Czech banks), Southmoravian Region and Brno City. Besides, the project runs for 40% on its own income, so EIKON also has a lot of commercial partners, such as religious supplies retailers.

An essential part is the so called “social capital”: enthusiastic, experienced and skilled employees with the right ideas.

More information

Website: http://www.podaneruce.cz/programy-a-pece/eikon-program-pracovni-rehabilitace-a-chranene-prace/

 


Country - Czech Republic
TG:
(ex) offenders, people with mental health problems
Activities: commercial, integrated services, product sales

Semitam s.r.o.

“We offer the opportunity to learn the value of work and be proud of it. This means living a life where you can care for yourself through an honest wage.”

The Organisation

Semitam offers work as a cleaner or serving, bookbinding or in a sewing workshop, in the Czech Republic. The project is for people with disabilities, for people returning from prison and youth at risk of social pathologies and returning from inpatient treatment.

Semitam was founded in October 2011. In the beginning there were four people in the project, but at the time of writing (2014) the WIP had 16 participants.

The essence is to offer work to people who have great difficulty finding a job without the support from Semitam. People released from prison or youth with pathological tendencies without any previous work experience are offered the opportunity to earn a living through work. For people with physical disabilities the opportunity to work again is to be useful and to take part in the community.

The project is financed by Semitam's own earnings, supported by the Bureau of Labour from April 2012, as well as European funds and the state budget. The latter's funding (for the project Social Business – The Path to Responsibility and Solidarity) will be finished in March 2014.

Results

Semitam has created and maintained a social business as a separate and independent economic entity. They offer jobs and psychosocial support to people with social or physical disabilities and they offer quality cleaning services or original handmade products. In the meantime, employees develop communication skills, learn teamwork, self-reliance and responsibility. While stimulating skill development Semitam tries to make some of their participants - especially those returning from prison – move on to other more permanent employment. Over the years, the company has managed to reintegrate a few participants, who found another job and housing.

Semitam's staff supports and motivates participants through regular contacts, both in groups and individual. Twice a year the whole team meets at a common event, such as a Christmas party. The company also employs a psychologist who is always available for all participants. All in all Semitam offers comprehensive care to people with criminal records.

More information

Website: www.semitam.cz

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Country - Germany
TG:
drug users
Activity:
product sales, commercial, hard skills, low-threshold, gardening/agriculture

Mudra Berufliche Integration

“We installed a permanent quality management system to ensure the ongoing development of our organisation”


The organisation

Mudra vocational training and employment services is part of Mudra Alternative Jugend- und Drogenhilfe Nürnberg e.V. in Germany. They strive to help drug addicted persons in finding their way back to the job market. In their different projects there are various possibilities for qualified job trainings. They also offer low threshold opportunities to acquire basic competences that are needed in all kinds of jobs. Their goals are not limited to the direct needs of the job market but also include psychosocial counselling and support in other important domains. There is more information about this in the UNODC-Document about Sustained Recovery Management.Mudra's project leader was a member of the working group responsible for the document.

The participants can work for all sorts of projects, such as forestry, a women’s workshop for costumes, jewellery and sewing, cleaning services, cabinet maker’s workshop, gardening and landscaping, a day labour project, and training in business administration. At the time of writing these projects offered work to around 90 participants, and the numbers were increasing over time. The forestry project was founded in 1985, so Mudra has many years of experience in work reintegration. In all their work they aim to improve the situation of recovering drug addicts concerning job integration, connected with psychosocial counselling

About 50% of the Mudra services is financed through the sales of their goods and services. Their offer is quite extensive. To get an impression of what they sell you may visit their online shop (in German) at: http://mudra-shop.de/. The remainder of their financing is through funding from the Employment Agency, State of Bavaria, District government, City of Nuremberg, Integration Office (responsible for job integration of handicapped persons) and some donations.

Results

The key results of Mudra are that they contribute to a reduced crime rate, they reduce relapses, and they help to improve the work competences of their target group. Concerning the last point they do not only assist in the development of basic skills, but they also offer formal gardening and landscaping training as well as business administration. Not many participants move on to regular employment, as the main target group is long-term drug users with multiple problems. On average about 20% moves on, 60% stays on the same level, 20% drops out. In their work they often see younger participants with no work experience and no qualifications, and older participants with increasing health problems, for whom it is hard to move on to regular employment as the current job market has very few opportunities for unqualified, older and less productive peoples. However, through combining their integration programme with psychosocial counselling, and better payment for more challenging jobs, Mudra does manage to motivate the professional development of its participants. In the near future they will focus on the challenges of new drugs, and adapting job offers to older and less fit participants.

More information

Website: www.mudra-online.de

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Country - Greece
Target Group:
mental health problems
Activity: gardening/agriculture, low-threshold, product sales

EKPSE (PRE) VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMME

“Vocational rehabilitation may be a positive response to prolonged work disability, accelerating return to meaningful employment, minimising workdays lost, increasing productivity of injured workers, reducing premature retirement, and containing the welfare costs. Early intervention and the patient’s active involvement decrease deconditioning and illness behavior and foster higher return-to-work rates. Moreover, vocational rehabilitation delivered to patients at risk for job loss (but still employed) can delay job loss.”

The organisation

The EKPSE (pre)vocational training programme forms part of the Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health in Alexandroupolis, Greece. Besides vocational training, this parent organisation offers housing support, day centres, mobile psychiatric units, community advocacy, education for mental health professionals and rehabilitation programmes. The training programme takes place in Evros and offers vocational and rehabilitative support to people with mental health problems. The trainees raise plants in a field and sell the products on a market. While aiming to increase the self-esteem of the participants, they are supported in their social and labour market integration. The programme not only includes medical and psychosocial treatment but also ways to foster social interaction, to promote independent living, and to encourage vocational performance. At the beginning of the trajectory the participants discuss with the head of the programme what plants or vegetables they will seed. Afterwards they prepare the ground, seed, take care of the plants on a daily basis, harvest and sell at the market. All the products are biological, without the use of insecticides. Besides, participants can also be trained in the keeping of domestic animals such as chickens, pigs, turkeys and rabbits. The project was founded in 1986 and has continually evolved to keep meeting the needs of the participants and society. Since its beginning the programme has grown gradually, now offering work to 17 people.

Results

The main subject of training (agricultural cultivations) and the kind of production (primary sector) was selected taking into account the special needs of the target group in relation with their illness and their previous life. They promote their products to the community and with the earnings they in turn support the programme. In the meantime they receive education, counselling and general work guidance.

Surveys have pointed out that, at 6 months to 2 years after vocational rehabilitation, only about 20% of subjects had a job, whereas many more receive a disability pension. This finding demonstrates that there is room for improving the selection criteria for vocational rehabilitation interventions. Moreover, the role of national disability compensation systems in influencing the worker’s motivation to return to work should not be overlooked, as well as the importance of specific policies aimed at better (re-) integrating and maintaining disabled people in the labour market.

In order to keep the programme sustainable they will continue to work on several key points, namely the empowerment of participants in order to need less employers for the programme, the utilisation of the Social Economy, and an increase of the programme's financial independence.

More information

Website: www.ekpse.gr

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Country - Portugal
TG: drug users
Activity:
hard skills + product sales + gardening/agriculture

Dianova

Organization

The plant nursery and the Viveiros Dianova greenhouse are part of Dianova, an NGO specialised in drug and alcohol treatment and certified training, in Portugal. Since April 2000, this social enterprise works on sustainable and social goals through the employment and empowerment of 13 people. They are specialised in the production of plants and flowers. The social enterprise hires people that have completed a drug and alcohol rehab programme, 45+ unemployed people, or those without higher education or professional qualifications and experience, as well as socially vulnerable peoples. At the workplace the employees have regular 8 hour workdays, during which everyone works according to their own capacity. The employees are responsible for the growth and production of plants and flowers, ranging from seeding, plant nourishment, to the final sale of the product. Of the 13 employees, 8 have already become regular staff members and 5 are in the process of a 2-year training in general professional skills as well as floriculture specifics. Since its foundation the social enterprise has benefited 52 people. For all these people the overall aim was to increase their professional capabilities and so stimulating social reintegration on the regular labour market. Moreover, the sales of Dianova's plants increases the NGOs revenue and sustainability in the long term. The 5 specialised work places are co-subsidized for a 2-year period frame by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and its sustainable goal relies on the sales of the produced plants and flowers to the national Portuguese market.

Results

All in all the social enterprise has reintegrated 52 people socio-professionally. They have done so through empowerment, the teaching of social and professional skills, advocacy for equal opportunities and the promotion of self-employment. At the workplace the employees learn new social and relational soft skills (team work, self esteem, conflict management, time management, autonomy reinforcement) as well as hard skills (greenhouse/ stove maintenance, plants and plagues biology, plant trimming, garden plants and house plants, main rules for care of plants). These skills are taught through various ways, namely: psychosocial support, training sessions throughout the year on soft and hard skills, as well as corporate celebrations designed to increase employee engagement. Although reduced financial support has made it difficult to hire a manager that can make the enterprise more profitable and the outcome of the work is dependent of the weather, the enterprise has turned out to be rather successful. Not only have they been running for more than 13 years, they have also benefited more than 50 highly disadvantaged individuals, and have constantly adapted to the changing market needs. Thus, in the years to come they will continue to optimise their efficiency and effectiveness of the enterprise, hoping to maintain their level of employees and increase their revenue.

More information

Website: www.dianova.pt

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Country - The Netherlands
TG:
people with mental heath problems
Activities: peer involvement, individually tailored, low threshold, product sales

SCIP

“Give the participants a lot of freedom to explore their own talents and capabilities. Adjust the activities to the abilities of the participants to keep them involved and responsible.”

The organisation

SCIP started as an independent initiative in 2000, and since 2009 it is an independent client controlled branch of HVO-Querido daytime activities in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During the foundation of SCIP, the clients themselves decided how they were going to implement the project and they wanted to organise something independent of healthcare institutions. The projects are for people with mental health problems. Individuals who want to work for SCIP do not need official medical approval; everyone who wants to participate is welcome.

The essence of the strategy lies in the client control. At least 51% in all layers of the organisation (from menial work to management) has a psychiatric background. SCIP has 17 paid employees of which 14 have a mental healthcare background. SCIP runs around 18 projects focussing on social integration, meaningful day activities and work (ranging from group dinners to a publishing house). The work-projects are: Tobi Vroegh, ACC, Web buro en login/logout.

Publishing house Tobi Vroegh is a project where volunteers take care of all the activities in the printing and publishing process. All publications have a link with psychiatry, being either written by someone with psychological problems or on a topic related to psychiatry. ACC are computer centres, where in the mornings and evenings people can follow courses, and in the afternoons people can work independently. Login is a shop where new and second-hand computers and hardware are sold. Login has a separate workplace where computers are fixed/put together in order to be sold in the shop. At the workplace they also offer a course on hardware and software and outsiders can visit the workplace to fix their own computer under professional guidance. Logout started in 2008 and offers help with computers at home and Web buro can develop professional websites.

Results

The volunteers participate as real employees and several volunteers move on to paid jobs inside and outside the organisation. Participants become more socially included and learn to put their skills into practice in a protected environment. SCIP emancipates people with a mental healthcare background.

At Toby Vroegh all the expenses are covered by the financial yielding of the publications.

Contrary to the regular approach in psychiatry people at SCIP are not approached or treated as mental healthcare clients, but responsible individuals with personal capabilities. Rather than disabilities the focus lies on talent and individual strengths, and the contribution a person can make to any of the projects. At SCIP individuals shape their activities themselves, without being pushed to walk a certain path or to achieve specific targets. People are stimulated to do things their own way. Consequently there is a low drop-out rate and a higher well-being and commitment among the volunteers and employees.

There are no access criteria, and everyone who wants to participate may do so. As a consequence the participants of SCIP are very diverse in their capabilities, level of recovery and social abilities. The resulting cooperation between those with lighter and heavier problems has proven to contribute to the empowerment of all participants. Those with heavier problems are empowered through the support of the stronger ones, and the ones with lighter problems can gain confidence by fulfilling an exemplary role.

More information

Websites: http://www.scipweb.nl/ and www.webbureau-amsterdam.nl


Country - The Netherlands
TG:
drug users
Activities: integrated services, product sales

Tactory

Everyone has qualities; The trick is to put them to good use. At Tactory we believe in the unique capabilities of people.'

The organisation

Tactory is a Work Integration Programme of Tactus addiction treatment services in the Netherlands. Tactus offers treatment and support to people with addiction problems and their relatives. Clients who receive treatment at Tactus often have problems with work and day activities. Addressing it properly contributes to the recovery of the client. Tactory work-reintegration responds to this, offering activities to people with addiction problems and those with a large distance from the labour market. Among others, Tactory offers the following employment opportunities: repairing and selling second-hand and new bikes, catering, greening, service and maintenance jobs, vegetable gardens, cleaning and making wooden furniture and lifestyle products (for inside and outside). For sale and office locations see: www.tactorygarden.nl. Through these projects clients will again feel valuable and relevant, while learning new skills. Moreover, they make beautiful products, which correspond to the current era of people looking for products with a meaningful/good background/story. Tactory work integration started on 1 July 2007 and at the time of writing (late 2013) they had around 250 participating clients. However, due to reduced public funding for such projects in the Netherlands they were expecting a future decline in participants. While healthcare funding and government subsidies finance a large part of the project, some of the financing also happens through sales of their products. In all their work they aim to provide sustainable work for clients, and where possible to enable the flow to regular work.

Results

The most important result of the Tactory projects is that clients structure their lives and that they gain control over their substance dependence. Meaningful day activities have proven to be very important in attaining such goals. While working at Tactory, clients work on their social abilities as well as gain work experience. They also learn to deal with structure. Some clients move on to paid work, although it has become harder due to the economic crisis. The number of clients that flow-through depends on the kind of addiction problem and the professional discipline of the client. The economic crisis also plays a major role.

At Tactory they know like no other how to deal with people with addiction problems. This is because the knowledge of Tactus is put to practice in the workplaces. The clients are supervised by professionals in the field of bikes/woodworks/greening etc., and the work supervisors also have knowledge of addiction treatment. There is close cooperation between the workplace supervisors and the practitioners. At present they are working on making the workplaces less dependent on healthcare financing and subsidies. Hence, they want to sell good products for a fair price, in order to keep offering work to their clients in the future. In 2014 Tactory launched a webshop (http://webwinkel.tactory.nl/). They work with sustainable materials as much as possible while giving people with addiction problems a second chance.

More information:

Website: www.tactory.nl

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