5-th Learning Activity

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Learning activity in Poland take place in Łódź on 24/10/2023 – 25/10/2023 and Warsaw on 26/10/2023, the organizer was “Me-You-Us” Social Support Assosiation (PL: Stowarzyszenie Wsparcie Społeczne “Ja-Ty-My”, which introduce the model of Polish Inclusive Companies.

The visit was attended by representatives of the project leader, National Confederation of Special Employment Centers CONACEE. Confederación Nacional Centros Especiales Empleo and representatives of partner organizations from Spain – Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Complutense University of Madrid), Germany – Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Inklusionsfirmen and Fachberatung fuer Arbeits- und Firmenprojekte, France – Union Nationale Des Entreprises Adaptees Unea, Belgium – Entente Wallonne des Enterprises de Travail Adapte (Eweta) and Poland – “Me-You-Us” Social Support Assosiation.

Partner representatives arrived on 23rd of October, the main part of Learning Activity started on 24th October with a theoretical meeting – presentation of the formal situation, legal background, statistical data from the country and region. After introduction we listened to representatives of two Inclusive companies: Kłos sp.z o.o. and Social Innovations Incubator Foundation. Kłos sp.z o.o operates on the principles of an inclusive enterprise, employs, trains and creates workplaces for people with disabilities. It is a part of the group that belongs to the Association of Disabled People’s Friends in Lodz.

The Social Innovations Incubator Foundation operates in the area of training and strengthening the competences of people with disabilities on the employment market.  Our lunch was prepared by next inclusive company: Professional Activity Institution ZAZ “Zdrowa kuchnia”. ZAZ “Zdrowa kuchnia” shered their experience on best practices and the processes carried out for the successful transition or direct access of PwD to regular employment and will help analyze the barriers encountered in this process. With their own employees, they respect the employers’ will for transition and the available opportunities in the open market. The Professional Activity Institution “ZDROWA KUCHNIA” is a part of the group that belongs to the Association of Disabled People’s Friends in Lodz. 

First day of work ends in the restaurant “Marco bistro” led by “Urban Forms” Foundation. The Urban Forms Foundation was created in 2008 in Lodz conducts activities consisting in disseminating urban culture and art and promoting it in various environments in Poland and abroad. Thanks to the Foundation, Lodz city began to be seen as the important city of murals and street art in the world. Now Foundation carries the Italian bistro “Marco Bistro” which is also a place to present street art. During this visit we will saw how services for ordinary clients in an open laboral environment affects workers excluded from social life and their willingness to move into the ordinary company.

Wednesday 25th October 2023 started with an inspiring meeting in Pabianice. The Rampa Foundation has been operating since 2011. Initially, it was called Youth Center, then we changed the name to Fundacja Młodzi dla Młodych, and from 2018, when we obtained our current headquarters of the foundation, it was called Fundacja Rampa. In 2018, in the city of Pabianice, in a deserted and old printing factory, the Rampa Christian Center was established. Our activities are based primarily on working with people. People and young people are at risk of derailment and social exclusion. Homeless people, addicts, families who struggle with alcohol, violence or drugs due to generational problems. Rampa is also a place where there is a sports club with a gym. Next meeting takes place in the  Professional Activity Institution in Tuszyn. Company was founded in 2017, gives a job to 23 workers with moderate and hard disabilities. They work at the gastronomy services, as restaurant, catering, takeaway. This activity is a branch of the bigger Professional Activity Institution in Łowicz which was founded in 2016 (In total, the company employs 45 people with disabilities in two locations)

Pub Spółdzielczy, was the last inclusive enterprise we visited in Łódź .  Cooperative Pubs already operate in five cities in Poland: Gdańsk, Łódź, Toruń, Rzeszów and Rybnik. The last four were created as part of the first social franchise in Poland. These are multitaps, which means that each one has at least twenty taps with beer from Spółdzielcze and other craft breweries from Poland and around the world. There will also be something for connoisseurs of stronger alcohols.

Cooperative Pubs are social enterprises. What does it mean?

We believe that work is a value and that everyone can work if they find the right place for themselves. In our pubs, we create workplaces adapted to the needs of people with disabilities and mentally ill people. And at the same time, we serve you simply good beer.

Thursday 26th October 2023we visited Department of Social Economy is a part of the Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Policy in Warsaw. Department is responsible for implementing the rules of state law about social economy, certification of Social Economy Support Centres, monitoring the area of social economy, monitoring of the various subsidies for social cooperatives and social enterprises. Representatives of the Department told about experience with implementing the new state law about social economy and the labor market with people with disabilities. Discussion about achievements and data connected to the Social economy Field and Inclusive companies in whole country was the last point of this visit.

From Department of Social Economy all partners moved to the Café “Pożyteczna” led by Social Inclusive Cooperative “Też chcemy być pożyteczni”. The foundation was established in 2011. The founders are three families whose children suffer from intellectual disabilities. The Social Cooperative “PoŻYteczni” is the “flagship” project of the Foundation. 

Our goal is to create jobs for the Foundation’s beneficiaries who, due to their dysfunctions, have little chance of employment and are most often condemned to unemployment. It was also about finding a model solution in which – firstly – our students would not look for employment, but would create their own jobs and – possibly – employ able-bodied people to perform activities that exceed their capabilities. Secondly, they will not be just hired workers, but full co-owners, with all the ensuing consequences. 

The “Pożyteczni” social cooperative was officially registered in December 2013 with the financial support of certified Social Economy Support Centre FISE Foundation in Warsaw. Now the cooperative lead the Café with 16 workers with disabilities.

To disseminate the activities of Foundation and Social Cooperative and their support system of young people with mental disabilities who have a big trouble to find job. The particular kind of disability of their employees will evidence some specifics difficulties when dealing with transition, especially on the side of potential working place within ordinary companies.

In the end of the day, we visit Warsaw Rising Museum – Museum of Warsaw Rising 1944, the most dramatical rising in Warsaw during the Second World War.

Co4Tran project – TRAINING FOR THE TRANSITION FROM SUPPORTED EMPLOYMENT TO EMPLOYMENT IN THE FREE MARKET

Programme: Erasmus+ project

Reference number: 2021-1-ES01-KA220-VET-000028035

Type of activity: Associations for cooperation in the field of vocational training

European funds: EUR 123,238

Duration: February 2022 – February 2024

Coordinator: National Confederation of Special Employment Centers (CONACEE)