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Social Entrepreneurship for Better Dialogue and Stronger Economy

02.07.2019
Bosnian Handicrafts/BHcrafts is one of the few organizations that was, just at after the recent war, brining women from two entities together, who share the same or similar problems – insufficient means for living and/or inability to work, on the one hand, and possession of skills and knowledge in traditional handicrafts techniques, that was passed from one generation to another, on the other.

The project "Social Entrepreneurship for Better Dialogue and Stronger Economy" is based on this idea - to bring together unemployed or hard-to-employ women, from two local communities in BiH - Tuzla and Vlasenica, to attend two trainings, which will make them more competitive on the labor market, and provide additional or (often) basic income for themselves.

The first training was a five day course, held in March, 2019 in Vlasenica, on advancing techniques in knitting and crocheting skills. Each class was specially prepared, according to the needs of participants and their acquired skills, followed up by BHcrafts’ knitting and crocheting manuals. The training/course gathered women from Vlasenica, Milici, Skelani, and women from Tuzla, Lukavac, and Zivince. The training was successfully completed with new lessons learned but also new contacts established.

Seven days later, two-day training was held, in Tuzla for the same group of women - On social entrepreneurship and the development of a small business. The participants from Vlasenica, Milici and Skelani were located in the center of Tuzla, which was an excellent opportunity for all women, to spend time together, after the training hours, and to exchange experiences, visit the important city sites and along, break any prejudices.

The extent to which training on social entrepreneurship is important for this target group, has been proven, by the feedback of participants, having in mind that this type of training, was something completely new to most of them, and highly necessary, since some of these women already own their own small businesses, or selling their own domestic produce; or simply want to establish a small crafts business. The visit to Bosnian handicrafts/BHcrafts premises was organized, as well, where the participants had the opportunity to get acquainted with the way one local production operates - from idea to realization, based on BHcrafts, a successful social enterprise. The possibility and ways of cooperation and work engagement within BHcrafts was also presented. During both trainings, women socialized, networked and simultaneously advanced their skills in handcrafting.

After completion of the training, during April and May, 50% of the women from the training, joined BHcrafts production through work engagement, instead of planned 30%. A large number of women engaged in work, are still with BHcrafts and are coming from Vlasenica, where we have established cooperation with the Women's Association "Podrinje".

The final activity of the project was the organization of two fairs of handicrafts and domestic produce of women, in Vlasenica and Tuzla. With the help and support of the Women's Association "Podrinje" from Vlasenica, and local authorities, "Women's Fair of Handicrafts and Homemade Produce", was held on May, 22 in Vlasenica, with good coverage of local media. Homemade products that were presented at the fair included locally grown food and diary produce, but also handicrafts, traditionally knitted socks, embroidered shirts, handmade jewelry and so on.

A week later, the same fair was held in the center of Tuzla. Women were satisfied with the Fair, the visit to their booths, while they were networking, socializing and presenting their products and the stories behind them. The fair was well covered by local media.

The aim of organizing these fairs was to raise awareness of women's entrepreneurship and opportunities for self-employment of marginalized women, using the cultural intangible heritage of peoples and nationalities in BiH or homemade produce, bringing women together, regardless of their ethnic-national differences.

The project "Social Entrepreneurship for Better Dialogue and Stronger Economy" has brought a series of positive results - mutual cooperation between women has been established; cooperation of women who have already started their small businesses with women who want to establish ones, etc. BHcrafts established cooperation with two associations - the "Association of Women Podrinje" from Vlasenica, as well as the "Association of Returnees of Podrinje Srebrenica" from Skelani (Srebrenica Municipality), which is already a direct impact on empowering women from local communities.

Women have joined together, learned together, and established not only cooperation, but friendships as well. The quote from one of the participants from the training sums it up nicely: "In addition to advancing our crocheting skills, new friendships have been established, while talking talk about life problems of us, as housewives - a dialogue on coexistence is possible. Social empowerment of women is needed to a greater extent."

The project whose activities were realized within the framework of the "Dialogue for the Future" project implemented by UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO in partnership with the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and funded by PBF, was successfully completed by the end of May 2019.






Bosanske rukotvorine/BHcrafts je jedna od rijetkih organizacija, koja je još odmah nakon rata spajala žene iz dva entiteta, koje dijele iste ili slične probleme – nedostatna sredstva za život i nemogućnost zaposlenja, s jedne strane, te posjedovanje vještina i znanja u tradicionalnim tehnikama ručnog rada, koje su prenošene s koljena na koljeno, s druge.

Projekat „Socijalno poduzetništvo za bolji dijalog i jaču ekonomiju“ baziran je upravo na toj ideji – povezati nezaposlene ili teško zapošljive žene, iz dvije lokalne zajednice u BiH – Tuzle i tuzlanskog kantona i opštine Vlasenica (RS), kako bi zajedno prošle dvije vrste obuke, nakon kojih će biti konkurentnije na tržištu rada, te obezbijediti sebi dodatna ili (često), osnovna sredstva za život.

Prva Obuka za unapređenje vještina pletenja i heklanja, u trajanju od pet dana, održana je tokom marta 2019. godine, u Vlasenici. Svaki čas je posebno spreman, prema potrebama polaznica i njihovim vještinama, koje su se razvijale iz časa u čas, prateći BHcrafts priručnike za pletenje i heklanje. Obuci su prisustvovale žene iz Vlasenice, Milića, Skelana, a svaki dan su organizovano dolazile žene iz Tuzle, Lukavca i Živinica. Obuka je prošla u učenju, druženju i ostvarivanju prvih kontakata.

Sedam dana poslije, održana je dvodnevna obuka - O pojmu socijalnog poduzetništva i razvoju malog biznisa, u Tuzli. Polaznice iz Vlasenice, Milića i Skelana su bile smještene u centru Tuzle, što je bila izvrsna prilika da se nakon obuke, druže sa ženama iz Tuzle, razmijene iskustva, te zajedno obiđu znamenitosti grada, upoznavajući se i rušeći barijere i predrasude.

Koliko je tema socijalnog poduzetništva značajna za ovu ciljnu skupinu, pokazuje i činjenica da je ova vrsta obuke, imajući u vidu grupu žena polaznica, bila nešto posve novo i očigledno potrebno, obzirom da neke od ovih žena već posjeduju svoje obrte (Lukavac), imaju svoju domaću proizvodnju (Vlasenica, Skelani) ili žele da se upuste u prodaju svojih proizvoda, bilo da su rukotvorine ili drugi proizvodi domaće radinosti. Organizovana je i posjeta prostorijama Bosanskih rukotvorina/BHcrafts-a, tokom koje su polaznice obuke imale priliku upoznati se sa načinom proizvodnje - od ideje do realizacije, ručno rađenih proizvoda, u uspješnom socijalnom preduzeću. Također im je predstavljena mogućnost i način saradnje sa BHcrafts-om.

Kroz obje obuke, žene su se socijalizovale, povezivale i istovremeno usavršile svoje vještine u izradi rukotvorina.

Nakon završenih obuka, tokom aprila i maja mjeseca, u BHcrafts proizvodnji radno je angažovano 50% polaznica obuke, umjesto planiranih 30%,koje su i danas uključene u proizvodnju. Veći broj žena, dolazi iz Vlasenice, gdje smo uspostavili saradnju sa Udruženjem žena “Podrinje”.

Završna aktivnost projekta bila je organizacija dva sajma rukotvorina i ženske domaće radinosti, u Vlasenici i Tuzli. Uz pomoć i podršku organizacije Udruženje žena “Podrinje” iz Vlasenice i lokalnih vlasti, “Sajam ženske domaće radinosti i rukotvorina”, održan je 22.05.2019. godine u Vlasenici, uz prisustvo lokalnih medija. Na sajmu se moglo naći proizvoda domaće radinosti (jer većina žena prozvodi domaće prehrambene proizvode), ali i rukotvorina, priglavaka, vezenih košulja, ručno rađenog nakita i sl.

Sedam dana poslije, 29.05.2019. godine, isti Sajam održan je u centru Tuzle. Žene su bile zadovoljne Sajmom, druženjem i mogućnošću predstavljanja svojih proizvoda i priča koje stoje iza njih (neke su povratnice, neke zarađuju sredstva za život od sličnih sajmova, a neke su ostvarile i kontakte za daljnji plasman svojih proizvoda). Sajam su pratili i lokalni mediji.

Cilj nam je bio kroz sajmove, podići svijest o ženskom poduzetništvu, te mogućnosti samozaposlenja marginalizovanih žena, koristeći kulturnu nematerijalnu baštinu naroda i narodnosti u BiH ili kućnu radinost, povezujući se međusobno, bez obzira na etno-nacionalne razlike.

Projekat “Socijalni poduzetništvo za bolji dijalog i jaču ekonomiju” donio je niz pozitivnih rezultata - uspostavljena je međusobna saradnja žena, koje su već članice nekih ženskih i/ili mirovnih organizacija; saradnja žena koje imaju obrt sa ženama koje žele da se upuste u proizvodnju i sl. Bosanske rukotvorine/BHcrafts su ostvarili saradnju sa dva udruženja - „Udruženje žena Podrinje“ iz Vlasenice, kao i „Udruženja žena povratnica Podrinjka Srebrenica“ iz Skelana (Opština Srebrenica), što je direktni uticaj na povezivanje i osnaživanje ženskih udruženja iz lokalnih zajednica.

Žene su se povezale, učile zajedno i družile, a citat jedne od polaznica obuke, najbolje opisuje uticaj projekta: „Pored napretka u heklanju, stekla su se nova poznanstva, razgovor o životnim problemima žena domaćica ovih prostora, dijalog o suživotu je moguć. Socijalno osnaživanje žena je potrebno u većoj mjeri.“

Projekt čije aktivnosti su realizovane u okviru programa „Dijalog za budućnost“ koji implementiraju UNDP, UNICEF i UNESCO u partnerstvu sa Predsjedništvom Bosne i Hercegovine, a koji se finansira sredstvima Ureda Ujedinjenih nacija za podršku izgradnji mira / Fonda za izgradnju mira (PBF), je uspješno završen krajem maja 2019. godine.





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