Sustainable Construction through Social Economy

The project was introduced between 04.07.2013 and 03.01.2015 in partnership with Iasi Child Protection and Social Assistance General Directorate, being co-financed through a grant from Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution for an extended European Union and had a total value of 892,271.20 RON.

The project’s objective was to consolidate NGOs in general and Close to You Foundation, in particular regarding the provision of direct services addressed to groups exposed to the risk of social exclusion, but also involvement in formulating public policies, lobby and advocacy in the domain of social economy and in funding/subsidising the sector.

The target group of the project were young people (aged between 16 and 35) with disabilities, including HIV/AIDS, young people from the child protection system, disadvantaged young people from lone-parent families, with parents working abroad, with poor families, including in the rural regions, families with more than two children, young people from ethnic minorities, such as Roma from Iasi, Constanta and Mures counties. Likewise, the project was designed for the employees of national certified protected establishments, local and national authorities, people from the community, with an emphasis laid on raising the awareness of the public opinion on developing social economy and increasing the number of jobs for people from vulnerable categories.

The project was oriented towards three large areas of intervention:

  • Expansion/development of ADV Iasi Social Economy Centre – expansion and provision of specific equipment for the tailoring workshop of Iasi, as well as the creation of 6 jobs for young people from vulnerable groups (3 jobs in the tailor department and 3 jobs in the document registration service);
  • Increase in the training, support and production capacity of the social economy centres of the foundation of Iasi, Constanta and Tg. Mures   – 140 young people from vulnerable groups, including disabled people, have benefited from training courses in 6 domains of activity in the 11 protected workshops of the foundation, which has led to an increase of the professional capacity and to facilitating the employment opportunities on the free labour market; out of them, a number of 113 young people have benefitted from educational and social activities within the 3 Youth Clubs of Iasi, Constanta and Tg. Mures; 89 people within the local authorities, NGOs, businessmen, mass-media, students from Iasi, Constanta and Tg. Mures counties have gathered information on the social and professional integration of people with disabilities and from other vulnerable groups, through the work visits to the 11 protected workshops of the foundation; Close to You Foundation was registered as social mark and UtilDeco as a social economy structure; periodic upgrade of websites – ropes.ro , www.unitatiprotejate.ro and www.utildeco.ro;
  • The development of the Romanian social economy, especially the certified work integration social enterprise –  1 research report regarding the need to associate the certified protected establishments under the umbrella of a national representation network; 1.000 copies of the Protected Establishments Catalog, second edition, made, edited and distributed among companies with more than 50 employees; 20 people trained in the field of social economy with a focus on protected employment in certified protected establishments; increase of the visibility of the NGO sector among public authorities at local and national level through lobby and advocacy actions carried out through the project on various subjects of public interest – VAT recovery for PHARE projects, exempting NGOs from paying non-domestic property and car related taxes to the Local Council, determining Iasi County Council to allocate money for the first time to NGOs’ financing, determining the County Council and the Local Council to increase the financing amounts for the NGOs’ projects, requesting the release of POSDRU funds, requesting for the transparency of the Local Council and the County Council in drafting the budget for 2014 and measures taken with the Iasi Financial Administration to redirect to NGOs the amounts collected by the 2% redirecting.
  • FINANCERgrant on behalf of Switzerland through the Swiss Contribution for an extended European Union
  • PARTENERSIasi Child Protection and Social Assistance General Direction
  • IMPLEMENTATION PERIOD 04.07.2013 – 03.01.2015
  • PROJECT VALUE 892 271.20 lei
  • IMPACTBy carrying out this project, we have contributed to increasing the welfare and access to social services for young people from vulnerable groups, access to professional training for enhancing the chances of employment, access to services of development of skills for an independent life, access to a job within its own social economy structures; We managed to unify the NGO sector in order to become a single voice in the support of the needs and problems of the social domain. Thus, through the debates carried out, the solid arguments provided in support of these needs, we have managed to a large extent to change the attitude of the representatives of the local public authorities and of the local elected politicians (deputies and senators) and to persuade them, in a positive way, to carry on with our proposals and support the bills on subsidising social services and social economy, the bills on the recognition of NGOs with economic activity as SMEs.