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Tailored solutions for disadvantaged young people

19/01/2012

two persons folding cloth
© St. Archangel Foundation

In Bulgaria, children in care are sheltered in state-managed homes and accommodation centres until they are 25 years old. However, they are often not given the skills needed to get a job and are ill-fitted to integrate easily into society.

To help these young adults, the Saint Archangel Foundation set up a social enterprise – a clothing factory – and started training 18 young men and women in tailoring skills. During the 10-month training period, as well as acquiring work skills, they also learned the wider social and communication skills that their institutional backgrounds had not given them and which do so much to ease social integration.

“Our young employees are so much more confident and self-reliant now,” says Angelina Ivanova, who manages the project. Sustainability is a challenge the social enterprise faces, she explains. “These young people are less efficient than more experienced textile workers, so our production is less competitive in the market place. However, we aim to serve public institutions, such as kindergartens or hospitals, which helps us provide job security.”

 

Project name: Getting successful together social enterprise
Area of activity: Access to employment and social inclusion
Project duration: November 2009 – May 2011
ESF contribution: €151 000
Total budget: €178 000
Participants: 18
Country: Bulgaria
Organisation: St. Archangel Foundation
Contact details: Angelina Ivanova
st.arhangel@gmail.com
+359 888 804 688