„THE COOPERATIVES – AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SOCIAL INCLUSION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES THROUGH ACCESS TO EMPLOYMENT“
Popularisation of the activities of worker producers’ cooperatives, as an opportunity for social inclusion of persons with disabilities through access to employment (Italy, Bulgaria) and at European level (European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, DG Enterprise and Industry, DG Market and Services). Specific objectives: – Synchronization of the legislation in the country with that of the EU Member States regarding the activities of worker producers’ cooperatives and revealing their opportunities for social inclusion through access to employment of persons with disabilities; – The chairpersons of cooperatives and the NUWPC experts should acquire new knowledge regarding social entrepreneurship; – Exchange of experience in the field of social economy between Bulgaria and Italy; – Popularisation of the activities under above project and financial contribution from the European Social Fund. Substantiation of the project: The project is for TPKI’s, because they have established traditions in social inclusion of persons with disabilities. Very important is the form of their ownership, which is cooperative one, and their activity is social in its essence. At worker producers’ cooperatives of persons with disabilities, no specific person shall make decisions, but the persons working at the enterprise and they employ the policy of equal opportunities. The persons working at TPKI’s are the owners of all their property; they are directly and equally involved in the management based on the principle „one member, one vote“. When the general meeting of the cooperative should make decisions, its members are entitled to exercise control over the managerial bodies. The TPKI’ create such environment that the persons with disabilities feel valuable, equal and more secure for their present and future. Our society is interested in implementing policies and measures to develop the TPKI’s; there, opportunities exist for the development of social inclusion of persons with disabilities. The performance of project activities shall be associated with the disclosure of such opportunities of creating new jobs.
National Union of Worker Producers’ Cooperatives NUWPC has history long almost hundred years. It incorporates worker producers’ cooperatives, including specialized worker producers ‘cooperatives of persons with disabilities, called worker producers’ cooperatives of persons with disabilities (TPKI). The NUWPC system is one of the largest employers of persons with disabilities and operates in compliance with the cooperative values, principles and cooperative democracy.
Partner of the project performer:
IRECOOP Toscana, Italy This is a cooperative society based in the province of Toscana. IRECOOP Toscana has serious success in performing activities similar to the ones covered by the project. Italian social cooperatives have vast experience and set of best practices.