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Partners from SAM.I network get to know examples of good practice in the field of social services in Serbia within the Erasmus + program

Last week we had the opportunity to host partners from the SAM.I network in Serbia. Representatives of organizations from Georgia, Austria, Slovakia, Macedonia, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Germany spent several days in our country where they had the opportunity to get acquainted with the social services system, and several social entrepreneurship initiatives and exchange practices and experiences in this field.

The visit was realized within the project Training and advanced training in the field of care and social services, which is realized within the Erasmus + program. The aim of the project is to exchange best practices in the field of vocational education in the social services sector, with a focus on care staff – care for the elderly, support for people with disabilities, care for children, home emergency call systems and more.

We organized a visit to the association of parents Our house, from Belgrade, and the social enterprise run by Cartis Sabac – ELIO laundry, as well as the St. Sophia Day care centre and the Courtyard of Sustainable Development, and finally supported housing St. John in Bogatic.

Our house is an association that supports people with disabilities. Anica Spasov, president of the association, acquainted our partners with the main direction of action, and that is ownership of property and its disposal after the death of parents, as well as the right to transfer custody in that case, and possible solutions. Beneficiaries are engaged in recycling cigarette packs and making quality paper.

Laundry house ELIO employs six women from different, harder to employ, social categories, thus encouraging social entrepreneurship and creating equal opportunities for a dignified life for our fellow citizens. The Elio service employs people with disabilities and beneficiaries of daycare centres for people with mental disabilities and intellectual disabilities. Their engagement is in a way a kind of occupational therapy through which they acquire work habits and get involved in wider social activities, which greatly contributes to their social integration.

Through the St. Sophia Day Care Service, adults with mental disabilities and intellectual disabilities in an organized environment, and with the necessary supervision, meet developmental needs, acquire and develop life skills, personal and social responsibility to develop independence, social, cognitive and other important functions.

Supported Housing Saint John provides supported housing and social protection services for adults with mental disabilities and adults with intellectual disabilities. The purpose of the supported housing service is to help and support people with mental disabilities and intellectual disabilities in gaining the greatest possible degree of independence that allows them a better independent life in the community, in order to prevent the use of home accommodation services. Within the Sustainable Development Courtyard, the beneficiaries are engaged in agricultural work, as well as in the processing of fruits and vegetables.

The partners showed great interest, and willingness to help organizations and exchanged experience in practice in their countries in the same fields. They showed special interest in the problems of the Our House Association regarding the property of persons with disabilities after the death of their parents and presented possible solutions and ways of cooperation. We hope that we have justified our expectations and provided an opportunity for our colleagues to see inspiring examples and gain a picture of development opportunities in this field in Serbia. We also hope that this project will create the basis for further cooperation in this field and the development of our organization and the organizations we have hosted and visited.