In 2008 we initiated the “Creative Workshop” with the goal of becoming a self-sustained social enterprise that would provide income for Association to support social activities and jobs for disadvantaged single mothers. The enterprise helps dealing with multiple social needs through: empowerment of disadvantaged single mothers, offering suitable working conditions for their needs, encouraging responsibility towards work and training of transferable skills in other areas of professional activity, increasing self-esteem, acquiring both professional and social skills necessary for integration into the labor market. Over time, the project has evolved as activities and objectives, including, for the future, educational and care activities for children and organic products, in order to contribute to the long-term protection of the environment.
What is the purpose of the project?
We offer mothers at risk a professional environment in which they gain confidence, feel responsible in a real manner towards what they are doing (because products are sold) and, last but not least, to learn how to do it (with the specific of textile toys manufacturing). Through this process, mothers gain skills that they can later apply in other posts in the labor market; this is what we aim: financial autonomy and thereby gaining of family necessary resources to prevent child abandonment. During this process of professional development, we offer the psychological, educational, social and networking support with other institutions and employers in order to facilitate social and vocational integration.
Whom we address?
The project is targeted at single-parent families at risk: single mothers and their children, mothers with low levels of schooling, mothers who don’t have a job and implicit, an income from work, mothers who have one or more children in care, mothers who have difficulty caring for children and who do not benefit from the support of the children’s fathers, unemployed mothers, single-parent families who do not have a social network, single-parent families affected by violence, psychological trauma or at risk of human trafficking.
For families in which the mother is the sole supporter of the family, an income that ensures food and housing makes the difference between the daily presence of the mother and the child abandonment in an institution, therefore preventing far more serious traumas, which are more destructive over the long term than those already supported by the child.
What do we propose to do?
First, we propose to teach mothers “to fish”, so we can then give them a “fishing rod”. Over many months, we show them what means “to work” in workshop, as well as to be responsible towards the results of the labor and to have the satisfaction of a well done job. We aim to offer mothers an occupation and we show them, step by step, how they can get to the right workplace to exercise it. In addition, the workshop itself offers a job for a limited period to a number of mothers.
What do we do to achieve our objectives?
- We teach mothers to sew, to tailor, to make textile toys, with the support of a tailor instructor;
- We realize various objects: promotional products for corporations, tools for professionals (psychologists, speech therapists, educationists, educators), textile toys (dolls, hand puppets, finger puppets etc.), greeting cards, trinkets; we intend in the future to create educational toys for infants from certified organic materials (cotton, hemp, silk) and other objects upon request;
- We promote and sell objects made by mothers, at headquarters and through our online store;
- We are always increasing our diversity, see our products here
- We participate in trade fairs, exhibitions, events, where we promote the enterprise products.
- We organize interactive theatre performances for children in schools and kindergartens, for children of companies’ employees at various events (June 1st, Christmas etc.).
The funds raised are used to cover the costs of the enterprise, as well as to support association beneficiaries.
- We offer individualized services: social counseling, information/education to instill healthy child care behaviors and practices, information regarding legal rights, support for children integration in care and education programs, mediation of the relationship with the extended family, support for professional integration (training in methods and techniques of searching for a job, guidance towards vacant jobs, labor legislation information, CV writing, submitting to an interview, supporting in the process of after-employment professional integration)
- We provide jobs for a part of the mothers who learn in the workshop.
Join us in this project!