With the support of the European Union, Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina and its partner organizations implement project P.O.W.E.R. with a goal to provide new opportunities for work, employment and professional rehabilitation for persons with disabilities.
Eleven persons with disabilities, who are engaged as interns in 11 different companies in BiH, will get mentors soon, who will work with them next 12 months and monitor and advise them on their working place. Training for mentors was held in the period from 16 to 18 January in Potoci, near Mostar, within the POWER project financed by European Union. Mentors are employees of the companies where the people with disabilities got the opportunity for internship and they will be a link between employer, trainee and project itself.
Training for mentors was led by Anesa Agović, Executive Director of Global Analytic from Sarajevo, and the goal of the training was to develop the knowledge and skills of attendees for performing mentoring functions for people with disabilities / interns. During the training flowing topics were covered: types and models of disability, the use of correct terminology in communication with people with disabilities, characteristics of successful mentors, etc.
Zlatko Malić, Manager of POWER project, emphasize the importance of mentors role in this process as a key link for development of professional skills of people with disabilities. In addition to the educational character, training was also an opportunity for exchange of experiences and practices, as well as getting acquainted and associating mentors.
In the previous phase of the project, eleven persons with disabilities from Bosnia and Herzegovina and ten from Montenegro got an opportunity for one year’s internship in different companies at the beginning of the year. Internship implies a short-term opportunity for people with disabilities to develop professional skills and gain experience, which will affect and increase the opportunities for employment and the right to work for people with disabilities.
Project P.O.W.E.R. is funded by the European Union through the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Program Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro and will last for 2 years. The total value of the project is 459,776 EUR, of which the European Union finances 390,800 EUR. The project is implemented by Caritas Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with partners from BiH and Montenegro: Archdiocesan Pastoral Youth Center “Ivan Pavao II”, Association of parents of children with special needs Vedri Osmijeh, e Fund for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment of Persons with Disabilities of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Caritas of Bar Archdiocese, Association of Paraplegic Bar and Business Start-up Center from Bar. The project lasts two years and is implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.