The first job fair for persons with disabilities in BiH held in Mostar

The first job fair for persons with disabilities held in the premises of Arena Sport Center in Mostar today to promote the right for work and employment of persons with disabilities in accordance with the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. The fair was organized within the project POWER, funded by the European Union through the IPA II cross-border cooperation program Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.

Interns of the POWER project, persons with disabilities opened the fair. More than 40 exhibitors from various institutions, organizations, associations of people with disabilities, social enterprises, and companies were present at the fair. Within the fair, two workshops were held on public support for employment of people with disabilities and active job search with concreate examples of good practices. Mr. Ljubo Beslic, mayor of City of Mostar, welcomed to all visitors saying he was extremely happy that people with disabilities got such an event, hoping this would be another step towards creating better conditions for the lives of this population. After the Mayor, Dr. Ph.D. Nevenko Herceg, Prime Minister of the Hercegovina Neretva Canton addressed to the visitors.

The importance and significance of the project has been explained by Dobrica Jonjic, assistant to the Federal Minister for Labour and Social Policy and Msgr. Tomo Knezevic, the Director of the Caritas BiH, who welcomed the visitors. Msgr. Knezevic highlighted that Caritas in Bosnia and Herzegovina and all their partner organizations have been active for a long time to show solidarity with people with disabilities not only through this project but also through other projects and services. “We believe that people with disabilities have the right to a decent human life. They have the right for work and employment, “said Director of Caritas.

“Socio-economic reforms have been the focus of the European Union’s activity in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the past five years. This process has begun, but we need to continue to work on improving opportunities and support for people with disabilities and the population in general. The social-economic dimension of the European integration process is extremely important, and in particular aspects such as health care, employment and equal opportunities for education for all citizens, including people with disabilities, “said Ambassador Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, Head of the

Delegation of the European Union to Bosnia and Herzegovina and European Union Special Representative in BiH, who together with ten interns of the POWER project officially opened the fair.

“This is opportunity to me to prove and demonstrate that we are capable, useful and able to prosper. I would like to thank to the EU, which has enabled us to acquire the first professional experience and opportunity for learning and progress. I believe we will be able to prove that we are capable and useful”, said Anja Jurica in her address to the media. She is one of 21 valued and dedicated persons who through the POWER project are enabled to perform internships during which they will develop professional skills and acquire skills that will help them to integrate in to the working environment. Project POWER is financed by the European Union, through the IPA II Cross-Border Cooperation Program Bosnia and Herzegovina – Montenegro. The total value of the project is € 459,776 of which € 390,800 is funded by the European Union. The project is carried out by Caritas of Bosnia and Herzegovina in cooperation with partners from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro: The Archdiocesan Youth centre “John Paul II”, Association of parents and children with special needs “Vedri osmijeh” Archdiocesan Caritas of Bar, Fund for professional rehabilitation and employment of PWDs, Association of paraplegic Bar and Business Start-up Center Bar. The project lasts two years and it is implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.