From May 21 to May 25, within the project SOCIETIES, a study visit was organized in Milan, during which participants had the opportunity to see the functioning of the social protection system based on community services and social enterprises.
In addition to the five national Caritas involved in the project, including Caritas Kosova, the participants of the study visit were also representatives of 15 associations of people with disabilities and mental disorder from the region countries, which are the winners of the grant scheme under this project.
The SOCIETIES project, funded by the European Union, aims to help civil society organizations to strengthen their capacities and give them financial support for the implementation of local initiatives that will contribute to better social inclusion of people with skills restraints and mental disorders in Southeast Europe. A key element of the planned capacity building program are study visits to EU Member States. With this idea, a study visit in Bulgaria was organized last year and in Italy this year.
Organization Psikologi per il Popoli nel Mondo from Milan, which in the project has the role of a partner, was tasked with setting up a five-day program for the visits. The program included visits to various cooperatives that provide services to people with disabilities, mental or intellectual disabilities. Particularly interesting were the experiences of the Cooperative Lotta Against Emargination, Olinda and the Cooperative Archipelago. All three cooperatives provide innovative social services to target audiences: from services aimed at gaining autonomy, through residential services to work-related services, and various types of support for patients and families.
Participants also had the opportunity to visit Milan and the Pharmacological Research Institute, Mario Negri, the Hospital Niguard Hospital Center (Psychosocial Center), and Caritas Ambrozian (Caritas Milano).