Projects to create new jobs

Projects to create new jobs

by Francesco Tortorella
from  "Economy of Communion - a new culture"  n.28 - december 2008

Since the early times of the Focolare Movement in Trento, during the II World War, the Charism of Unity n28_pag._09__francesco_tortorellahad made clear the imperative to act so that “no needy were among them”, as it was in the early times of Christianity. In the eighties the Movement had faced systematically the world of economy and of work with all the social problems connected to it and what emerged was the need for an entity dedicated to the support and development of the social activities that were inspired by the Charism all over the world.

This is how AMU (Action for a United World) was started; today it is a agency recognized by the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs for international cooperation. In the nineties AMU began to collaborate with the EoC in distributing funds for emergency situations, for the necessary help to elderly and ill people and beyond and to help to reach the poor’s ransom from indigence through professional training and the creation of independent jobs.

These interventions were carried out by means of small productive projects financed with sunk capitals or through small unsecured loans or loans with a very low interest rate. The commitment for the EoC and AMU is growing and demanding and we are working so that these projects will increase both in number and in quality.

Year  Project  Amount (€)    Beneficiaries     Country

2006     1         12.121,76                 20     Brazil
2007    11        24.443,10                 75     Brazil, Croatia, Macedonia, Serbia
2008     5         12.864,72                 30     Bulgaria, Chile, Indonesia
2009    15        52.518,78               120     Argentina, Brazil, Croatia, Cameron, Mexico, Cote d’Ivoire
and Indonesia

Among the projects started in these last years we can remember:

Croatia: a stocking factory in Krizevci
n.28_pag.09_calzificio_croazia.jpgCalled “Stella (Star)and Fari (Beacons)” it was born in the Faro small city (Beacon) in order to generate new jobs for young people and women: it has now 12 employees.
With the Eoc funds in 2007 for them we purchased a machine for making the fabric, creating a new job for a woman mother of two children.

Serbia: mushrooms cultivation in Becej.
It is a family run activity. Thanks to a small loan they equipped the rooms with heating, ventilation and irrigation and they purchased a van to make their deliveries by car rather than by bike.

• Brazil: bakery/gelateria in Benevides.
They fixed up the rooms and they purchased the necessary equipments to start production. This activity n28_pag._09_panetteria_benevidesemploys 4 persons full time and two part time. It is located within the grounds of the Mariapolis Gloria and it has become an important meeting place also for the people attending events in the small city.

Among the projects being developed in 2008::

Bulgaria: fruit cultivation.
This activity is carried on by a young couple, parents of three children. The first year all went very well and they had already returned large part of the loan money. Last year however, because of the strong cold which stopped the blooming of the cherry trees and then a drought which damaged the vine, they had to borrow more money to build support structures for the vine and for the purchase of fertilizers and fuel for the agricultural machinery.
Indonesia: a “special supermarket” in Medan
n28_pag._09_indonesia.jpgIn the northern part of the Island of Sumatra we financed a small supermarket where indispensable items are sold to indigent people who have access to special discounts, in some cases up to 50%. The prices to the public in general are lower than the market average which, allowing a small profit, makes the store economically efficient. Thanks to the EoC contribution, the supermarket has a computerized system to check the prices and the warehouse. The management of the store activity has been entrusted to two young men, with a PHD in Economy, who work there full time, and 12 other young people who work part time.

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