Recently as Pozytywka Social Cooperative we had the pleasure of taking part in the SE Hubs project. As part of the project our CEO was sent by University of Łódź to Palermo to spend some time in Centro Internazionale delle Culture Ubuntu.
SE Hubs is a shadowing program for social enterprises from Italy, Greece, Bularia and Poland. The inclusive fellowship training program for SEs staff managers and trainers is a part of SEHUBS – co-creating hubs for SEs.
The visit took place from 17th to 22nd of October. You can read Anna's account about her visit to the host organization below.
During my stay in Palermo I visited many organizations and met many employees and managers of social enterprises. I learned a lot about working with socially excluded groups, including refugees and migrants.
I spent the first day of the program in a hosting organisation - Centro Internazionale delle Culture Ubuntu. I found out what activities are carried out in the organisation. I spent some time in the kindergarten and in a youth centre. I was told about the projects that are being implemented in Ubuntu and about cooperation with the local community. The main feature of the association is the attention paid to intercultural education and inclusive methodological approaches and the fight against early school leaving. We also walked around Kalsa and Vucciria district to see how the local communities from different backgrounds coexist together.
It was very useful for me to observe how Ubuntu works with volunteers. The association has a lot of experience working with them.
It was also very helpful for me to see how the organisation conducts its inclusion policy. Ubuntu cooperates with local communities from different districts. Social inclusion stands in the centre of their mission and some of the tools can be useful for my organisation, such as involving parents in the education process or engaging the local community more in the life of the districts.
On the second day I visited Moltivolti in Ballaro district. I learned a lot of interesting things about this organisation. I got to know the history of Moltivolti and its goals and mission, I got to know the employees and learned about the work culture as well. I had a chance to explore Ballaro district and observe how local communities from different backgrounds cohabit in the city.
Moltivolti is based on a model of social enterprise, which respects relation, a laboratory of representation of a new society, where diversity is very important. I learned that because of their mission and vision they quickly connected with the neighbourhood of Ballaro.
I learned here a lot about working with refugees and shaping attitudes towards them. The conception of treating refugees as equals, not wards, is built strongly there. Moltivolti’s motto is “From integration to the interaction”. That is something we need to work on in Poland.
Next day I spent in a partner organisation called People Help the People. I learned about the organisation and its main projects. I also visited their podcast studio and had a chat with employees. I had a chance to listen about cooperation with schools and the city.
At my work I also work in a similar environment, so I think that some projects implemented by People help the People could be copied and introduced here in Poland (such as InterAction). For me it was very inspiring to observe their work in a field of education.
On the next day I visited the Siciliani Cooperativa Sociale. Since I run a cooperative myself, that study visit was the most interesting for me. I met the manager of that organisation and she told me a lot about their work, projects, local community and struggles they have to face every day. We also exchanged some techniques related to working with youths and shared sources of financing for different projects.
After that we went to the Turismo Sicilia association. It was a very valuable and inspiring visit. I met people who run the association as well as some trainers and participants of the projects. For that visit we went to the north side of the city. I had a chance to see what it looks like in the suburbs of Palermo and get to know the issues of this place. I was introduced to the various activities provided by the association.
The district in which the organisation operates belongs to the less secure parts of the city. There is a high crime risk among young people. I found out how the Turismo Silicia counteracts this threat. Youths learn legality in a property confiscated from the mafias.
In my organisation we also work with people from areas that are at risk of social exclusion. Despite the specific problems of our organisations being completely different, on some issues the actions may be the same. That is why I find it useful to share know-how when it comes to implementing projects in these areas.
The shadowing program was a great opportunity and met my expectations. The hosting organisation is pretty similar to our social cooperative, so it was very interesting to observe how they work and who they work with. We both have similar target groups and run similar projects. For sure I will use some of their ideas in my organisation. I gained a lot of knowledge, especially when it comes to project management or working with youths, the local community and volunteers.
„The shadowing program is part of the SEHUBS Co-creating Hubs for Social Enterprises project 621421-EPP-1-2020-1-IT-EPPKA3-IPI-SOC-IN. This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This program reflects the views only of the participants, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information presented therein“