The project titled ‘Skilled Women’s Workforce for a Better Future’ is implemented by the Public Institution Elderly Home in Bijelo Polje in partnership with the Social Welfare Centre in Novi Pazar, the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs of Serbia and the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare of Montenegro.

The project seeks to improve the employability of unemployed women and their access to the labour market. At the beginning, it focuses its activities on developing organisational and communication skills of 80 unemployed women, as well as increasing their capacity to find jobs actively given the local employment possibilities. All this is carried out through training courses, after which the 40 most devoted trainees will benefit from a course on elderly caregiving combining theory and work practice under the supervision of the project partners. Capacity building will also be provided to the staff of the partners in Bijelo Polje and Novi Pazar so that they will be able to train, guide and mentor new elderly caregivers.

The project has mapped a number of elderly households where the caregivers will have their three-month working practice, one of the key activities of the project. This practice will be supported by trained mentors, while the selection of the elderly households was done according to a set of social criteria. The purpose is to improve the elderly’s quality of life, preventing their institutionalisation and allowing them to remain active and independent as long as possible. The caregivers are meant to create a healthy environment with an individual approach to each one of the elderly in their own surroundings, considering their medical and hygienic needs, mobility, psycho-physical state, living conditions and social background (i.e. family circumstances, education, traditions, religion).

‘This way of caring for the elderly could change the understanding and attitude of the young and healthy towards them. The young and healthy need to be more humane, with more love and patience, dedication and effort to accept the elderly with all their faults and disadvantages. It’s well known that old age, illness and infirmity lead to a deformation of the personality that cannot be corrected but has to be simply accepted.

Only in their old age, people come to certain ideas and convictions, to which young could not ever come because of youthful passion. That is why old age is one of the main factors for spiritual improvement of man. In the chaos of personal vanities and conflicts of human interests, the elderly are the element of peace and reconciliation and that is why they are an important factor for order and harmony in society and its value system. This project is helping us to jointly build better living conditions for elderly, create new job opportunities for unemployed women and take a small step towards a better and more human society.’’ Dijana Knežević, Project manager

Implemented under EU-funded IPA II CBC Serbia -Montenegro

Project duration: 08.06.2019 – 07.06.2020 (12 months)

Project total value: €168,835.26 (out of which €143,509.97 EU funds)