27 July 2018

TİKA Provides Support to the Social Entrepreneurship Project of the Visually Impaired in Croatia

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), which has increased the production capacity of the "Dotted Soaps" project initiated by the Zagreb Association of the Blind in Croatia, will provide employment opportunities for twelve (12) visually impaired individuals by allowing them to work in production and marketing units to be established within the framework of the project.

Due to the interest in and the success of the attendees at the handmade soap production course provided by the Zagreb Association of the Blind, which has been carrying out activities in Croatia since 1947 with more than 1,000 members, a workshop was set up to employ one person to initiate the project titled "Dotted Soaps" with the support of the Municipality of Zagreb. The association, which started the produce and sell the handmade dotted souvenir soaps at the aforementioned workshop, aims to further develop the project to produce liquid soaps and create a wider employment capacity.

Within the scope of the "Dotted Soaps Workshop Capacity Building Project," TİKA has carried out an important project in terms of recruiting and reincorporating disadvantaged community groups into society by developing a variety of soap types to be produced and supplying soap production boilers, soap mills and packaging units, production counters, as well as shelves necessary for the storage of produced goods.

The project submission ceremony, which was organized with the participation of the Republic of Turkey's Ambassador to Zagreb Mustafa Babür Hızlan, was held at the Zagreb Association of the Blind's Dotted Soaps Project workshop.

In his opening speech, the President of the Association Goran Tomasevic highlighted the importance of the project by thanking TİKA and the Republic of Turkey and stating that they helped turn the project into an employment project; Tomasevic also added that by selling the soap to be produced by the "Dotted Soaps" project, disabled individuals will be provided employment and livelihood opportunities, while also contributing to the income of the association.

Zagreb Ambassador Mustafa Babür Hızlan also thanked the Association of the Blind and TİKA employees and emphasized that a great number of people will have job opportunities with the Dotted Soaps project and that the fact that the project stands out not only as a technical development project but also social responsibility project makes it even more meaningful.  

After gifts prepared by members of the association were presented, association member and project manager Nikola Arbanas showed guests around the workshop. Arbanas introduced the tools and equipment provided by TİKA within the scope of the project during the workshop tour. Several guests, including the representatives from the Municipality of Zagreb, the Zagreb Governorate Development Agency, the Zagreb Rehabilitation Center, the Zagreb Home for the Elderly, and SUVAG Polyclinic Directors, were provided information about the project.  

Following the tour of the project units, the start for soap production was given by Zagreb Ambassador Mustafa Babür Hızlan. After the demonstration of the production of liquid soap, the ceremony came to an end with treats prepared by the Zagreb Association for the Blind.

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