Dialogue 1

di-utubeDIALOGUE 1 invited social enterprises who took part in the Forum for Social Enterprises in 2013 and others amongst their networks, to have a dialogue regarding Law 65 which was approved last year and it is about to be actualized. By using the format of the laboratory and group work, the aim was to gather their responses in relation to the law, a part from knowing them and better understand the motivation behind their work.

A series of responses regarding the law have been collected with the aim of discussing them again in DIALOGUE 2 whilst presenting them in dialogue with the National Council of Civil Society.

 

Tiranë, më 06.04.2017

| The Art of Process | # Dialog 1 |

 

ANSWERS COLLECTED FROM THE LABORATORY

 I

– What do you do?

      I am the Director of a social business for 4 years (April 2013).  The business is called “Pana” and we started the work after a competition organized by Partners Albania (green ideas and social business). “Pana” is a company that produces entirely ecological furniture, which are made of the old timber reuse (pallets, construction wood, old furniture) and has employed people from marginalized groups (Orphans, Roma Community, retired persons, persons with disabilities).

  – Why you do it?

    – Each of us has certain missions in life. My mission as an activist is to produce unique products  that comply with nature, preserving tradition and evolving it. As a person I should give my contribution in helping the unprotected people and providing the possibility of having a dignified life and profession.

  – In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

   A sentence is not enough to show our daily challenges. People of marginalized groups are accustomed to work without pleasure and clients call these people unable to work.

– Reflections:

   – I think the law is incomplete because it does not include all forms of implementation of a business or social enterprise. A specialized group had to gather before the law was enacted. This law rejects my four years of work or many other individuals who for years try to help marginalized groups in different forms. I think that should be taken into consideration again in order to help and not to penalize. Social enterprises are not just NGOs.

II

  – What do you do?

    – If it is called work, I am an activist of an informal group of young people who deal with cultural activism.

  – Why do you do it?

   – I do it for myself and others.

  – In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

  – The difficulty of dealing with institutions bureaucracy.

 

III

  – What do you do?

    Involvement of families in the community, collecting berries, also processing and cultivating them.

  – Why do you do it?

     To improve the people’s lives, to raise the professional level and enrich the nature of the fruits cultivation and medicinal materials.

  – In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

     – The investment in the creation of cooperatives.

 

IV

  – What do you do?

      – Support the promotion of social enterprises in Albania.

V

     – Founder of the “Social Enterprises Forum”.

  – Why do you do it?

      – Because I think is the best solution to all those situations of social and geographical isolation, leading to the marginalization and disability.

  – In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

    – The vagueness of laws, immense bureaucracy and lack of support in security terms.

VI

  – What do you do?

     – President of Labor Invalids Association in Albania.

– Why you do it?

     – Protecting the interests and rights of the disabled workers. Represent a group of 75.000 invalids. I do this job, due to being selected by the community of disabled workers.

  – In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

     Protecting the economic and social interests of disabled workers (invalids).

 

VII

– What do you do?

     – I work as the president of the organization “Fashion Confection in Women’s service”, established by a court decision in 1998 in Tirana, spread across around Albania. Our aim is to promote women and girls in need for employment in the field of textiles and handicrafts.

  – Why do you do it?

Reasons why we work with this target group are:

   – Because there are numerous women in need of employment in urban, suburban or rural areas.

   – The field of textiles and handicrafts provides opportunities to work, specifically for women.

   – Our organization provides comprehensive expertise for training and counseling.

  – In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

     – Finding supporters by state or international organizations, to establish social enterprise in order to support and encourage female initiatives in the textile, handicraft and heritage preservation in Albania.

VIII

– What do you do?

     – I am the Executive Director of the Albanian Center for Health and Safety at Work, AOSHC, founded by the EU. At the same time we are part of the Network’s regional safety and health at work. We have set up a Network National Security, we offer and provide training, research, expertise, studies, employment protection and safety working conditions. We closely work with organizations of employers, employees, civil society organizations and experts in the field, students and anyone who is interested in fair work.

  – Why do you do it?

    – We want good working standards in terms of production, so we work that each employee can have safe, healthy and productive working conditions. None of the products made under poor working conditions should be regarded as having no value. People who are aware of labor laws and safety at work, will help to produce a welfare and decent work.

  – In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

    – Our challenge is to provide effort to decent and welfare work, by creating safe, healthy and productive working conditions.

Reflection:

   – This law does not favor the context in which it can support a social enterprise. There are not clear mechanisms of observation and the financing social enterprises. With all the improvements the in law, an initiative for social enterprise can also get an ‘individual’ or legal person and not just an NGO. It must be accompanied by a concept and always by laws after extensive consultation with stakeholders especially civil society. Disadvantaged groups should be clearly defined in the by laws, being inclusive to categories of vulnerable groups. The law contained no provisions harmonized with each other.

IX

 – What do you do?

    – I work as Executive Director of the Foundation “Eagle Wings”, licensed for offering social care services. We have a care center in Tirana and we accommodate vulnerable girls, who come from different cities of Albania.

  – Why do you do it?

    – We have seen the need to help girls and boys who come from orphanage or from negligent and abusive families, to protect, educate and supply their skills for independent living.

  – In one sentence can you write which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

     The main challenges are bureaucratic processes and procedures, which take time and often become an obstacle.

Reflection:

   – Considering the different legal forms that can be a social enterprise (this is based on the current experience of SE subjects, but have different forms of registration as a business, cooperative, NGO), the legal framework should be comprehensive and not only limited to NGOs. Law should be changed completely, should be extended a kind of brand social enterprise organizations, providing an enabling framework for their development and  increasing their impact on society. Acts that are being prepared must be consultd widely with civil society, social enterprises and grous of  interest.

X

– What do you do?

      – Program coordinator at “GIZ Pro Seen”.

 – Why you do it?

     – We support the “start up ecosystem” and focus on social enterprises.

  – In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

    – To the law: It’s clear what are the obligations of an NGO / NFP in order to become a social enterprise, it’s unclear what are the benefits. NFP organisators have been operating with this for a long time, without the Minister’s approvals.

XI

– What do you do?

     – Specialist Communication on “Different and Equal” organisation.

  – Why you do it?

      – It’s a special satisfaction of being part of civil society and help the small, vulnerable groups in order to reintegrate them.

  – In one sentence can you write which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

     – There are gaps in the legislation and less support from state institutions.

XII

– What do you do?

     – I work in a non-governmental organization “Partners Albania”, for change and development, as a programs director. The organization’s mission is to promote civil society in Albania and create a collaborative environment with governments (central and local), businessmen etc, to a sustainable socio-economic development of society.

– Why do you do it?

    – Some of our areas of expertise include research, participatory facilatory processes, drafting strategic documents for government institutions and municipalities, NGOs, offering them training, assistance and participation in policy, advocacy and lobbying.

– In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

     – There are many challenges including:  Lack of legal framework or inadequate legal framework, lack of implementation of laws, not enabling legal framework for civil society and social enterprise, lack of dialogue and participation of NGO’s in policy making, business, SE, lack of funds, cooperation opportunities “State-Business-NGO”.

 

XIII

– What do you do?

     – I work in the Urban Research Institute in Tirana, as Project Manager. The closest social project we have done is “Development of Social’s Plan” in the Municipality of Durrës, which was approved by the Municipal Council. Although we do not represent an organization with a focus on the social aspect, that has carried out several projects and continues to implement social projects.

– Why do you do it?

    – Working in a NGO helps being very close to groups which are most in need, to give our help through different projects. Improving the living conditions of various groups that need it, is the main focus of our work in civil society. But the applicability of laws in this regard is often incorrect, which hampers social improvement in Albania.

– In one sentence can you write which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

    – The main challenge is related to the changing community perceptions regarding the treatment of vulnerable groups.

 

XIV-XV

– What do you do?

      – I am the coordinator of Youth Center “ARKA” and “ACLI-IPSIA” Association.

     – Mission: Promotion of fundamental principles of democracy, the promotion and strengthening of the individual as an integral part of society, promotion of employment and social enterprises.

– Why do you do it?

    – Because I like it and it’s a very good instrument that helps in changing my life and the others life.

– In one sentence can you write which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

    – To not surrender to the various challenges that come as a consequence of state bureaucracies entities (people who work in them) and difficulties of work.

 

XVI

– What do you do?

     – Network coordinator at “Caritas Dioqezan Tiranë-Durrës”, for schools and educational institutions for the “Commission of National Catholic Education”.

– Why you do it?

     – I strongly believe in the value of the social enterprise initiative, as a good and efficient solution to a high number of problems for vulnerable people.

– In one sentence can you write which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

    – Establishing a trust relationship among private actors and state support, also the support and promotion as an important asset in the social field.

 

XVII

– What do you do?

    – Local Agent for development organization “Cesvi”. BKZ project founded by AICS.

– Why do you do it?

    – Because I like to contribute in a project that has provided concrete and tangible results in the territory where they are implemented.

– In one sentence can you write which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

    – The main challenge is the collaboration and communication with state institutions (central and local), so that initiatives coming from NGO’s have a higher impact.

Reflection:

    – Article 27, Section 2: Social enterprises are treated equally with all other types of enterprises in the public procurement process. It would be helpful if SE as entities with incomplete abilities should compete in public procurement with all other types of enterprises and should create some advantages in this regard.

XVIII

– What do you do?

     – Financial manager in the organization “Cesvi” and also member in the Association “Pro Përmet”.

– Why you do it?

    – The reason I am a member of the Association “Pro Përmet”, is because I am interested in the promotion and production of typical products of Përmet’s area.

– In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

     – An important challenge is the relationship with the relevant state institutions of the associations, because in these institutions (Tax Department), there is no clear and specific law to  treat the associations.

 

XIX

 – What do you do?

     – Network Manager to “New York Bagels”, Tirana.

– Why do you do it?

    – I must have a job and I am sensitive to social issues.

– In one sentence can you describe which is the challenge of working in the social field in Albania?

   – The lack of legal framework, incentives for social enterprises, human awareness are the biggest challenges in supporting social enterprises.

Reflection:

   In the law is not reflected accurately the article under the right definition of Social Enterprise. With the exclusion of some favourized groups. The spectrum where a social enterprise operates is limited. There is no independence reflected in decisions. The voice of the stakeholders with their remarks in this law is not heard.

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