One of the projects that we run through Dorcas Aid is for 30 young unemployed couples with children. We were supposed to start in February, but the Banja Luka Social Work Centre took forever to give us the list of people who will be in the project. We finally got the list this week and had a meeting today for the 20 new families (the rest of the families are kept over from previous years - this is now the 3rd year we are running this project) to tell them how it works. Here is a picture of all of them waiting for the meeting to start:The families are chosen by the Social Work Centre - so there is no chance for recriminations against us for favouritism - and are all people with at least one or more children, don't have registered employment and are in need.
As part of the project, each family is given a monthly food and hygiene package (which comes from Holland), attend a motivation course, attend business training and English classes (which is where I come in!). English will start this week and runs throughout the year. At the end of the year they write business proposals and 3 families (each year) are given a small interest-free business loan to start the business. In past years we have had a cake maker and an automechanic and a vegetable grower, amongst others, who have all been able to start a business!
We normally hand out the packages monthly and either each family comes to the office and we spend 1/2 hour-45 minutes to chat with them, or we go to their houses. However, since we were already so far behind, we decided to hand out two of the packages at the meeting this morning.
Here are some pics of some of the people with their packages from this morning:
Although it is a lot of work, I love this project because it is more than a handout, instead people are given skills and even a chance to change their lives with a small business loan!