In partnership with Association "Equal Opportunities", CDF implemented the project "Women Return to Labour Market" within the EU program "Employment Support Program - A Step to a Job". The project was implemented from May 2006 to March 2007.
The goal of the project was to contribute to the employment and self-employment of women by empowering them with the necessary knowledge and skills for a pro-active approach in seeking jobs and or in establishing their own enterprises in tourism or in the sector of social services.
The project was designed for unemployed women from Belgrade, ages 35 to 55, who have a high school or university diploma and who wish to return to the workforce or improve the quality of their work and profession.
The project encompassed three types of trainings. The five-week Basic Business Training was attended by all participants. Later on, they opted for one of the three-week special trainings - Training for Providing Social Services or Training for Agents and Brokers in Tourism. The program was organized into 3 cycles, with each cycle lasting 8 weeks.
By the end of the training, the participants produced their individual or group projects and business plans, and the CDF team assisted them in presenting these projects to local governments and SMEs. A closing activity of this program was to encourage employers to hire women workers. The aim of this activity was for the training’s participants, with the help of trainers and facilitators at the program, to think of and implement a communication strategy with potential employers.
During the implementation of this program, CDF established cooperation not only with non-governmental organizations working on similar projects, but also with National Employment Service, Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Affairs, Committee for Gender Equality, Belgrade municipalities Savski Venac and New Belgrade, City and Municipal Centers for Social Work and other relevant institutions.The results achieved so far The program was well advertised and presented to the public. The number of applicants was much higher (713) than the number of available places (180). This fact shows that such projects are more than necessary in assisting the unemployed. Participants from the first cycle (33 of them) established a new non-governmental organization, “Zajedno zajedno”, with the goal of delivering programs for the elderly and children. Participants from the tourism training have been hired by a number of tourist agencies, while participants of the third cycle have been approached by various companies. Excellent cooperation with Municipality Savski Venac and New Belgrade Municipality has been established. In cooperation with CDF and program participants, a pilot program of before and after school care is planned for a school in Savski Venac. There is a growing interest for the implementation of the same project in other local communities: Vojvodina Region, cities of Smederevska Palanka, Leskovac and others. Media coverage of the project activities were provided by TV Studio B, B92, TV Jesenice (Smederevska Palanka), newspapers and magazines: Politika, Blic, Zena Blic, Posao, Savski venac.