Our House (Naša Kuća) was founded in 2011 by a group of parents of children with disabilities and with the objective to provide better conditions for social inclusion of children and young people with some kind of disability.
Firstly they developed day-centre services, and later the social enterprise was founded, motivated by the insight into the limitations of the day centre and with an intention to do more for the beneficiaries.
Today social enterprise “Našakuća” (“Our House”) manufactures paper bags and cardboard packaging, provides screen printing services and in addition to this it also prepares and distributes meals. The main clients for the paper bags today are the state-owned pharmacies: they supply 80-90 pharmacies in Belgrade. The manufacturing of paper bags was first initiated within the project for the work engagement of young people with intellectual disabilities. During the first year, they operated with losses, but already the next year they made a profit and now they have regular monthly income surpluses of several thousand dinars.
Thanks to the new donations in 2012 they expanded their manufacturing operations to cardboard packaging and screen printing, and then they also started with a completely new service of catering for the elderly persons who have difficulties moving (Kitchen on Wheels). For the Kitchen on Wheels Our House manufactures characteristic crates for the delivery of the meals. The plan is to clearly brand their products and expand their market.
All current business activities of the association are linked with the employment of their young wards, while the association plans to continue employing persons with intellectual difficulties and enable employment in an open setting and at different tasks. Also, there is a plan to establish a sustainable housing service with support, in the form of a housing cooperative or an endowment.
This social enterprise now engages for work a permanent group of 10 young persons with mild intellectual disability. Labour coaches work with them and the association also employs a psychologist. Significant efforts have been put into the building of a motivation and training system. There are individual work plans prepared on a daily basis, while an assessment is done during the work. The association currently employs six persons and has a permanent volunteers’ team. Most of the volunteers are the parents of the young people included in the programme activities. Four persons are permanently engaged for various administrative, programme and coordination tasks.
However, this SE is very important representative of ,,new generation’’ concept due to social innovation made by their young male-associate who had special software designed for them, making it possible for people delivering food for the Kitchen on Wheels to make financial transaction regarding food delivery as well.
For the time being, they are not investing the surplus of the income into further development, but rather they are using it to cover the current costs of the association and the day centre.