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Sfântu Gheorghe, Romania

2nd Partner Meeting in Sfântu Gheorghe (Romania)

Twenty professionals from the six partner organisations attended our second meeting of the partnership on ‘Digital Media in Social Firms: A European Comparison’. There were also a number of Romanian experts who were available to us for inputs on this subject matter. The meeting was held 13-15 May 2019 in Sfântu Gheorghe in Romania and was organised by our partner organisation, Fundatia Crestina Diakonia Sfântu Gheorghe.

The workshop began on Monday with welcoming remarks by the Director of the Diakonia, Peter Makkai. After a round of introductions, Project Coordinator Ulrich Förster referred to the results of the first meeting that had been held in Cologne in January 2019 and introduced a roundtable survey of local developments.

In the afternoon, Stephan Klatt presented the new activities of the Düsseldorf Caritas Association in regard to use of digital media for the vocational training of drug addicts and people receiving methadone. A three-year project to convey professional knowledge in the field of Internet competence, graphic design and communication is currently in planning.

Pal Bela Vendel (Diakonia) explained the opportunities for digital learning for people with mental disabilities (including Down syndrome, autism), for example in dealing with standard software such as Word or Excel. He also sees considerable potential in the use of 3D animation to promote learning among people with disabilities in social enterprises.

On Tuesday, the group visited ‘Irisz House’, a centre for people with disabilities. This centre imparts basic job skills in the kitchen and housekeeping areas, and in candle production. There are also a variety of partnerships with firms in the city and region to open up workplaces for individuals with disabilities outside of their places of residence. The group discussed the ways of enlisting digital media in the context of the offers of Irisz House in the effort to improve job skills. Afterwards, we visited the Diakonia-run second-hand shop, where people with disabilities work and acquire a variety of job skills.

The day concluded with a visit to the computer course for people with disabilities that Diakonia offers each week; 10 people on average attend the course. This course was initiated at our first transnational meeting in Cologne. The course has established itself in a short time, with very good and surprising results. Participants are thus able to write short texts or create tables, such as a work plan for the coming week.

The third day of the workshop was dedicated to further work within the context of the project. Ulrich Förster presented the European Commission website ‘#EUandME’ with its variety of information and videos around the topic of Europe. In addition, reference was made to the Erasmus+ project ‘v-UPGRATeS’ and the Internet course that has been developed to convey basic digital skills for vocational school teachers, which is available in different languages. Project partners have the option of testing this course with specialists in their enterprises.

Andrea Raab (Diocesan Caritas Association Cologne) introduced the participants to the #care4EU campaign by Caritas Germany in the run-up to the European elections. The aim is to get as many people as possible to cast their votes and to prevent the election of populist parties. If social enterprises become involves with a campaign like this, it can contribute towards improved political participation on the part of disadvantaged groups. The meeting concluded with a look at the next European workshop, which will be held 15-17 October 2019 at the partner organisation Pagalbos Namuose Tarnyba in Kaunas (Lithuania).

Meeting in details: http://df-kunden.de/ebooks/erasmus-2/