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Social Solidarity Economy and perspectives of Social and Professional Inclusion in Self-Help Promotion Program.

In our Self-Help Promotion Programs we do not only aim at the professional or only at the social integration of members in rehabilitation. Instead, we attempt to propose an integration framework that combines and gives equal weight to both dimensions. Considering that there are many different people with different needs and characteristics, we seek to explore different paths to inclusion.

One of the strategies that defines our perspective around inclusion is to leverage the ideas and practices of Social Solidarity Economy. The Social Solidarity Economy offers a framework for social and professional inclusion based on the following principles:

  • teamwork – collaborative work
  • solidarity and mutual aid
  • equal participation and democratic functioning

It is, in other words, based on similar principles to those on which the rehabilitation proposal of Self-Help Promotion Program is based. Therefore, the training of project members in the principles of the Social Solidarity Economy and support for the creation of Inclusion Social Cooperative Enterprises or other cooperative forms is a central option for Self-Help Promotion Programs.

The ways in which this choice is served are:

  1. Whether supporting members of Self-Help Promotion Programs to create a autonomous Integration Joint Venture (KOINSEP), as was done in the Larissa project (Corintiana Joint Venture)
  2. Either the Program’s active involvement in the creation and operation of an Inclusion Joint Venture, as is currently the case in the Thessaloniki project

The Social Solidarity Economy is not the only strategy for social and professional inclusion in Self-Help Promotion Programs. But it is an interesting and promising direction which our Programmes are trying to exploit to a significant extent.