A social enterprise supported by PLEDDG within the SME Fund program in the Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast aims to create conditions for creative and useful work for people with disabilities. To achieve this, a new premise was equipped to serve as a sewing workshop in Kolomyia, people with disabilities are being trained in sewing reusable shopping bags, and cooperation is being established with souvenir shops to sell the goods.

“The city has already allocated a plot of land and funds for the workshop, and a 30-square-meter pavilion is being installed. Thanks to PLEDDG, sewing equipment has been purchased for it. The project manager and people with disabilities have already been trained. The materials purchased for the production of reusable bags is special, it is homespun linen, which does not contain synthetic fibers, and spunbond, a non-woven fabric from recycled materials. We are developing a logo especially for the reusable bags,” says the head of the initiative Iryna Yurakh, NGO “Same Chas”.

The pandemic left its mark on the course of the implementation of the initiative, making the organizers look for new approaches and adapt flexibly to the contemporary conditions.

“Training in the methods and techniques of sewing reusable bags requires special attention from people with disabilities,” says Iryna Lersh, co-coordinator of the initiative from the Uniform Center for the Provision of Rehabilitation and Social Services in Kolomyia, “so during the summer, tailors trained potential students of the workshop – people with disabilities. We very much hope that the workshop will run well, and people with disabilities will be able to make reusable bags and sell them on their own.”

Currently, the initiative continues to train volunteers who will help people with disabilities, as well as develop tools for the promotion and implementation of reusable bags in Kolomyia and other regions online.

By supporting such social enterprises, PLEDDG helps to implement on-hand inclusive changes in cities, creates conditions for the socialization of people with disabilities, and supports the chosen strategy of sustainable nature management in cities.