Economic empowerment of women

«DESA» has seven years of humanitarian and peacemaking activities behind it, and three years of continuous and successful program entitled «Economic empowerment of women through education», which it carries out in association with the Office for Cooperation with NGOs of the Republic of Croatia, Ministry for Crafts, Small and Medium Enterprises, and international partners and donators.

Through this program, «DESA» is trying to improve the use of local resources on principles of sustainable development, by means of education and special workshops, as well as to affect the reduction of unemployment, especially that of the female part of the population and young people. In our educational programs we indicate the changed economic system and market economy laws, which do not offer lifetime jobs, but they do offer good chances to all those willing to invest their own energy in projects that the market demands. With this program, we are trying to provide actual financial and legal support to first private initiatives, through cooperation between the local authority institutions, the judicial system and the economy.

Educational activities are performed in various manner:

  • professional workshops provide the participants with an opportunity to see and learn all about the old crafts and autochthonous products
  • courses in languages and computer skills are useful for the employed, as well as the unemployed, and they also help local economy with training people in the most sought-after occupations
  • round tables, seminars and workshops in support of successful management of independent business operations and stiulation of cooperation between all participants in economic and political life of the community, are intended not only for the organization members, but also to all citizens, students, potential private entrepreneurs, politicans, bankers and businessmen, just like all the other activities
  • publications, such as the «Women’s Entrepreneurship in Tourism » hand-book, printed upon the end of our first workshop on entrepreneurship in tourism, offers general knowledge about the profession, actual help through specific questionnaires and a collection of useful information, and it presents an entrepreneurship model for beginners that is applicable outside the Dubrovačko-neretvanska County as well, in all Croatian tourist regions
  • stimulation prizes for beginners in entrepreneurship, like the ones awarded in 2002 by the Work Group for Promotion of Entrepreneurship, founded within the «Women’s Entrepreneurship in Tourism» workshop (15-17/3/2002); out of twenty applicants, the Work Group has selected three best projects which it awarded with an outright prize of 10,000.00 kn each, for starting their own entrepreneurial operation. The 30,000.00 kn of raised contest funds have been secured from several sources.

Results brought by DESA «Economic strengthening of women through use of local community resources» program:

  • increase in self-confidence and self-respect in the unemployed part of the female population
  • resocialization of unemployed women
  • women are better informed on the possibilites of realization of their legal rights and their right to work
  • 60 trained entrepreneurship seminar attendants (10 of them started independent entrepreneurial careers)
  • 385 trained attendants of courses in foreign languages
  • 414 attendants of computer skills workshops
  • 102 attendants of handicrafts workshops
  • revival of female entrepreneurship
  • revival of family entrepreneurship
  • revival and setting in motion the suspended resources of country tourism
  • wider cooperation of all local community subjects

Attendants of «DESA» educational activities 1997 – 2003

Year
Foreign languages
Computer skills
Handicrafts 
Total
1997
60
-
109
169
1998
73
-
66
139
1999
84
36
72
192
2000
85
111
45
241
2001
140
168
25
333
2002
160
135
32
327

2003

189

160

34

383

Total
791
610
383
1784

 

Partners and Donators

In its fight against social seclusion, DESA effects partnership with the government sector, on state and local levels. Year after year, our educational and other programs are supported by:

  • Office for Cooperation with NGOs of the Republic of Croatia, Zagreb
  • Ministry for Crafts, Small and Medium Enterprises, Zagreb
  • Town of Dubrovnik – Administrative Department for Social Activities
  • Dubrovačko – neretvanska County.

Our international partners and donators are promoters of social justice under the conditions of globalization:

  • CCFD, Paris – France
  • World Council of Churches – Ecumenical Women’s Solidarity Fund, Geneva, Switzerland
  • Global Fund for Women, San Francisco, USA