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Agir Prize honours three projects for labour market integration of people with disabilities

 

The project Eu - Consigo! (I - Can!), developed by Associação Salvador, won the fourth edition of REN's AGIR Prize, which this year was dedicated to the integration of people with disabilities in the labour market. During the award ceremony, held today at the National Museum of Ancient Art, in Lisbon, projects Duoday and Asul were also honoured. For this fourth edition, AGIR Prize received 46 applications from multiple regions of the country, with the winners coming from the districts of Porto, Évora and Coimbra, respectively.

Project Eu - Consigo! wins first prize

Eu - Consigo is a project developed by Associação Salvador that will be launched in Porto in 2018 and which seeks to integrate around 20 people in the labour market and to train an additional 50. Since 2015, Associação Salvador has worked in the area of labour integration of people with disabilities through employment. The first place on the AGIR Prize will enable extending this work to the city of Porto.

According to Salvador Mendes de Almeida, president of Associação Salvador, "Winning the 1st prize in REN's AGIR Prize represents a unique opportunity for Associação Salvador to take its work and intervention to a different region and to expand its horizons, bringing an innovative project that can help more people with disabilities to be integrated in the labour market. Together we change lives!"

Second Prize to Duoday

AGIR Prize awarded second place to Duoday, promoted by Marca - Associação de Desenvolvimento Local (Marca - Association for Local Development) and which consists of the promotion of pairing workers/professionals and people with disabilities or incapacity in order for them to share a work experience in a real context. The project will cover the municipalities of Montemor-o-Novo, Évora and Viana do Alentejo and will include 50 participants, 20 of which employable during the project.

For Rosa Coelho, project Duoday's coordinator, "REN's AGIR prize, in addition to being a recognition of the work carried out by the institution and its partners, enables continuing to sustain a proposal in which we believe, with better conditions and resources."

The third prize was awarded to the Asul project

Promoted by Associação de Famílias Solidárias com a Deficiência (Association of Families Supportive of People with Disabilities), the Asul project happens in Castelo Viegas and Assafarge, parishes in the municipality of Coimbra. It consists in the professional integration of seven people with mental disability, with some autonomy, who will have access to training in socially useful activities, and also to monetary compensation for their work, in order to make a contribution to their financial independence.

For Luís Silva, head of the Associação de Famílias Solidárias com a Deficiência - Cavalo Azul, "AGIR prize is the first award of its type received by AFSD, after two years of operation. It will enable enhancing the skills of the most independent users and will promote an internal work environment in the institution through socially useful activities (car cleaning, housekeeping and laundry services, bar and cafeteria services) and will ensure the corresponding monetary compensation. We believe in the potential of our users, in order to increasingly provide them with a more independent and autonomous life.

The AGIR Prize is part of the REN's policy of Social Innovation and Involvement with the Community. Every year, the AGIR Prize chooses an area of social intervention and awards three projects that stand out in their corresponding areas. The past three editions were devoted to the topics of Fighting Poverty and Social Exclusion, in 2016, Active Ageing, in 2015, and Job Creation, in 2014.

Since its creation in 2014, AGIR Prize has supported 12 projects, with impact in over 2,800 direct and indirect beneficiaries, fostering support to the inclusion of youth in the labour market, learning of skills for job creation and execution of intergenerational activities between youth and the elderly.

The selection of the three best projects is the responsibility of REN in partnership with STONE SOUP, which accompanies and monitors the use of the funds donated to each supported project, and also assesses the actual social impact of REN's assistance to each project. The winner of the first prize receives a monetary sum of thirty thousand euros, the second fifteen thousand euros, and the third five thousand euros.

In 2018, the theme of the AGIR Prize will be Preservation of the Regions' Natural Heritage. After the destruction caused by the fires to the country's environmental heritage, REN will honour the projects that stand out in the field of environmental education for forest protection and conservation of biodiversity, promoting the recovery of the Portuguese natural heritage.

The regulation for applications to AGIR Prize can be found here.