The Institution for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment for Persons with Disabilities (URIHO) in Zagreb currently employs 522 workers, out of which 62% have some kind of disability or intellectual disability. The roughly 500 employees have a contract of work or collective agreement, while around 300 visitors to the URIHO join creative workshops and other programs.
Entering their eighth decade which will be marked by a festive day-program at the Lisinski Concert Hall, URIHO (Institution for Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment for Persons with Disabilities) is also on the threshold of their future projects. On the 3.3 hectare area of Kajzerica in Novi Zagreb, URIHO is planning to construct a modern center for rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities which will be one of the most innovative of its kind in Europe. The project and the conditions for obtaining a location permit are already complete, writes Vecernji List.
“I believe that by the end of 2017 we could begin breaking the ground and that by 2020 the center could be open,” says URIHO Director Josip Držaić. Three years is necessary for the three phases of construction. Namely, along with the existing activities of rehabilitation and production, the project provides for a sports hall for county and regional competitions, and educational and accommodation facilities. For a project whose value is estimated at 43 million EUR, funds will be applied from the European Union, where it may be possible for the EU to finance up to 80% of the whole amount.
Employees in these small manufacturing plants and workshops make textile and ceramic art and utilitarian objects such as linens, aprons, bags, work clothes, scarves, vases, lamps, decorative items, vases, bowls, and leather items such as belts, uppers for footwear, and bags. The groups will also make items such as wrought iron fences and garden furniture, orthopedic devices, commemorative gifts and much more.
“Vocational guidance helps people with disabilities from birth to educate themselves and take to the open labor market, and it is as well for those who can not remain in protective employment in the labor market,” concludes Držaić.