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To risk on others

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Gil Sousa is the coordinator of the socio-labor service of Arrisca association, a social solidarity institution (IPSS), on the island of São Miguel, which aims to reintegrate into society and risk groups, or with disabilities into the labor market.

Tell me a little about what is "Arrisca Experience".
Gil Sousa: The "Arrisca experience" is a valence of IPSS, a social solidarity institution, which was established in 2007 to worked with a public who suffer serious exclusion, I speak of ex-drug addicts, of people with mental disorders, with persons who were deported from US and Canada and have four training and production units which we tried to work the element of social inclusion through work. In the ceramics area have regional dishes, the tile pits, the traditional figures, or tried to represent some of the professions that are falling by the wayside and we tried to work them. Then we have the carpentry shed which sought to create distinctive furniture and worked on the basis of orders, we have a shop with exposes the pieces, but are produced according to the need of people. There is also another project of woods, which is the production of furniture "eco-friendly" through the use of pallets, we make various types of furniture and we had some interesting projects in the "Sardine Pier", the "eco beach resort" and some accommodations that have adhered much to this fashion because it is more attractive and sustainable. Finally we have the gardening teams, we go to the homes of people and offer our services. What we tried to do is differentiation within the services in these areas to meet the needs.

Earlier you reported that arts in disuse, so it was necessary to train them.
GS: Yes, the team is made up of monitors that help users to be integrated in these different valences that I mentioned earlier, are professionals who have training in these areas, we seek to instill in users these formations are also open to the community, we have many workshops where people can effectively participate and learn, for example, regional painting of dishes or tile, cribs, here in San Miguel we have a tradition of being done in radome and make the pieces from miniatures, puppets of lapinha to the conception of the handmade piece itself. We held these workshops open to the public as well as a way to combat the stigma of our target audience and to involve the community in this integration process.

Of the different types of arts you have, you let them choose the art that want to develop or not?
GS: We tried to do a "job matching", ie tailor the capabilities, skills and experience that person has had with the areas we already have, however, there may be a person who has a taste for carpentry, without never had any kind of experience and they want to learn because they have this motivation, we we also offer this possibility. Then also make a bridge with companies, because the aim to long term would be their integration in the labor market, always we tried to always find a job opportunity.

Which of these areas there has been a greater inclusion in the labor market?
GS: Today we are in an increasingly competitive market, companies seek to have on their side the best and most competent, unfortunately, our target audience is characterized by low qualifications, has some problems associated, cannot speak or quantifying an area with success rate. What I can say is that we have had situations where some companies contacted us for people to work in the construction, which was very good at the time, we talk about the period in which there was a boom in construction and then companies did not care if the person has been deported or had problems, or a past. Unfortunately, nowadays, things are no longer so, are more complicated, we have so many people unemployed and increasingly with qualifications and we say that our trainees are in the bottom of the pyramid with few qualifications and problems associated with competing with people with graduates and other formations. Hence the importance of these valences, these skills we have in our institution with programs in the end allow people to enjoy a salary per month, which turns out to be very beneficial.

How many people are part of this IPSS?
GS: The Arrisca association came over a thousand people, it is not these valences that said, this is a small part, we also have a psychosocial service that consists of social workers, psychologists, social educators, sociologists and monitors social inclusion. We also have a clinical department with doctors and nurses, we worked all aspects of social rehabilitation from the smallest together with the prevention of the older, the aim is to monitor all stages of life of these people.


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