From  9th to 14th of June 2014. Caritas BC BiH and Caritas Šabac organized a study visit in France.  This study visit was in the framework of the project “Strengthening the professional adult  education  in rural areas,” which is being implemented within the framework of the second call of the IPA Cross-border Programme Serbia – Bosnia and Herzegovina, funded by the European Union.

The participants of the study visit were representatives of local governments in whose territories are implementing a project ( Sabac, Bogatić and Ljubovija in Serbia and  Fojnica, Kresevo and Kiseljak in Bosnia and Herzegovina) , employment services  and representatives of  Caritas Šabac and Caritas BC BiH.  The aim of the visit was the exchange of experiences of local decision-makers,  gaining new knowledge in the field of rural development  with an emphasis on importance of the territorial approach.

The delegation was accommodated in the center of eco-tourism in the south of France in the town of St Bernard Du Touve, near the cities of Grenoble and Chambery. The aim of the center is the development of tourism but also raise environmental awareness.

During this study visit participants from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia have visited several organizations, associations and companies that are active in the field of social inclusion and economic empowerment of people from socially vulnerable groups.

Some of them are:

-ADRETS (Association for the Development of territorial networks and services). Adrets develop and modernize public services in rural and mountainous areas dealing with studies, networking, etc. Acting as an agency that determined  the specific needs of the local community Adrets develops projects and activities at the local level in accordance with the needs of the population and in cooperation with the institutions.

– The social enterprise ALVEOLE , which is actively working in the field of inclusion and economic empowerment of people from socially vulnerable groups in the timber industry, environmental and promotion of eco house building. An important segment of the Alveole are vocational trainings for people who have been unemployed for longer periods of time and those who want to change their profession.

– Association Solid ‘Art, which also deals with work engagement and economic empowerment of people from socially vulnerable groups, developing new forms of local development through projects in agriculture through the production of wine, as well as production of various items in the art workshop .

All participants also visited  La Marmitte des Adrets association  and one private bakery . Owner of the bakery developed a family business  but also organize an occupational therapy for persons with mental disorders.

The study visit was completed by visiting the regional nature park Chartreuse. Employees in the park Chartreuse, which covers an area of 60 local communities whit  about 50,000 residents, encourage economic development  putting in the forefront their natural and cultural potentials, in order to preserve a healthy environment .

Study visit was organized thanks to the help of the network Savoir-Faire & Decouverte  which brings together about 150 entrepreneurs and artisans from all over France. Their main activities are  organization of professional training for people who want to acquire new skills to start their own business.