Meet the SOLIDAR Silver Rose awardees… The National Union of Worker Producers’ Co-operatives

For the 15th edition of the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards the Jury has decided to grant two awards in the category of ‘Together for Social Europe’. One of the recipients is the National Union of Worker Producers’ Co-operatives (NUWPC) in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian cooperative movement dates from over a century ago and NUWPC has been playing an important role since 1919. The NUWPC structure offers unique opportunities for disabled persons to work in an environment which is best suited and adapted to their individual needs. In addition, the organisation employs a significant number of people from ethnic minorities, single parents, people with low or no education and qualifications and former prisoners. After having reviewed the nomination submitted by Georgi Pirinski, Member of the European Parliament (S&D), the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Jury decided to recognise NUWPC’s undeniable contribution to social integration with an Award.

On 23 January 2018 we will welcome Mr. Stilian Balasopulov, President of NUWPC to the 15th edition of the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards that will take place in the European Parliament in Brussels. The ceremony will be the occasion to officially recognise the extraordinary work of the awardees and their work to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide.

 

This is their story

The President of NUWPC, Mr. Balasopulov, who came to visit the SOLIDAR office this week, called it a big surprise, winning a Silver Rose Award. For the cooperative he represents it is an important recognition to be receiving the award in Brussels in January. It is not recognition that drives them in the work they are doing, however. Their mission is to help people with disabilities to take part in the social economy. Their system of cooperatives is built on social and democratic values and intends solely to contribute to the well-being of society and the lives of their employees. By offering them employment they contribute to their social integration and sense of self-esteem. Since the NUWPC was founded in 1919 they have grown to be the number one employer of people with disabilities in Bulgaria. Winning the award, Mr. Balasopulov states “we are not in it for the recognition, what matters to us and our members is that we are able to contribute to social inclusion”.

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