EIFL-PLIP’s Macedonia grantee wins ERSTE award
EIFL-PLIP grantee Public Library Braka Miladinovci in Macedonia has won a prestigious ERSTE Foundation 2011 Award for Social Integration.

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The Erste Foundation awards ceremony.
Presentation ceremony in Prague - ERSTE Foundation Social Integration Award for 2011

EIFL-PLIP grantee, Public Library Braka Miladinovci in Radovis, Macedonia, has won a prestigious ERSTE Foundation 2011 Award for Social Integration. The library won €15,000 (US$ 21,550) for the Creative Minds Create Job Opportunities project, which motivates unemployed people, especially women, to find employment.

The names of the 37 winners were announced on June 20 at a ceremony attended by over 650 representatives of business, civil society and the media, in Prague’s famous Barrandov Studios. The award celebrates successful civil society programmes that overcome challenges faced by communities in Central and Eastern Europe.

Public Library Braka Miladinovci faced tough competition for the award. A total of 1,850 projects applied, and 132 were shortlisted. The 37 winners were selected by an international jury. The winner of the €40,000 (US$57,300) first prize was The Shelter and Counselling Centre for Women and Children Victims of Violence in Croatia, and second prize (€30,000/US$43,000) went to The Roma Press Agency in the Slovak Republic.

Creative Minds Create Job Opportunities began in May 2010. With EIFL-PLIP support, the library purchased 13 laptops, wireless Internet routers and a printer. They developed a training curriculum that integrated motivation and confidence-building with computer and jobseeking skills. They recruited and trained 67 people (51 women and 16 men) in basic computer skills, writing a CV, job interview preparation and how to look for a job online. Of these, 31 found jobs – a remarkable 46% success rate in an area where unemployment is estimated to be 20%.

Public Library Braka Miladinovci proudly lives up to its motto: ‘Friendly Libraries for All Citizens’. The library has only four employees, but they go out of their way to ensure that the library is both functional and attractive, and to provide services that meet community needs. The library offers a friendly environment for all age groups and has access for people living with disability. It is well known in Macedonia for being innovative.

Read more about Public Library Braka Miladinvci’s innovative Creative Minds Create Job Opportunities project. For more about the ERSTE Foundation Award for Social Integration 2011, visit www.erstestiftung.org