How to solve the problem of increased amount of unrecycled garbage, and at the same time help former addicts integrate back into the society? The Norwegian social enterprise Medarbeiderne (the Co-workers) has established a non-profit business out of employing recovering drug users to gather recyclable cans and bottles from private households and companies.
The employment concept
In Norway there exists more about 7-10,000 injection drug users, and there are many initiatives for helping this group of the population to get out of the addiction.
But after winning the battle against drugs many of these people experience re-integration into society to be a yet another struggle:
A former addict will often be treated as one, and it is not unusual that they are discriminated from being a part of the workforce. Medarbeiderne gives this group of people an opportunity for a first step towards regaining trust and responsibility in the workplace, and to become included in a network that is both social and free of drugs.
The former users are also offered counseling, workshops and other services to increase their chances of successfully getting and maintaining a position at another workplace. They are of course also more than welcome to continue working for Medarbeiderne.
Medarbeiderene has the vision that “all people shall have the opportunity for a dignified life through work and self-realization”. With this social mission, Medarbeiderne re-invests all profit back into its operations.
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