Founded in 2004, APDES – Agência Piaget para o Desenvolvimento - is a Portuguese NGO that promotes integrated development. Its main goal is to intervene with vulnerable communities to improve their access to healthcare services, employment and education, as well as the reinforcement of civic participation, social reintegration and cohesion, by empowering institutions and individuals. The organisational profile of APDES comprehends four lines of intervention: 1) health, harm reduction and human rights; 2) health education; 3) social cohesion and employment; 4) cooperation and development.
APDES strongly recognises the vital role of employment to social links activation, physical/mental health levels and identity, thus contributing for sustainable social reintegration processes. In this context, EAER presents itself as a unique opportunity to enhance APDES employability activities in close collaboration with experienced partners in the European setting. EAER will allow APDES to achieve a greater understanding of the development and implementation of employability services and to develop innovative and tailored-made methods to promote the acquisition of work skills, education and training among its target-groups.
APDES Outreach teams - with particular focus on people who use drugs and prisoners – are guided by the principles of harm reduction and peer education to promote citizenship, health and social inclusion. These interdisciplinary teams aim to reconnect people with formal support systems and social networks. APDES will actively engage its beneficiaries throughout project activities, using participatory methodologies and peer involvement. The Employment Support Unit of APDES, working inside the Prison of Guarda, promotes the social reintegration of prisoners, through the valorisation of work, the reconstruction of family ties and the development of personal and social competences that empower them for an active life and citizenship. Harm Reduction outreach teams will be able to provide enhanced social services to foster employability of targeted populations. Within this scope, the social workers of APDES will engage with disadvantaged and unemployed persons, providing training and counselling in the definition of their individual plan for integration in the labour market.
Through EAER, APDES beneficiaries will have the opportunity to increase their confidence and self-esteem and to engage in training activities more appropriate to their skills and employment goals. These will increase their ability to embrace new opportunities in life, reduce isolation and overcome disadvantaged backgrounds.