„Teddy bear which changes lives”

„Teddy bear which changes lives”: Creating up-cykled eco toys in cooperation with sick people with multiple sclerosis and local businesses

Biała Podlaska, PolandBiała Podlaska
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
< $1,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Meet a teddy bear which changes the world.
Upcycling Teddy Bears are handmade by women who had long been unemployed and people suffering from disabilities. When bought, such a teddy bear enables autistic children to see a different perspective of the world and brings an atmosphere of social awareness to the household. The project is carried out by non-government society in collaboration with local business and media.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The project aims to fight with the following issues: 1. long-standing unemployment of women 2. discrimination of women on the job market 3. lack of perspectives and job opportunities for the disabled (in this case of those suffering from multiple sclerosis) 4. disposal of industrial waste from textiles and clothes production 5. low level of ecological awareness 6. lack of effective cooperation between local businesses, local government and non-governmental organizations

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

1. Production of the upcycling bears - employment for unemployed women and people suffering from multiple sclerosis,production of innovative,creative designs of upcycling teddy bears from industrial waste from fashion brand BIALCON. 2. Selling upcycling teddy bears - One part of frofits from selling goes to Social Cooperative,second one to “United World” Association (Stowarzyszenie Wspólny Świat) which supports autistic children 3. Organizing The Teddy Day event - The family event called The Teddy Day will promote an idea of creative recycling,raise general awareness of the problem of disability and to the role of the disabled in the local society. 4. Coordinating the project - Joanna Olęcka with support from Barbara Chwesiuk-BIALCON
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Upcycled Teddy Bear which is making by social cooperative workers and members of Polish Association of People Suffering from Multiple Sclerosis is like a good lesson for Biala Podlaska's families. It is like a sample of good practise for business-people with disabilities can work! As such long-term unemployed women! The key role in here goes to media, NGO and "Modrzew"- in creating social campaign. Joanna Olęcka is learning from experienced manager - Barbara Chwesiuk,how to run social cooperative business. Profits from selling unique Teddy Bears helps S.C. in employing other women. Also money will be donated to “United World” Association (Stowarzyszenie Wspólny Świat) from Biała Podlaska which supports autistic children in their therapy.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

The project will be organized every year,once a year and its final will be The Teddy Day.The initiative can also be effective in other different locations since the textile industry is one of the most developing ones in different parts of the world.In Poland textile remnants can be successfully replaced by waste from shoe industry,upholstery and leather production.With good logistics the companies taking part in the project do not have to function on the local market.Besides, regardless of its location, the project resolves the important issues of unemployment,disability,ecology,resourcefulness,discrimination and exclusion from the society.It shows that such an initiative can be taken by a non-governmental, non-profit organization such as S.C.The project has the potential to become a model example of collaboration between private companies, social organizations, and NGOs.
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Actions like our are usually not connected with supporting local businesses, the disabled or the unemployed.Other projects usually lack effectiveness due to the fact that such handicraftsmen are sparse and do not have a leader who would coordinate the whole process. Lack of cooperation between different segments of economy results with the fact that tough really desirable; those actions do not carry any social or educational values.Local job centers try to counteract against 18% rate of unemployment through organizing training courses, financing internships, and helping those who start their own business.Activation of the disabled on the job market is usually arranged by non-and occupational therapy workshops. Businnes role as far was just as a sponsor.
Team

Team

People who take part in the project are emphatic and involved in the social issues; they are sensitive to the problems of the contemporary world. The companies which take part in the project – Bialcon and Autosfera have special place in this initiative since they give an example of how to run private prospective business and at the same time remain sensitive to the social issues of the day. What is more, the companies will share their experience and expertise in organizing and coordinating the project.
About the Lead Co-Creation Partners
Organization:
BIALCON Group
Visit website
LEAD SOCIAL-MISSION ORGANIZATION
Type of organization (e.g. NGO, association, not-for-profit, foundation, social enterprise)

NGO, Social Cooperative

Total Number of Full-Time Employees

4

Lead Contact First Name

Joanna

Lead Contact Last Name

Olęcka

Title

director

Country

Poland

Twitter URL

-

LEAD CORPORATE PARTNER
Organization Name

BIALCON Group

Total Number of Full-Time Employees

250

Lead Contact First Name

Barbara

Lead Contact Last Name

Chwesiuk

Title

president

Country

Poland

Twitter URL

-

Organization Website
Basic Info
Project Starting Year

2014

Primary European Country where this Project is creating social impact

, LL, Biała Podlaska

Additional European countries where this Project is creating social impact

-

Select the category that best fits the type of your project:

Job Creation: Entries in this category create new jobs for people away from the labor market.

What awards or honors has the project received?

-

Project Summary
Co-Creation Model: Tell us about your main strategic partners and how the partnership truly create value. For each Partner please include its type (business/social/public), its name, a short description, its key motivation to participate in the co-creation project, and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project. Please follow the format displayed below:

1. Bialcon
Local-based company which produces and sells exclusive womenswear and accessories which will provide spare remnants of textiles to be used in producing teddies.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: The project solves the problem of disposing industrial waste from the company’s production line. Besides, by taking part in the project the company will build its positive image. Bialcon has been always sensitive to the problems of local communities and this initiative is another opportunity for positive action.

2. Autosfera
Car-servicing company based in Biała Podlaska. In the project will be responsible for logistics and delivering toys to the homes of the disabled in the district.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: Autosfera is involved in the idea of ‘responsible business’. This project will verify company’s intentions to take part in pro-ethic business initiatives. Besides, as a partner of the project the company will build its positive image and its name will be appear in the media.

3. JB Multimedia
A distributor of IT equipment based in Biała Podlaska, which in the project will take care of financial support of The Teddy Day.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: As one of the partners in the project the company will be mentioned in the media and as a result it will become more recognizable and build its positive image.

4. Słowo Podlasia
A local newspaper which is the most popular weekly in the district. It is a media sponsor responsible for promoting the project and all social campaigns connected with the initiative.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: By taking part in the project the newspaper will build its positive image. Besides, as a result of being the chief media sponsor of The Teddy Day the weekly can expect boost in selling advertising space.

5. Underground
Event agency based in Biała Podlaska responsible for the artwork of The Teddy Day and coordination of the event. The agency will provide necessary equipment, organize the artistic part of the event, and contact the ‘celebrities’ who will take part in the event.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: Due to this project the agency will boost its recognition and build its positive image.

6. Biala24
Web portal which will take an active part in a social campaign of the project. Responsible for promoting the initiative on the Internet, the portal will write articles and reports about the project and its main event.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: After taking part in the project the portal can build its positive image and expect boost in selling advertising space

7. BiałaMovie
Online television responsible for preparing video material titled ‘How we make a good teddy bear’, which will promote the project. The television will also make a reporting of The Teddy Day.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: By taking part in the project the company will build its recognition and positive image.

8. TVP INFO
Nationwide information television station which will be responsible for advertising the project. As a part of the program “Woman Here” the station will shoot and emit material about innovative initiatives undertaken by workers of Social Cooperative “Progress”.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: The event will be an interesting material to shoot a reporting. Besides, through taking part in the project the station will build its positive image and recognition amongst the locals.

9. Radio Lublin
Regional television station which will be responsible for advertising the project. As a media patron of The Teddy Day, the TV station will prepare a series of auditions and live coverage of the event.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: The event will be an occasion to build a positive image of the station and gain recognition.

10. Bialskie Centrum Kultury
Cultural and social institution responsible for organization and promotion of The Teddy Day. Bialskie Centrum Kultury will prepare advertising posters and some entries on its website.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: The event will be a great opportunity to organize an interesting event which promotes the ideas of ecology and social actions. It will also be an occasion to enforce a positive image of the institution.

11. Polish Association of People Suffering from Multiple sclerosis (Polish Towarzystwo Stwardnienia Rozsianego)
A main beneficiary and the partner of the project responsible for creating work places for the disabled. The association will take part in the production of the toys by devising special rehabilitation program for the disabled containing manual jobs needed in the production of teddies. Another task is to propagate active lifestyle and the need for seeking jobs among those suffering from multiple sclerosis

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: The event will be an opportunity to support a group of beneficiaries of the association. It will also be an occasion to realize the tasks mentioned in the statutes of the association.

12. “United World” Association (Stowarzyszenie Wspólny Świat – NGO)
Another beneficiary of the project responsible for collecting money during The Teddy Day. Will help in the selling toys through promoting the initiative and the event.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: The event will be an opportunity to promote and financially support the Association.

13. Association for the Social Integration „Modrzew” (Stowarzyszenie na rzecz integracji społecznej „Modrzew”)
Partner responsible for the substantive aspect of the campaign. The association will coordinate the project and prepare the program of the social campaign.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: The event will strengthen the position of the association among other non-profit organizations.

14. Bialska Spółdzielnia Socjalna Progres (Social Cooperative “Progress” from the Biała Podlaska region)
The association, consisting of a group of unemployed women, is a leader of the project and its beneficiary. In the campaign the cooperative will be responsible for coordinating the project during all its stages – the production, the selling stage, promotion, and The Teddy Day event.

Key motivation to participate in the co-creation project and the key contributions it is making in the co-creation project: The initiative is designed to counteract against discrimination of women on the job market, fight with unemployment, and promote ecology.

Impact
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact. Please specify using qualitative and quantitative data (e.g. # of indirect and direct beneficiaries); help us understand how this solution truly makes a difference.

Thus far the result of the initial actions is an agreement between all the sides in the parties which will willingly take part in the project.Some of the partners have been already bound by an agreement with the cooperative.In 2013 S.C.“Progress” has conducted similar project,it was a success and it showed that the best sales channel is direct sales.This action inspired the S.C. “Progress” to start a new, bigger initiative.
The project will engage 25 people. The specific number of beneficiaries in 2015 is as follows:
1.People suffering from SM–100
2.Previously unemployed women–5
3.Children suffering from autism–100
4.People living in Biała Podlaska and in the vicinity–20 000
5.Business people–5

The changes caused by the project will have multidimensional and long-standing influence on the local society

Sustainability
Funding: How is your project financial supported? [select all that apply]

Individuals, Businesses.

Sustainability Plan: Has your project already reached financial sustainability? If not, what is this solutio’s plan to ensure financial sustainability? Do the main partners have enough stake to sustain the solution? If this project requires limited budget, how will other resources be secured to maintain or grow this work?

At this stage, the project is close to reaching stable financial position due to some investments in developing different sales channels and ways of promotion. The initiative is a relatively safe investment since it does not demand many resources. The textiles used for the production of teddies are given to the cooperative free of charge and the toys are made within the realms of regular business activity of the cooperative. With the free help of the logistic partner of the project, the unfinished toys are transferred to the houses of the disabled. Social Cooperative “Progress” has its own webpage and online shop which will promote the project and The Teddy Day. Besides, the shop has the potential to become another sales channel for the toys. The only condition for the success is enough interest on the part of future clients.

Team
Founding Story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that led the Partners to get started and/or to see the potential for this to succeed.

At the beginning, the toys were produced by the members of the cooperative. Each toy had its unique and individual design, character, and personality. Each toy created from the waste was perfect in is imperfections. Then occurred a sudden idea for the project when, as a form of internship, Social Cooperative “Progress” employed a person suffering from multiple sclerosis. It was the moment when the members of cooperative realized that there is a need to activate more people from the local society, especially those suffering from some dysfunctions. The first toys seemed to appeal not only to the children, but also to the adults. They taught children important lesson on equality, tolerance, empathy, recycling.The idea is that the production process brings together people from different backgrounds.

About the Co-Creation
Barriers: What main barriers may you have encountered to co-create during the creation and implementation of the project and how did you try to overcome them?

The main problem may result from the lack of interest in buying the toys. A remedial for this problem will be proper social and marketing campaign organized with the help of media partners and local community. Local schools and kinder gardens will also endeavor to promote the idea of ‘good’ toys among children and their parents. The marketing campaign will start with June 2014 and continue throughout the year till June 2015.

Governance: What is the type of the relationship between the partners? (e.g. joint venture, contractual relationship, joint project...)

All partners and sides in the project have signed appropriate agreements of collaboration with special tasks assigned to every partner of the project.

Interaction model: How is the project a transformative partnership? How is the interaction transforming the partnering organizations and their employees/ leadership in terms of creating a new vision, new management practices, new skills and new organizational structures? Please provide for concrete examples

This initiative is ground-breaking since it shows that such a project may be a way of creating positive correlations between non-profit organizations,local business,cultural centers,and local government. Such cooperation generates new profits on different grounds;material,cultural,and educational.This enterprise gives working opportunity for the people suffering from multiple sclerosis,who due to their illness need rehabilitation.Starting the production of the toys will be also crucial to the leader of the project,‘Progress’,which with time will be able to develop new work places for the unemployed women.The project is a perfect example how without spending substantial resources one can generate value added in the form of work and rehabilitation. Its ground-breaking point is the creation of a product which is in itself original and unique,which bought as a toy, has positive influence.

How did you find out about this competition?

From worker of "Modrzew" Association

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