At the end of 2019, as part of the Generator project, which has been committed to strengthening domestic entrepreneurship for the last several years, OTP banka Srbija launched the initiative – Generator of Good Deeds – which aims to increase the visibility of social entrepreneurship and those who create within it. The challenging times caused by the coronavirus pandemic are an occasion for the Bank to support socially and environmentally conscious companies and projects this year, as well.
This year’s participants are the ones who turned their ideas and dreams into reality. They have started companies that operate successfully with the aim of helping people from various socially vulnerable categories, and companies that are simultaneously committed to ecology and sustainability – for a healthier and better future. Get to know and if you have the opportunity, support Andramolje, Chrono, EkoBag, Reciklaža igre, Zvuci srca.
Andramolje is a company that manufactures eco-friendly, sustainable toys to encourage creativity and development in children. Behind this story is a small team of women, consisting of mothers, pedagogues, designers, and long-term practitioners in preschool education, in cooperation with socially responsible manufacturers and with the participation of people with disabilities in the packaging production. Considering how modern society shapes the ways in which children play, develop and learn, the idea was to offer a different kind of toy that would provide free play, the need for exploration, experimentation, combining and imagination. In addition, these ladies made sure that the materials used for manufacturing toys were natural and thus safe for both the children and the environment. In previous years, Andramolje has focused on establishing and optimizing the production process, as well as setting up a business strategy, while as the next step they wish to gain recognition and network with everyone who shares the same values.
Chrono is a local social entrepreneurship initiative, founded with the intention of providing the community with a product for easy preparation of healthy and delicious homemade dough using carefully selected mixtures and spices, in accordance with modern living conditions. The idea stems from the fact that in the same way that food can negatively affect the state of an organism, the opposite can also happen, meaning that a proper diet can regulate or cure various diseases. As one of the basic foodstuffs on the table, bread became the main actor in the story and in that way, it brought together a team that mostly includes people with disabilities, making Chrono a company for professional rehabilitation, which encourages healthy nutrition but also supports small-scale producers of raw materials from rural communities in Serbia. In the coming period, the company plans to directly connect with agricultural farms that grow cereal crops or with collectors of herbs and medicinal plants and thus further contribute to their development, but also to start the production of a mixed dietary gluten-free program.
EkoBag stands out as the first ecological social enterprise in Serbia, with the goal of employing women over 45, who are affected by the transition, which is the reason why they have difficulty finding employment and being included in normal social functioning. The focus of production is the recycling of PVC foil for billboards, which takes up to 1,500 years to decompose in nature, and the company’s mission is to promote socially responsible business through the specific waste management and through rediscovering its purpose. The EcoBag team makes eco-friendly unique bags, folders, cases, and wallets by hand, making sure that each product has a story behind it. In this way, the companies whose marketing OOH campaigns were implemented, could reuse the material used for the campaigns as raw material for gifts for employees, associates, or other types of promo activities.
The project Reciklaža igre (Recycle the Game) was built on the foundations of Ivan Kocić’s art, with the desire to raise awareness about recycling by using old toys as materials for works of art – primarily portraits of women. The inspiration comes from modern society in which the population tends to buy things that are not necessary and later throw them away. Ivan was especially interested in toys, as objects to which we became attached as children and later forgot about them, but also about the efforts of our parents to afford them or their desire to make us happy. By using toys, Ivan tried to include children in the whole recycling process as bearers of the future, with the idea of presenting recycling as a simple, fun, and creative process. The combination of portraits and figures has created a new kind of artistic expression, which has a clear ecological message, while play as a process through which we grow and mature into independent and conscious individuals, constituents of society, is depicted in portraits that are physical representations of personalities.
The humanitarian organization Dečje srce (Child’s Heart) has existed for 19 years with the idea of providing help and support to people with disabilities while encouraging their equal participation in the life of their local community. As one of the projects from this story with a heart, the café Zvuci srca (Sounds of a Heart, Čuburska 12, Belgrade) was opened, which includes a creative workshop and a shop “Srcotvornica” which sells products whose creators are people with mental disabilities, which are also café’s employees. This team has 15 members, who work eight hours a day as bartenders, waiter or salespeople. Also, in cooperation with work assistants, they create various products and participate according to their abilities in the production of decoupage, printing T-shirts, mugs, sewing grocery bags, purses, small backpacks, etc. The mission of the organization is that no person remains alone and forgotten by the local community by providing professional support to people with disabilities and their families in Serbia, as well as eliminating prejudice, and social inclusion.
You can find all the information on this year’s heroes on the Generator website, as well as on OTP banka’s social networks.
Together, we generate good deeds.