In order to achieve its goals, ICEI has developed several tools and a test-proven methodology of work; the new challenges we are going to address shall lead us to fine-tune further tools ICEI has only begun to familiarize with and intends to follow up in depth.
Training to the benefit of small farmers, tourism operators, micro-businessmen, students, migrants, vulnerable groups but also public authorities, local administrators and civil society organizations as well. Training adds value to the resources and human capital of the communities ICEI works with: it is therefore a tool for development both in terms of technical know-how, by transferring knowledge to be enduringly rooted in the development process, and of awareness of one’s own needs and rights.
Doing social business
Investing in developing vocations and entrepreneurial skills is essential in order to prevent that the benefits of cooperation projects fade away at the end of the projects and related aid flows, as sometimes happens.
We are convinced that to make the difference and build true sustainability some basic prerequisites are needed. Both in overseas and domestic projects, marginalization and economic exclusion can only be effectively fought against if people are enabled to get (or get again) into the labor market , to achieve the dignity that is only obtained when they can support themselves and their family (in terms of health care, food, education etc.). We accompany inclusion by developing capacities for self-employment and micro-entrepreneurship. “Doing social business” is therefore a tool for social and economic inclusion, income generation and the quality of life of the beneficiaries.
ICEI is working with local communities building networks between people, authorities, economy and business, civil society and associations, to ensure participation and the centrality of the community in development processes, enabling them to be active protagonists. ICEI works “with” the people and not “for” the people: from farmers’ associations to cooperatives, federations, companies (both nonprofit or profit), or informal networks working locally, we ensure a sense of ownership of the actions and processes we carry out.
Projects often become workshops for experimenting with ideas and models, together and building on experience and suggestions from partners, staff members, and beneficiaries. Virtuous cycles are thus generated leading to project spinoffs, in the form of associations, cooperatives, social businesses, companies. ICEI is often actively participating in decisionmaking committees (Boards of Directors) of these organizations, acting in safeguard of the beneficiaries, in order to promote the sustainability of actions in time and on markets . In particular, ICEI’s participation is aimed at accompanying the beneficiaries, investing in their training not only technical but also administrative and managerial, following an approach that combines the need to survive in the market “jungle” and the essential social dimension.