Traditional board meetings can sometimes be tedious gatherings. That’s why, C4EE Team decided to organize instead a walking tour – board event in Blerimi Resort (Lushnja) and wine canteen Ҫobo (Berat). These successful companies were chosen as the first embodies good cooperation practices with Swisscontact since 2001, while the second is proposing some interesting collaboration models. Surely, the chats, exchanges, food and wine tasting aspects factored in for this choice too.
Blerimi Resort was a real discovery for the Board, with its friendly owner & manager Tatjana Piro and delightful menu of succulent traditional and international plates. The presented dishes were prepared by the trainees of the cooking course and offered at Blerimi Resort for all the visitors to taste. Some trainees were beneficiaries of the agreement between the company and C4EE project. They were offered free access to the vocational courses, where they get not only trained under a respected chef, but also to practice their skills directly at a real restaurant. 19 dedicated candidates completed the course successfully and were awarded on the same day by the center. Most of them had already found a job as cook assistance, a stepping stone to advancing their career. One of the girls had a university degree, but only the cooking course at Blerimi resort gave her the opportunity to find employment.
The second visit was organized at Ҫobo winery. The company has joined recently the C4EE initiatives to develop new services and to engage trained youth from the project. Albania does not come from a tradition of good wine production, but Ҫobo winery is changing that. That’s why Swisscontact welcomed the idea of a mobile wine dégustation bar operating in tourist areas where C4EE coaching cycle participants could be employed. Other cooperation schemes with this ambitious company include the support for promotion and export of Ҫobo products in Switzerland.
In both visits the participants and board members could exchange and learn a lot in terms of innovation and economic opportunities linked with future strategic thinking. The mixed group of civil society, public employment services and private sector offered a new perspective for the participants to exchange and get motivated. Although a challenging process, there are a lot of cooperation schemes that can benefit both companies and C4EE cycle participants. It is important to have an open mind to innovative practices and be mindful of the cost-benefits. And this is what we learned from the walking tour -Board Meeting in a warm day in October.