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Pajunk Creates Perspectives for People with Disabilities

Pajunk has been cooperating with the St. Franziskus Foundation in Heiligenbronn and the Oberschwäbische Werkstätten gem. GmbH (OBW) in Mengen for many years. Social cooperations like these are very close to our hearts.

The St. Franziskus Foundation has set itself the task of offering people with sensory disabilities, the elderly and those in need of care, as well as children and young people a new perspective on life. OWB is a social non-profit organisation that helps people with disabilities to fulfil their wishes and meet their Selbstneeds.
With the help of qualified staff, they enable people to have interesting future prospects that are personalised to them. Both facilities are dedicated to support people with disabilities in shaping their lives as individually as possible in order to implement inclusion and social participation in the best way. The qualified care workers help them to realise their life chances in a needs-oriented way and to integrate into the regular labour market in the best possible way. They accompany, educate, support, promote and help people in the most diverse phases of life.


Since 2015, we have been cooperating with the St. Franziskus Foundation, which is active in three areas at over 30 locations. They have about 2,400 employees and care for about 6,000 people. In addition, they are supported by over 400 volunteers. In the field of disability assistance, the overarching goal is to support and promote the independence of people with sensory disabilities. The services offered include free counselling for affected persons, family members or carers. Furthermore, they offer the possibility of individual support in schools and boarding schools. Early intervention is offered from the first year of life, followed by kindergarten from the 2nd or 3rd year of life. At an older age, there is also support in form of vocational preparation measures and the possibility of training or working in a workshop for people with sensory disabilities. In the private sphere, they offer the possibility of support in the areas of housing and leisure.



The cooperation between Pajunk and OWB Mengen exists since 2017 and came about in the initial contact through a trade fair. With over 1,000 employees at 11 locations, this institution offers  people with disabilities diverse opportunities in the areas of education, work, living and leisure. The OWB also cooperates with industry, trade and commerce. A very special area was created here about 8 years ago with the packaging and assembly in the clean room, ProMediPac. It offers people with disabilities the opportunity of an attractive workplace in a special atmosphere with high  standards. Hence, they are a professional cooperation partner for the packaging of medical and pharmaceutical products.


The cooperation with both institutions differs in terms of the area that constitutes the actual cooperation. Several employees from the St. Franziskus Foundation produce clamping adapters for Pajunk: "The PAJUNK working group currently consists of six employees, including a wheelchair user and deaf people, so it is quite a mixed group" - (Günther Hetzel, head of the Pajunk working group at the St. Franziskus Foundation). The OWB is focusing it‘s activities on the manual pre-mounting of needle shafts and needle hubs onto production fixtures. They manufacture the products in a class E clean room. In general, it can be said that the work processes and machines are individually adapted to the people and their handicaps.


"People's everyday working lives are slightly different from the general working world. One exception is working time, which is basically defined as care time and includes two break times and times
for work-accompanying measures. These measures are an established part of the employment of people with disabilities in the workshops, which is intended to further promote general education and personal skills. There are offers in the cultural-technical area, for leisure and sports (e.g. table tennis, football). This gives us a supervision time of about 39 hours per week, whereby the effective working time minus break times is a little more than six hours per day"
- (Michael Kugler, OWB). In addition, workers have the opportunity to attend therapy services such as physiotherapy, speech therapy, etc. during their working hours, which for other workers would take place in their free time. Our employees are released for these appointments and the doctors/therapists come to our premises. "In addition, work-related measures (education, employment, knowledge transfer) are also carried out during working hours." - (Gernot Pfau, Head of Division Work & Workshop Manager St. Franziskus Foundation).

Most of our employees at Pajunk have little or no contact to people with disabilities. For this reason, we give our trainees the chance to get a broader view on life. One of our projects within the  framework of this cooperation with the institutions is the social week for trainees, in which they spend a week in the workshops of the St.  Franziskus Heiligenbronn Foundation. There they work in the assembly of components or in the brush and basket making workshop and can thus get to know the everyday life of the people  working there better. The trainees tackle the path of this new experience in pairs. They often start their week with a rather mixed feeling. They do not know exactly how to reach out to the people. After a short time, however, they take the workers and supervisors into their hearts. At the end of the week, some trainees even find it difficult to leave, as they have already made friends.


Marcel, one of our trainees, when asked if he would recommend others to take up the opportunity of a social internship at St. Franziskus, replies: 'I think it is definitely good that there are people who work with people with disabilities, because you never know if you will be affected by it yourself one day. I would definitely recommend it to others to get to know the everyday life there." 'We are happy  that we can give our trainees these new experiences. When asked what he particularly liked during his internship, Muhammed, another trainee, answers: "The working atmosphere at the  Foundation is fundamentally different from ours. The colleagues are like a big family. Everyone knows everyone, even privately. People there don't just have a superficial working relationship with each other, but actually a very family-like one." In addition to our social week, we support the facilities with orders. Hence, the local people are integrated into our production process. This is a welcome change for them and gives them an insight into the production process of bigger companies like Pajunk.



Since the cooperation so far has been very positive, there are already further ideas for the future. Mr. Martin (Production Manager Pajunk) and Gernot Pfau (Division Manager Work of the St. Franziskus Foundation) would like to take up the topic of inclusion even further. We would like toinvite the employees of the workshops to visit us so that they can get to know our company better. We  can also imagine having a social week the other way round. We are excited to see  what projects  the coming years will bring.