Minipogon is an innovative project born in 2017 in Belgrade. Its goal : to produce objects from recycled plastic, but not only! It also promotes the skills of refugees who are in transit in Serbia. A way to create a system that is more respectful of people and the environment.
Minipogon, an alternative project based on a horizontal organization
At the origin of Minipogon, they were four: Vahida, Tijana, Chow and Danielo. Their wish? To build an economically self-sustained project while imagining an innovative way to create value and to include marginalized and rejected people.
Today, the team consists of the first three and has a non-hierarchical organization. Cooperation and horizontal relationships are at the heart of the project – both among themselves and with refugees. Humility is also central, as the name “Minipogon” means “mini factory” in Serbian.
Even though the project is recent and the machines still have to be upgraded, several objects have already been made and sold: baskets, pencil jars, jars, block holders, etc. Each of them are made in recycled plastic and the catalogue should shortly count 30 different products.
A social, societal and environmental initiative
“In the camps, the main help provided to refugees is primary emergency aid. Through Minipogon, we want to offer them something different”, Tijana explains. In that sense, the team provides them with an occupation but also with a way to develop their skills and to share those they have, while earning some money. Minipogon’s team is therefore active in different areas: they aim at creating social and economic equity – integrating and paying the workers who are from marginalized groups – and imagine as well solutions to the plastic pollution issue in Serbia.
So Minipogon tries to create a community that differs from the capitalist system: they “use” resources that this system rejects, both people and plastic waste products.
A creative and ambitious team
The project will develop at different levels. First of all, the aim is to make it sustainable, in particular through the selling of more products in order to become independent of European funds and donations. The team wants therefore to find new sales places.
Today, Minipogon works only with the refugees from the center they are based in. The goal is however to be able to integrate other marginalized groups such as unemployed women.
Eventually, the will to cooperate and share knowledge and skills is not limited to Belgrade. A project with the Tek Bunkeri’s team, local shakers met in Tirana, Albania, will be implemented next September!