"Success is not an accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all love of what you’re doing."
We talked to Mrs. Lana Frana Kanoti, Director of Center for Homecare and Assistance of Medjimurje County (CPUK). It is a non-profit social welfare institution, established on the innovative civic-public model of cooperation by ACT Group (an NGO) and Medjimurje County (a public administration) from Croatia – both partners on the INNO-WISEs project, to provide home care for elderly people in their community. Center meets the basic needs of elderly and disabled people through direct responsible and quality work in their homes (organizing meal delivery, performing housework, personal hygiene, transportation…) and improves their quality of life. On the other hand, the Center employs disadvantaged persons, mainly long-term unemployed women or minorities. Given that, CPUK works with an emphasis on promoting social inclusion and combating poverty in the region.
What is your role and duties in the Center for Homecare and Assistance? Which previous experience are you bringing in and which new competencies are you hoping to acquire thanks to INNO-WISEs?
I’m a director of the Center, responsible for all legal and financial aspects of our work, but also for coordinating and supporting our teams, public appearance, communication with our founders, finding new clients, designing and preparing new projects and services… That’s a lot of different tasks and responsibilities on a daily basis that require a wider set of competencies. We believe that, as Benjamin Franklin said, an investment in knowledge pays the best interests. So, I hope to improve my knowledge and skills in team management, sales, finance, negotiation, business development, and (social media) marketing.
How do you think to use the tools and competencies gained through the project and how do you think they will improve your day-by-day skills and in general CPUK competitiveness?
I am constantly trying to learn in all areas of management because I come across new situations every day that I have to deal with. In addition to learning, I try to improve what I have learned. It is difficult to align an organization’s plans with human resource capabilities sometimes since we have to bring together two vulnerable groups and to support both.
It is important for me to continuously plan, improve plans, and use human and material resources efficiently. Of course, most decisions must always be made very quickly, so situations must be reviewed as soon as possible, and the most optimal solutions made.
Here at the Center, human resources are the most represented because my job is to create a team of people who will be mentally strong - these people continue to work with our clients who desperately need help and support. In order to create a successful and effective team, I have to be maximally dedicated to them every day, motivate them and solve existing situations in order to achieve the desired goals and plans of the organization together.
Shortening the time needed for these processes, better communication, sales, and negotiation skills are always a challenge in our business. Some of the tools and educational materials available on the www.wisebusiness.eu platform would definitely be of help.
What dream do you have for the future of your institution, how do you see CPUK in the next three years?
The Center was established with the aim of providing home care services to the elderly and disadvantaged people, in order to meet their daily living needs and improve their quality of life. Our gerontic-nurses/housemaids and caregivers deliver hot meals every day, do household work, help with personal hygiene, etc. We are constantly developing, improving our knowledge and experience and thus expanding the range of services we offer (in addition to the basic services under the Law on Social Welfare).
We have big plans. In the next three years, our plan is to become a leading provider of social services in the region. We are currently committed to considering foreign models that we could implement in our country. The legal framework is a bit loose here in Croatia, the laws and other rules do not clearly define our scope of work, so we’ll have to focus on advocacy too.
We would also like to improve the quality of services provided by other institutions of social welfare and to share our experiences. We want to replicate our model in other regions at the end. So, we are starting an Academy for gerontic-housemaids, to educate stakeholders, to discover their potentials and then to guide them and develop their services through continuous work.
Why do you find the project interesting and decided to participate in the experimental phase (pilot action)?
Success is not an accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice, and most of all love of what you’re doing. We love what we do, and we want to do it well, both for our clients and other employees. With well-developed personal skills and well-founded organization, we have the opportunity to get a quality employee and thus to provide a quality service. Quality is very important to us.
Find out more: www.pomocukuci-mz.eu.