Executive committee

General Secretary

Petru Vasile Gafiuc, The Regional Association for Adult Education Suceava (AREAS), Romania

Is a founder and president of AREAS, a NGO which was established in January 2005 in Suceava-Romania. He has a Law degree and master degree in Management for Adult Educations Institutes. Also he practices as a trainer and counselor in low, writing projects, community development and organizational development. From 2002 until present he was coordinator of many projects financed by Phare CBC Programs and from 2005 he is a coordinator for several projects in mental health field in cooperation with Promente OberOstericht from Austria looking to develop in special occupational therapy and professional counseling for people with mental disabilities in Suceava.


Polona Stefanic, Dobrosin d.o.o. ,, Slovenia

- Board member of inspectors at ŠENT – Slovenian Association for mental health
- Member of the Slovenian Social Chamber
- Board President of Institute ŠENTPRIMA (private institute for working rehabilitation for disabled)

Bernard Jacob, AIGS (Association Interregionale de Guidance et de Sante), Belgium

Member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Interregional and Health Guidance (AIGS) vzw. Director of the Centers of functional and vocational rehabilitation for adults and Vottem Eben-Emael. President of the Valuation Group Psycho-Medico-Social de la Province de Liege, says “Network”. Vice-President of the Board of EUROPSYREHABILITATION, Member, Board of Directors of the World Association for psycho-social rehabilitation (AMRP-WAPR) and more especially in the relations between the Board of AMRP and other European NGOs.

Athena Frangouli, PhD, Founder member and ex-general secretary of Social Firms Europe CEFEC, PEPSAEE, Hellas

Athena is a speech and language therapist.

She works at the Society of Social Psychiatry and Mental Health, Greece, as a coordinator of the steering committee which main objective is to take part at the policy and strategic issues of the executive committee of the Society, consult with the employees for the improvement of services and to empower the people with psychosocial problems. Time is given for the training of postgraduate students in the field of Psychology, Psychiatry, Speech and Language Pathology and Education. She is a member of Associations of minority groups, homeless and disabled.

Pavel Novak, FOKUS, Association for Mental Health Care, Czech Republic

Social worker in background, one of founders of Fokus organisation (the first provider of community services for people with mental health problems, 1990), working on mental health and social care reform in the Czech republic. Director of Fokus Praha, civic association providing community services for people with mental health problems in Prague and Central Bohemia

Chairperson of Fokus – Association for Mental Health Care – Czech umbrella organisation of regional community services providers

Member of the executive committee of SKOK – The Association of Non-Governmental, Non-Profit Organizations Working in the Areas of Social and Social Health Care

Chairperson of the Czech Association of the Inspectors of Quality of Social Services.

Carla Silva, Associacao de Reabilitacao e Integracao Ajuda, ARIA, Portugal

Carla Silva is an agriculture engineer; specialize in rehabilitation for disables people. She has been gardening trainer on the vocational training programs in ARIA – Associacao de Reabilitacao e Integracao Ajuda, since 1996. She had collaborated in other projects, like the organization of 2000Th CEFEC’s in Portugal, and some rehabilitation for disables people steering groups. Last year (2003) joined the ARIA’s board, as Vice-President.

Christiane Haerlin, BAG, Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Integrationsfirmen e.V.,Germany

I am an occupational therapist and have always been engaged in creating work opportunities for psychiatrically disabled. I am a founding member of CEFEC and have only missed one out of the so far eighteen annual Conferences all over Europe. Till end of 2005 I was head of a vocational rehabilitation centre in Cologne.

Most important was my postgraduate work 66 – 70 at the Maudsley Hospital in London with Dr. Douglas Bennett, one of the founders of CEFEC.

In the seventieth we started to implement special vocational training centres for psychiatric patients and the first Social Firms and in the eightieth I was a founding member of FAF our umbrella organisation for the German Social Firms. In the ninetieth and up to now I have been concerned within Cologne not only to build up our vocational training centre but also to create a net and link this up with other services in the psychiatric sphere and world of work including Social Firms.

Eija Rautakorpi, M.Ed., Finnish Central Association for Mental Health, Finland

Eija Rautakorpi is a development consultant. She has been working on employment projects aimed at mentally and physically disabled persons for 10 years from which 7 years in Finnish Central Association for Mental Health. Ms. Rautakorpi has developed vocationally rehabilitative training courses for long term unemployed people who have mental health problems. Currently she is working as a development consultant focusing on vocational and psychoeducational rehabilitation issues and teaching. She is responsible for a model for training peer counsellors to empower persons who have mental health problems in vocational rehabilitation process. She is also responsible of a social firm assessing project funded by the Ministry of Labour.

Igor Pavel, SENT-Slovenian Association for Mental Health, Slovenia

Director of Dobrovita Plus, a company providing employment and training for people with disabilities.

  • Member of the assembly and Honour Court of the Slovenian Social Chamber.
  • Secretary of the Council for NGOs in the field of Mental Health;
  • Member of the board of Inspectors at SENT – Slovenian Mental Health Association;
  • Member of the executive committee of CEFEC (Confederation of European Social Firms, Employment Initiatives and Social Cooperatives).

Marcellino Lopez, Iniciativa de Empleo Andaluza, IDEA, S.A, Spain

Psychiatrist and Sociologist. He was responsible for the Planning Office in the process of Psychiatric Reform in Andalusia (1984-1990) and director of the Mental Health Programme from the Andalusian Health Service (1991-1997). Now he works as Director of Programmes, Evaluation and Research at FAISEM (Andalusian Foundation for Social Inclusion of People with Mental Health Problems), public Foundation that develops social support programmes for persons with mental health severe disorders, including Social Firms through IDEA, SA. He also is responsible for the collaborating activities with the World Health Organization (FAISEM is WHO Collaborating Center in Mental Health), in Europe and in Latin-American Countries.

Dr.Med. Mr.Lorenzo Toresini, Italy

Is consultant Psychiatrist in Merano (authonomous Province of Bolzano (northern Italy). He worked in Triestand in Portogruaro (Venice) before.Since 1986 he has been chairing the International Permanent Seminar called:“Alpe – Adria for Mental Health” between northeast of Italy, Carinthia (A) and Slovenia. He took part to a TEMPUS EU in Slovenia for the training of postgraduate psychiatric staff in the field of Mental Health in that Country. He lead the TEMPUS project for mental Health in Bosnia Hercegovina, focused on the Universities both of Sarajevo and Banja Luka. He is active in the field of work integration for the disabled people.

Michele Rigby Social Firms UK

Dominik Murawa, KLOS, Poland

General Manager and project coordinator of vocational training programmes in social firm – Hotel KLOS – in Poland. Works with people suffering from mental health problems, mostly schizophrenia. In social economy field collaborates with NGO’s involved in establishing of social cooperatives in Central Poland.  Has a business background – graduated hotel management and worked for hotel chains in Poland and U.S.

Jukka Lindberg, VATES Foundation, Finland

Sigrid Stroher, Pro Mente, Austria