EPEKA, an association and social enterprise, was founded in 2008 with the aim of bringing together actors and stakeholders during Maribor’s time as European Capital of Culture. EPEKA continued its work in the field of culture and art; until 2021 we operated a gallery in the city center, hosting local and foreign artists, and we are still active in the field of culture today, organizing cultural events, concerts, exhibitions and other activities to promote social inclusion through cultural activities, etc.
During our 15 years of activity, we have also become active in other fields. We have established an international network of NGOs; the EPEKA Network, which operates within Europe, we have started working in the field of youth, we have opened a youth center, we are active in the field of the circular economy, social entrepreneurship, international cooperation and environmentalism, and our key area of activity is definitely the social integration of vulnerable groups into society and the labour market, with a greater focus on the Roma community and the long-term unemployed. In 2014, for example, we opened the first Roma restaurant in the EU operating on social entrepreneurship principles; Romani kafenava.
We are an association with public interest status in the fields of culture, youth, international development cooperation and humanitarian aid.