Get Empowered. Get Employed!

 

Get Empowered. Get Employed. was a training course that took place in Baile Tusnad, Romania between 9 – 16 December 2017 that reunited 30 youth workers and volunteers from ten partner organisation. The goal of the project was to equip the youth workers with competences on non-formal methods in order to empower young people to increase their employability. The project was funded through the Erasmus+ programme and the partner countries were Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland and Slovakia.

WHY?

Nowadays young people all around Europe are facing the challenge of the transition from education to employment. This is correlated by statistical facts that confirm that 8.7 million young people aged 15-29 are unemployed and 13.7 million are not in employment, education or training (NEETs) (ec.europa.eu/europe2020). This situation is influenced by economic factors, some countries being more affected by the recent past economic crisis, the rates for the youth unemployment varying from 40,3% (IT) to 12,6% (CZ), but also by the youth work done in communities to prepare the youngsters after they graduate face the challenges encountered when searching for a job. Labor market integration of young people can be positively shaped by the contribution in the communities of youth workers who can facilitate an active participation of youths and empower them to achieve their full potential. But for the youth workers to have a qualitative impact on the results and the learning opportunities of young people they must be empowered themselves first.

HOW?

The goal of our project was to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes of 30 youth workers from 10 non-profit organizations from Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland and Slovakia on non-formal methods to empower young people to increase their employability by organizing a training course between 9 and 16 December 2017 in Baile Tusnad, Romania.

Objectives that were reached by the end of the project:

O1. Increased the level of knowledge, abilities and positive attitudes of 30 youth workers in applying non-formal methods to facilitate the access of youths in general, and young people with fewer opportunities in particular to the labor market.

O2. Have increased the capacities of the 10 partner NGOs in organizing events, activities and workshops for youths that can higher young people chances to access the labor market.

O3. Increased the number of digital and hard drive resources for youth workers regarding the non-formal methods of learning by creating a guide of non-formal activities to encourage the access of young people to the labor market.

Result and Impact:

This project enhanced the development of key competences for the members and volunteers of the partners NGO and their activity because all the volunteers and team members learned how to apply and use all the non-formal learning methods to tackle the youth unemployment. By creating and distributing the materials resulted from the project (The guide with nonformal methodology and techniques) to other NGOs youth workers, trainers, volunteers, but also online was raised the interest about how non-formal methods and tools work on making effective positive change in the context of European youth work.
Participants facilitate activities and workshops within Europe for youths in order to increase their competences when accessing the labour market, thusly contributing to one of the four strategic objectives of the framework Education and Training 2020 (ET 2010) focus “on increasing young people’s employability and enhance creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship”(http://ec.europa.eu/).

ROMANIA – Young Europe Society is a non-governmental non-profit organization that aims to contribute to the development of the youths by inspiring them a sense of active citizenship. Y.E.S. promotes mobility within and beyond Europe, non-formal learning and intercultural dialogue, and encourages the employability and inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background. Y.E.S. mission is to promote and bring added value to participative education and active citizenship, while developing solid partnerships with institutions, organizations and individuals that are active in the same field. Y.E.S.’s goal is to facilitate exchange of experiences between young people in order to raise the level of information, and tolerance, as well as to increase youngsters’ awareness with regards to different cultures and attitudes, promoting unity in diversity.

 

BULGARIA – Sports Club ” Champions Factory” is a Non-governmental, Non-profit organization , established in 2011, in Sofia, Bulgaria. It is dedicated to the development and promotion of physical activities as a matter of healthy lifestyle in Bulgaria . Use sport to develop soft skills in youth, promote healthy lifestyle, develop entrepreneurial knowledge and attitudes, etc. The methodology  used is Education through Sport and the main target group is represented by disadvantaged youth such as children deprived of parental care and children from minority groups (Roma). Mission: Sports Club ” Champions Factory” is dedicated to the development and promotion of sport as an educational tool. We aim to promote social inclusion of minorities through sport and support disadvantaged groups: people with disabilities, people discriminated for their ethnic origin, religion or other reasons.

 

CZECH REPUBLIC – Four Links, z.s. is a private non-profit and non-governmental organization with the headquarters in Brno, Czech Republic. The organization has been established by formerly active students in Erasmus Student Network (esn.org) during their university studies. The members of the organization have participated and organized various youth exchanges, trainings and seminars on the following topics: professional and personal development, entrepreneurship, media impact and how it shapes society’s opinion, active participation in both local and international communities, volunteering, multimedia, photography and video making.

 

ESTONIA – Youth Europa is an international organisation which was founded through cooperation with Estonian and Spanish youth and is now active in Spain, Estonia, Slovakia and Sweden. Its members have taken up the task of improving the lives of the European youth. Driven on by motivation and urged by their strong-willed devotion to connect youth all around Europe, to improve the integrity of Europe, to create opportunities and make them accessible to the youth near and further away. These opportunities will help the organisation and the youth themselves to develop new ways to creatively express themselves, learn new skills, bring the world closer and connect with different people with whom they can build the future of Europe together. Youth Europa Estonia is the official Youth Europa branch located in Estonia. Youth Europa Estonia is led by a team of active youth workers handling Erasmus+ and other local youth work associated projects in Estonia.

 

HUNGARY – Ifjusagi Szolgaltatok Orszagos Szovetsege is an organisation acting as umbrella for youth services, youth information centres, youth clubs, and children and youth councils. The main aim of the organisation is to professionalise youth work.

The projects implemented by the organisation are creating a country wide dialog in the youth organizational sector with enlarging already existing and creating new cooperation. The Consultation of the Cooperation of Professional Youth-Sector Workers that is created by non-governmental co-operations based on professional approach of youth questions and issues, together with the National Youth Council of Hungary is initiating the creation of Youth Roundtable as a permanent conciliatory non-governmental and governmental forum. ISZOSZ keeps in touch with local, regional, national, foreign and European Union institutions, authorities and organisations.

 

ITALY – Green Rope is an organisation born in the heart of Puglia from passion and from the energy of ideas of a group of young people. The local and European projects are based, overall, in the protection and conservation of the environment and biodiversity and on the topic of sustainable development. The main goal of the organisation is to give values to territories, doing the first step to creating a better future and a better world for people and for the society. They work to increase awareness of people and aim to spread the voice of positive messages thanks to concrete actions, active participation and due to formal and non-formal education.

 

LITHUANIA – Unique Projects is an organisation that unifies young proactive people. Members of organization try to expand occupation of youths, bring alternatives of spending their free time, encourage self-actualizing, create favorable conditions for young people and members to improve and grow like creating, thinking and acting personalities. Organisations’aim is to develop values of moral and culture, work and art skills, educate about importance of action, non-formal learning, healthy-lifestyle and sport. UP is active in taking part in international Erasmus+ projects, as well as initiating local events, related to healthy lifestyle, sports, entrepreneurship, creative and design thinking, tolerance and topics, which are actual and interesting for youth.

 

MACEDONIA –  Volunteers Centre Skopje is a non-governmental youth organization created in 2005 by former EVS volunteers. The main goal of the organization is to give non-formal educational possibilities to the young people, in different fields, in local and international level; to promote the idea of volunteerism and to connect young people without reference to their nationality, religion, political, economical or social status. The organisation is putting effort to develop a multicultural civil society, to reinforce the existing democratic structure, to enhance the affirmation of young people through their individual abilities and skills, and to connect the young people with the purpose of their closer cooperation.

 

POLAND – Association Grupa Dzialania from Pleszew was founded in 2010 at the initiative of young people and local activists from district Pleszew. The association was born thanks to connection of two independent local groups known in the local community as informal group of young people under the name “Grupa dzialania” and the formal sport club “Jedynka”. The organisation is very active actor in present Erasmus+ programme and former Youth in Action programme. Since 2010 the associations’ leaders, facilitators and youth have collected numerous experiences in international work and cooperation with 3rd sector players active in youth mobilities from almost all european countrys. The network of well-known and trustful partners from all over the Europe NGOs facilitated the implementation of a succesful work based on non-formal learning methodology every year.

 

SLOVAKIA – Iniciatíva mladých is young and developing NGO based in Slovakia. It was established by young people active in Erasmus+. The main goals of the organisations are to organize and mediate opportunities for trainings, workshops, youth exchanges, internships and volunteer activities in Slovakia and abroad, contribute to improve social, cultural and educational life of Slovak youth and to help young people with personal and professional development throught non-formal education. Moreover, through its activities aims to encourage the active citizenship and active participation of youth, while contribute to intercultural tolerance and structured dialogue.

 

The mobility took place in Băile Tuşnad.tusnad-img1 Băile Tuşnad is a town in Harghita County, Romania. It lies in the Székely Land, an ethno-cultural region in eastern Transylvania. It is a famous town known for its spas and mineral waters.

Nearby is the famous crater lake, “Sfânta Ana” the only of its kind in Romania. Located in green surroundings between the Harghita and Bodoc mountains, very rich is natural resourses it offers a unique beauty of the landscape full of forests, rivers and lakes. For those who love hiking, at least five, well marked routes are leaving the resort through the forests to reach the most famous places in the surroundings: Ludmilla Kilátó (725 m), Vártetõ (1079 m), Sólyomkõ (824m), St. Anne’s Lake – a unique volcano lake and Nagy Piliske Peak.

Băile Tuşnad is at approximately 35 km away of Miercurea Ciuc, the capital town of the Harghita County that participants had the chance to explore during the study visit.

One of the most challenging and at the same time, exciting moments of our training course represented the study visit in Miercurea Ciuc, where the youth workers held non-formal workshops for the high schools students at Colegiul National “Octavian Goga”.

 

 

In Czech Republic, the volunteer of Four Links, Eliska Siskova organised a dissemination event in her highschool in order to present the projects’ results and to promote the youth work among her colleagues. She suggested that herself, as well as her colleagues being in the last year of high schools can empathize with youths who face the transition from education to labour market and want to contribute to the ease of the process.

In Estonia, the youth workers that participated in the training course disseminated the projects’ results using the method of interview. They approached the people on the street and told them about the project, as well they informed us they collected qualitative data from young people for a future project.

In Lithuania, Nedas Mockevicius organised a focus group with pupils about to graduate starting from the theme of the project in order to find out what kind of challenges they encounter and what solutions they can come up with.

In Slovakia, the participants of our training course organised a non-formal workshop for the pupils in the last year of high school in which they used the method of storytelling to promote Erasmus+ opportunities as an educational alternative after graduating.

In Macedonia the youth workers disseminate the project’ results through a testimonial published in the partner organisation newspaper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In Romania, the organising NGO disseminate the results in the local community through the local media. Also, Y.E.S. being partner in a strategic partnership project KA2 – “Intercultural Schools”, at a meeting disseminated the results of the project to 30 teachers and students.

Moreover, during a training course where the president of our NGO participated he disseminated among 30 youth workers the results of our project.

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