Monday, March 27, 2017

San Sadurniño's youth asks for better communication with the city council

The City Council of San Sadurniño carried out a project of locating and identifying the possible NEETs within the limits of its territory. Therefore, this service was divided into four phases:
  1. Implication of the key agents.
  2. Investigation of the youth.
  3. Management of two participative meetings.
  4. Communication and spreading of the service.
First of all, it should be highlighted that San Sadurniño is quite a big town within its geographical area, with a low and spread population. These geographical characteristics shape the social dynamics, influencing the ways of relating, communicating and mobility. That’s why it is necessary to know this territorial configuration when starting a research-action process with the young people of the council.
Being aware of this context, it was essential TO INVOLVE KEY AGENTS from San Sadurniño. There were four meetings in July: with several associations and sport clubs, local experts, local politicians, and the educative centre. It was necessary to ask for collaboration in order to create a database with young people from San Sadurniño, and also to spread the participative process.
The next step was visiting sport clubs, cultural associations, and other strategic and informal points where young people meet (i.e. bars, pubs or parties like “Sons na Cortiña” Festival) in order TO INVESTIGATE THE YOUTH. This was an attempt to contact as much young people as possible by going to their meeting points, taking into account that usual ways of communication would not work due to the spread of population and the apparent indifference young people have towards the activities promoted by the council. Young people found in these places were individually asked about their present situation (working, studying, working and studying, studying and looking for a job, etc.), but also to find out their concerns about activities, equipment, and local services.
By the end, the database was formed by 121 youngsters, of which 48 were between 18 and 29 years old, and 73 under 18. Once the database was created, every person was contacted both through calls and instant messages to invite them to the participative meetings. It is worth mentioning the innovative communication, at least in this council, since it was adapted to the habitual ways of communication of young people (texting and social networks). In particular a video was created ( and was sent through an instant message app to those people on the database, so they could be informed and could resend the video to their own contacts.
TWO PARTICIPATIVE MEETINGS (“opportunity cocktails”) were held and in order to make easier the attendance of many youngsters, they took place at different times (morning and evening) and days (weekdays and weekend). Thus, the first meeting was placed on the Monday 24th of October at 5pm, and the second one on the Saturday 29th of October at 11am.
At the two meetings held, some interesting information was detected. On what refers to the term “NEET”, at first it seemed to be a confusing definition for the participants. They wouldn´t know which characteristics defines a person as a “NEET”, but at the end they all agreed describing a “NEET” as a person with a lack of interest to find a job. This means, a person who doesn´t study and has no job but is trying to look for one, should not be considered as a “NEET”. Only those who “do not study, do not work, and do not want to” due to a lack of motivation, or even because it is more comfortable (“their parents allow them to”) can be defined as NEETs.
Apparently the young people who answered the survey and attended the meetings were not NEETs, but they show worries about their future. We found a growing worry due to the lack of opportunities and the difficulties to find a job after finishing their studies. They also think that this lack of opportunities may end up in less motivation, and therefore, inactivity. Moreover, the transmission of preconceived ideas through family and school is another factor for lesser motivation. These ideas spin around the supposition that University offers more job opportunities than occupational training courses. Anyway, technical and health degrees have more reputation than arts and social sciences related degrees. That may be one of the reasons why young people find an extra pressure that, added to the few opportunities, leads to becoming a NEET.
This research on the youth of San Sadurniño resulted in 21 proposals to respond to these scenarios of future, which can be summarized in the following topics:
  • Training and employment
  • Activities
  • Municipal activities and services
  • Sports and cultural facilities
  • Communication
  • Mobility
A way to fight youth inactivity is to offer job training, courses, and also cultural and leisure activities. However, it is useless to have a great offer of activities if that information does not reach the audience, which seems to happen in San Sadurniño. In fact, the youngsters pointed out both in survey and meetings, that the communication is not effective. They don´t know enough about the offer of activities and services the administration has. If the information does not reach its audience, the activities will not have enough attendance and, therefore, will be cancelled. In this sense, people attending the meetings gave possible solutions to improve the communication from the council towards the youth. In particular they suggested the use of images with almost no text through apps like Instagram or Whatsapp, that is to say, adapting the ways of communication that young people have.
As important as improving the communication is to adapt the offer to what the youth demands. In that way, the meetings were also used to find out what the young people from San Sadurniño are interested in. It was easy to see, with differences between sex and age, the interest in sports, information about employment, tourism (travelling abroad, languages courses), shows (dancing, music, theatre, etc.), computer science, videogames and workshops for artistic expression, among other activities. In order to encourage the attendance to the activities offered by the council, it was suggested to create a meeting point, for example the Youth House. It would be ideal if it was filled with contents, to be used for the younger ones (under 18) for leisure, and also for those over 18 with a job training focus.
Another way to encourage the participation of youngsters is to let them participate in the decision-making process of politics and activities. The people who attended the meetings wanted the Council to co-desing the local youth politics, activities and services. This idea consisted in regular meetings of youth sector-based committees with political workers, or the reservation of an item for youth policies in the participatory budgeting among other ideas.

Finally, must be mentioned that the COMMUNICATION OF THE SERVICE was based on a continuous creation of contents for social networks and council’s webpage. In fact, there were posted 11 news and events on web page, facebook, twitter and local press, with 3.340 followers in social media channels. Besides that, every person of the database was contacted both through calls and instant messages to invite them to the participative meetings.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Testing of new services dedicated to NEETS in Piatra-Neamţ Romania

ASCETIS association created a local network in order to test the NEET services that had been created during ECMYNN project .

This network is composed by rural halls , high-schools , associations and youth organizations from Piatra Neamt  - Romania . Inside of this network Colegiul Tehnic ”Gheorghe Cartianu” is the most important silent partner.

The project ECMYNN ,Enhancing Competences to Meet Needs of Young's NEETS” has as  final beneficiaries young people NEET (Not in Employment, Education or Training) young people who are not working and do not attend school or training.

With the support of Gheorghe Cartianu Technical College  management team and with volunteering  teachers help we created an open educational club dedicated to NEETS in an educational space belonging to the college.

The service we developed is an “Open club” with a daily program of 8 hours where youngsters looking for support , education , counselling and skills development can come any time they need.
The club was organized inside  Gheorghe Cartianu  high-school because it has to be easy to be found by the youngsters . The management team of the high-school  offered the space and the logistic of the club for no tax in order to develop this service dedicated to NEETS sustainable for a long time  .
Objectives of the services :  
                 - To offer a permanent support to NEET youngsters that are encountering difficulties
                 -To offer coaching for self development of NEET youngsters
                 -To offer language training for NEET youngsters
                 -To encourage NEET self development
The program of the club was flexible , each activity was organised function of the participating NEETs , their skills and learning needs .

The other partners involved in the project San Giovani Teatino City Hall from Italy  ,coordinator of the project at European level, Asocaţia non-profit "Caritas" from Poland, K.D.V.M. Atom from Patras, Greece Lynx Social Territory, S.R.L from  Italy, the  City Hall of San Saduriño Galicia-Spain collaborated with us for the design and planning of the new activity.
The need of granting more attention segment of the youth population (15-29 years) which are not engaged in education, training courses  and are not engaged in a legitimate form of work was put in evidence during out NEETs counseling campaign .

 It is necessary to strengthen social inclusion of young people (NEET) it was proved  a very objective and stressed need of young NEETs for a proactive approach by  stakeholders of the youth sector, including  educational and training institutions, formal and non-formal education associations, employment services and  youth organizations in order offer combined services: education-counseling-socialization-entertaining and job finding assistance .
In our local partnership created for implementation of the  project we  identified as young NEETs   that needed career  counselling 27 youngsters .

Among them we recruited 16 people which could  be considered NEETs  that could benefit from professional counseling, support and development of skills that would help them find a job or to continue their studies.  Moreover, we organized a talent and skills  contest for NEETs .

 The contestants  had filled  a form online, and we selected  young people that could be considered NEET from  Neamt county, and been happy to  benefit of our dedicated services.They received counseling and guidance for developing talents and soft skills and their hard skills had been tested , especially in their use in obtaining a job or to go in higher education institutions for  further studies.

 In talents and skills  competition  the evidence of their activity (photos, movies, documents) attesting their effort for gaining and improvement of  their skills and talents been taken into consideration in order to offer them awards and job offers.
Awarding was made inside the  Festival, of Frameworks,Talent and Friendship in 

The jobs , skills and friendship festival had been organized with all the contestants and during the festival the youngsters with best progresses been awarded , and job offers for them been made by the enterprises that accepted our invitation to participate to the festival.

In this festival, NEET young people involved in this project showed their talent to an audience of teachers and students of Gheorghe Cartianu Highschool and  representatives of companies  that offered them jobs. During the interviews the youngsters told to mass media  how participation in the project helped them to evolve by getting a job or further studies in the area of their skills and talents.

 The jury settled following winners:

-Petrică Motfolea Daniel (Web-designer) - received a job offer at the festival from a representative of an IT company
- Claudiu Micu (event organizer and environment protection specialist ) - continue his studies in the economics area
- Alberto-George Teodorescu (cameraman and IT specialist ) - achieved contracts for footage and web promotion  in  various events
- Ciomeică Ana-Maria (writer) - continues studies in entrepreneurial domain
- Mariana Toma ( food specialist ) - obtained a job in a small enterprise
- Cristian Ursache (writer and technician ) - obtained a job in a Sports and Bet company
- Almăşanu Tudor (translator and sales specialist ) - continues studies in the health domain .

-Ana Elisabeta Farcas (writer and technician) obtained a job in the advertising domain.


Friday, October 21, 2016

The municipality of San Sadurniño is going to celebrate two meetings with youth people next week within the project ECMYNN

 "If you are between 14 and 30 and are from San Sadurniño, you have an appointment! An appointment with all your young neighbours and with the Municipality. And it is time for the young people tell aloud your needs, how is your day to day and how you see the future. " With this clear and direct message starts the text that this month publishes the Municipality of San Sadurniño in newsletter "Novas" -a local monthly journal- to involve youth in the development of the European project ECMYNN. A call that summons the youth to participate on Monday afternoon 24 or 29 on Saturday morning in a meeting organized with the aim of young people to speak openly about what their needs and future prospects. The meetings take place in the House of Youth and will not be even a boring lecture nor a session to fill surveys on paper, but it will be full of cooperative games and other group dynamics that foster dialogue with a part of the neighborhood that in San Sadurniño represents around 20% of the population.

 The program Enhancing Competences to Meet Young Neet's Needs (ECMYNN) continues its research stage in San Sadurniño try to finding a methodology that helps to reduce in an European level the problem of young people who neither study nor work and also, find ways that the youth people -work, not work, study or not estude- approach normally to the administration to make hear their requests and even actively focused on defining its policies.

In recent months there has been an intense work of sociological research with the help of neighbor associations, sports clubs and public school, they keep in contact technicians and the youth of the municipality. A job that materialized over 200 questionnaires and interviews which provided valuable statistical information on the different profiles of what is commonly called "youth", but also interesting data to formulate strategies that approximate the administration to young people and, vice versa who also propose the way young people approach public bodies to let them know their demands.

However, the statistic is only a part. The other is the social invigoration to get involved the youngsters in public life, proposing ideas and participating in groups that transcend their immediate environment. In this regard the Council has organized two meetings with youth in the Youth House.

These two meetings are scheduled on two different days so that young people can choose which will best participate. Are open to youth between 14 and 30 years and, they aren´t lectures or conferences. They are conceived as events in which prevail the group activities of all kinds, such as the cooperative games and other dynamic to achieve young people talk about what awaits of the administration and also about how they see his future.

The employment, training, housing, the offer of activities, lack of activities, currently activities and how it could improve... are just some questions that we seek to address the meetings to hear the views and proposals of young people .

 The coordination of the program is making contact with young people who participated in the polls summer. However, the meetings will add more youth sending an e-mail to or calling the phone 981490027 and ext.2 608,201,251.

The result of the meeting-which also is expected to promote the creation of groups of young people with common interests – will be systematized in a guide of actions that will be added later to the end of the study ECMYNN along with contributions from other European institutions involved in the project funded by the Erasmus + . The initiative ends in May 2017 and its mission is to synthesize in a single document a list of best practices that can be applied by institutions and public authorities across the EU, aimed mainly at reducing the rate of youth who neither study nor work. The project is coordinated by ECMYNN institutions from Italy, Poland, Greece, Romania and, in Spain, in San Sadurniño.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Council of San Sadurniño will develop at the end of this month two working sessions with youth under the ECMYNN project


The European program Enhancing Competences to Meet Needs Young's Neet (ECMYNN) continues its research stage in San Sadurniño in finding a methodology that helps at European level to reduce the problem of young people who neither study or work. The project is coordinated by institutions from Italy, Poland, Greece, Romania and, from Spain, San Sadurniño. At this moment they are testing new ways of connection between the administration and the youth. So, they are trying to reach this section of citizenship will speak about their concerns and needs in order to articulate policies that promote employment, training or leisure. During the summer has become an intense field work, interviewing and facilitating questionnaires to more than 200 young people aged between 14 and 35 years. Now, all the information is collected and systematized. Based on it, at the end of this month will take place at the House of Youth two group dynamics staged by young people.

During the phase of sociological research the technicians in charge of the project carried out interviews, attended the meeting points of young people with the collaboration of sports clubs, social organizations of the territory and the education center to gather information to define the profile -the profiles, better said- the youth of San Sadurniño.

The team picked up more than 200 surveys that are currently being processed to extract them valuable statistical information with the propose to concrete measures on how to approach the administration to young people and, vice versa, how do young people approach the administration to let him know their demands. And this problem, the disconnect between the youngsters and public institutions, is common to the rest of Europe and hence the ECMYNN marked as a priority to find work systems in the administrations to help save the rift.

However, the statistic is only a part. The other, is the social invigoration, the intention of youngsters get involved in public life, proposing ideas and participating in groups that transcend their immediate environment. In this regard, the Council is organizing two meetings in the House of Youth, on Monday 24 and on Saturday 29.

The reason for joining groups of young people in the Youth House is twofold: on the one hand to meet this new space and, on the other hand, take the meetings to express their demands of all types, such as those related to training, new ways of boosting entrepreneurship or equipment and, leisure proposals they deem interesting.

The result of the meeting-which also is expected to promote the creation of groups of young people with same interests- will be systematized in a guide of actions that will be added in the whole ECMYNN study (contributions from other European institutions involved in the project funded by the Erasmus +) . The initiative ends in May 2017 and its mission is to synthesize in a single document a list of best practices that can be applied by institutions and public authorities across the EU, aimed mainly at reducing the rate of youth who neither study or work.

5 million of NEETs in Europe
Although the work is developing in San Sadurniño reaches all the youth, the mainly objective of ECMYNN is work in NEET reality that, according to Eurostat, representing 5 million people or 17.3% of the European population. A fact that due to many circumstances and that exceeds the concept, (always contemptuous) that society has of the word NEET. Considering that, includes those who do not study or work because they do not want, as well as young people who are looking and not find work, young people without jobs who do not have training offering in their ara, that allows access to a job and, also, youth who can not work or study on family circumstances.

The Eurostat recently published data of 2015. It indicates that Spain is the EU country where more increased in the last decade the percentage of young people among 20 to 24 who neither study or work. The total country percentage is 22.2%, exceeded only by Italy (31.1%), Greece (26.1%), Croatia (24.1%) and Bulgaria (24%).

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Working with NEETS experience What a NEETs counselor should know

  1.  I had written  this article from my experience in working with NEETS that come after a very long time experience in youth education .

  1.       NEETS are different one from another, they come with different background dif
    ferent cultures and different stories , they have different capacity of development and skills acquirement and different self-confidence.
     We have to listen to each of them , to be interested in each story and motivation they describe to us and to increase as much as possible their self-esteem.  
  2. .       We are models to the youngsters, we cannot ask them to do something we cannot do and we do have to demonstrate that what we ask them to do is possible. We have to advise them as much as possible from our self-experience and to offer them an example of success and to show that success come up for us after a long time work for self-development and education. We need to see ourselves in their places, to empathize with them in order to give the right advises.
  3. .        We have to be available any time for an advise , discussion and  encouragement . Facebook platform offers a very good space for this kind of counseling. The youngsters should feel that we are opened to them, we have to receive their communication that sometimes lack politeness with patience, kindness and a sense of humor that is always opening hearths. When we want to demonstrate that mistakes are human we can use ourselves as examples , we can use humor and self-irony .
  4. .       Do not give to NEETS hard work to do. They are liable to dropping out any job that looks too much for them. Give them work not so hard to be done that is quickly offering them tangible results. A nice learning platform I recommend for this is .Contests and voluntary work where they can get awarding and appreciation of their skills are also good for activating NEETS .
  5. .       Analyze all they can do and find what is most valuable and perfectible in their skills and abilities and encourage them to go in the direction where they may have success

  6. .       A career plan is important to be done in any work and academic guidance action but in the case of NEETS we have to see if they did not have already set career plans in the schools they finished and this plans did not failed. In the case of failure we have to approach the problem from a different view then before, to find a different system of development that will not come in conflict with the young person’s failure.
  7. .       We cannot apply long questionnaires to NEETS but we need to diagnose their situation. We have to learn to read their answers as verbal, nonverbal and para-verbal communication , to read between words, if we can connect with them on social networks and study on them without questioning is even better. They like to be advised but they do not like their situation and to talk about it. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

ASCETIS is encouraging NEETS to become confident in their forces

ASCETIS is encouraging youngsters to discover their talents and to become confident in their own forces . 

The bureau opened 8 hours/day for NEETS career face-to face counselling is also open 16 hours on-line by the use of FACEBOOK social network of ASCETIS volunteers . A complete set of facilities including internet access, professional testing of competences and abilities, career guidance and counselling, coaching for individual study is totally functioning and is put at NEETS disposal into ASCETIS working point opened in partnership with Gheorghe Cartianu Technical College and Post Highschool Sanitary School from Piatra Neamt Romania . 

A contest for talented or skilled NEETS was launched during the summer of 2016 and it was promoted in the rural area of Neamt county and in the educational community dedicated to youngsters as well. in Comuna Bodesti in Comuna Dochia 
The services of  on-line counselling for NEETS were continued during the summer.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

ECMYNN is supported by the entities of the territory to connect with young people

30 social entities participate on ECMYNN`s youth integration process at San Sadurniño

Almost thirty social entities of the territory were recently convened by the municipality of San Sadurniño for the second day of work framed in the ECMYNN, the European project where the Local Administration participate, and where the objective is to improve the skills of the people and institutions that are involved in the field of employment and training for youth. The meetings look for to integrate the entities in the participatory phase of the project in order to build bridges with the groups of young people who are in each area of the territory with the aim to discover their training needs, labour expectations or even leisure preferences.

Another of the objectives of the meetings is to publicize the Youth House of San Sadurniño. This is a space that has already been in operation for several months as a facility for training courses and lectures. However, as its name indicates, the building is meant to be a reference for the youth activity from the point of view of training and leisure.

The Youth House has three rooms and even a soundproof one that can be used how music test office. At the moment there is not an ordinance that regulates the use of the building formally, which does not detract from the fact that those entities or informal groups of youngsters can request the spaces for specific acts. The City Council wants that the building can be self-managed by young people with activities organized preferably by their own. For that reason the meetings of social research of ECMYNN will also be designed to detect the needs and perspectives of the use of the facilities by the young population, which is around 18 per cent of the total of San Sadurniño’s population.

To the last meetings came 40 people in representation of the 30 convened entities, and in addition the responsibles of different municipal departments. Above the table was the request that the entities could encourage the youngsters to integrate them into the project How?, maintaining informal meetings with the support team to the European project and asking them what are their needs: labour, leisure, training, etc.

The work plan envisages to schedule these meetings until the end of October to, already in November, put in order for the information gathered and to develop proposals for action, which will be submitted at the beginning of the year, first in San Sadurniño, and after in Romania - in the last ECMYNN transnational event – as a part of the results obtained together with the rest of European entities involved in the project.

The ultimate ECMYNN goal is to define a guide of good practices with proven results that could be useful for entities all over Europe which work in the field of youth and which enable them to better connect with interests and needs of youngsters, especially in issues related with work and training.