Project ‘Constellation’ is a strategic partnership supported by Erasmus+ programme of the European Union, Key Action 2: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices in the field of youth. It emerged from previous cooperation and experience of partner organizations which all work with youth, youth workers and educators on social inclusion of marginalized youth. It was implemented from September 1st, 2018 until April 30th 2020.
Project is implemented by non-governmental organization ‘ideA’ Latvia in partnership with public institution Jelgava Local Municipality from Latvia, non-governmental organization Entrepreneurship Movement Club (EMC) and public institution Primary school Cirkulane-Zavrč from Slovenia, and non-governmental organization Forum for Freedom in Education (FSO) from Croatia.
The main objective of the project is to build the capacity of non-formal and formal educators, youth workers and youth at risk to get into a NEET situation in rural areas by increasing their sense of belonging, independence and self-reliance.
Project activities include: conducting a qualitative research (case study analysis) among youth who have been in a NEET situation to investigate the patterns which might be risk factors for youth in general to get into NEET situations, and creating a Toolkit for youth workers and educators in formal and non-formal fields to support them in prevention of youth at risk to get into NEET situations.
Qualitative research – Case studies analysis
Within the context of this project, a qualitative research was conducted among 60 young people who had an experience of being in a NEET situation in Latvia, Slovenia and Croatia. Detailed analysis of the findings and the case studies can be found in the report Research on Patterns among youth in a NEET situation. Results were categorized into the following six categories of patterns – living conditions, health status, relationships, education, career and work experience.
The results of the research set the foundation for the development of the second intellectual output Toolkit “Constellation”. The research highlights the areas which might be the most probable risk factors, and in which young people might need support to prevent them from getting into a NEET situation. This Toolkit was developed as a resource for prevention which aims at supporting young people at risk before they become inactive through fostering social inclusion of youth, especially in rural areas.
The content of the Toolkit “Constellation” is a resource for youth workers and educators to work on prevention through:
● growing self-reliance in terms of empowering them to rely on their own inner strengths and resources rather than those of others;
● increasing independence in terms of being independent as an individual who is free to make own choices;
● developing a sense of belonging in terms of working on relationships that are important to them, and which have an impact on their sense of belonging to a family, a school, a social group, a classroom, a community, etc.
To develop the Toolkit, partner organizations implemented a total of 43 focus groups with 497 young people, including students in primary and secondary education, and youth older than 18 in youth centres. Additionally, there were 28 focus groups with 199 youth workers and educators who learned about the approaches and methods, experienced them, and further developed them into workshops.
Local partners and stakeholders
To implement the project on the local level, the project team cooperated with various stakeholders in formal and non-formal fields to reach out to youth workers, educators, youth and students. Local stakeholders involved in the project in Latvia include: Kalnciems Parish Secondary school, Eleja children and youth, Alternative Care and Service center in Vircava parish, Livberze Primary school, Sesava Primary school, Ozolnieki Children and Youth Initiative center, Liepāja’s Children and Youth Centre, Zalenieki Commercial and Crafts Secondary School, Svēte Primary school, Vilce Primary school Vilce, Kalnciema Secondary school, Kalnciems Parish Secondary school, Staļģene Primary school, Šķibes Primary school, Vircava Secondary school, Aizupes Primary school, and Eleja Secondary school. Local stakeholders involved in the project in Croatia include: Secondary School Josip ban Jelačić Zaprešić, X. gimnazija Ivan Supek High School, Primary School Vugrovec-Kašina, Primary School Miroslav Krleža, Association “Konstelacija Kroacija”, Public Open University Zagreb, Association “Igra”, and Employment Office Križevci. Local stakeholders involved in the project in Slovenia include: Institute Ars Vitae.