NAME OF THE ORGANISATION
“JUSPO” (monitoring and developing youth employment organisation)
NAME OF THE INITIATIVE
“Change and improve”
What is this initiative about?
The project “Change and Improve” started in Šiauliai to help young people develop competencies they don’t get at school. It consisted of 3 parts: theoretical, practical and summarising.
The project consisted of 5 learning sessions on the following topics:
- Critical and Positive Thinking;
- Public Speaking;
- Emotional Intelligence.
The theoretical sessions on these topics were followed by workshops to put the knowledge into practice. And finally, the final event “Let’s Review the Changes” brought the young people together to discuss how they have improved and changed.”
When and how did this initiative start?
Skaistė, the representative of the initiative, together with two other organisations that are important in Šiauliai, addressed what is missing for young people. And aftermarket research, they noticed a trend that young people are coming to the organisations lacking certain competencies that they don’t get at school: public speaking, stress management, creativity and other social competencies.
So, together with the “Human Resources Monitoring and Development Office”, they created the steering group “Juspo” and decided to write a youth initiative project in January 2020, “Let’s solve youth problems with the help of international funds.”
What prompted the initiative?
The initiative “Change and Improve” aims to change the stereotypical thinking about young people’s inactivity and immaturity, and to show that young people are competent and have a lot to offer to society, not just rub on the streets.
What is the target group? How are they reached?
“JUSPO” works with young people aged 14 to 29. Therefore, the target group of the “Change and Improve” initiative participants were schoolchildren, guests of other organisations, and students from Šiauliai College.
Different channels and tools were used for dissemination and attracting participants: publicity on social networks, contact and communication with other organisations.
The focus was on all young people, without excluding under-represented youth groups.
How did the pandemic affect the organization?
The first 4 months at the start of the pandemic were difficult. From the time the pandemic was declared until September 2020, the organisation was dormant. All activities froze, they did not yet have the skills to operate remotely and they lost about 20 activities they had already prepared for. This was quite a challenge for a young organisation.
During the second quarantine, “JUSPO” was already stronger and more prepared. Everything went much more smoothly. During the pandemic, the quarantine even became a motivation to help young people even remotely.
What are the difficulties faced in implementing the initiative?
The challenges have been specifically with marginalised young people. It was difficult to get them to come and participate. They didn’t think it was worth it, they were afraid they wouldn’t fit in because they didn’t have the knowledge.
Communication was also a problem at the beginning of the project, with some participants being shy, and not daring to come up for a chat or to engage in conversation. But as the project progressed, they really naturally became braver, more engaged and more sociable.
What made the initiative effective?
The motivation of the team to act. Young people see that they can trust “JUSPO”. The members of the organisation are always working hard for the young people of the city and if they promise something to young people, they do it. Young people see these efforts and really appreciate them.
Continuity of the initiative
After the “Change and Improve” project, the activities and meetings with young people continue in the form of other similar events, because they see that it works and is relevant and interesting for young people. One example of the new activities is the public speaking workshop.
“Change and Improve” project has been a great success: the young people have really improved their skills and competencies, and some have even become members of their organisation.
“JUSPO” did not expect such a community when organising this project. It was quite difficult to attract young people at the beginning, because they thought “well, it’s training, it’s a theory, it doesn’t sound interesting”, but there was a lot of engagement, everyone listened sincerely, did the tasks. You can see that young people not only lack competencies, but they really want to learn and improve.
Interestingly, when I contacted the former participants, they are still following and implementing the Individual Disciplinary Table plan developed during the training (where the objectives are written down with deadlines, by when, and what they have to achieve themselves).
We asked a representative of the initiative:
How can young people help each other during the COVID-19 pandemic?
First of all, it’s a simple matter of supporting and pushing each other to “go, change, do”. Setting a good example among friends is also very important.
Youth Employment Monitoring and Development Organisation (“JUSPO”) is an NGO that focuses on young people and makes a difference in their lives. It is an independent organisation working with young people in non-formal education and social fields. It develops and implements socio-educational activities, youth employment and personal development programmes.
The mission is to develop, through employment programmes, conscious personalities that meet the needs of modern society.
The vision is to become an international organisation in the field of youth employment and competence development.
Name Surname: Skaistė Kairytė
Telephone: +370 6 580 3718
(2021-10-08) Critical and positive thinking:
(2021-10-22) Public speaking:
(2021-11-05) Emotional intelligence: