Job Skill Recipes: A journey of knowledge and good practices from 3 Non-Profit Organisations of Greece, Italy and Latvia for the work empowerment of homeless and vulnerable people !
This December marks the completion of a very innovative program, entitled “Job Skill Recipes: Different approaches to developing skills to access the labor market“, implemented for 1 year by 3 Non-Profit Organisations: Ithaca in Greece, Informatici Senza Frontiere APS in Italy and Zelsirdibas Misija Dzivibas Ediens in Latvia.
The 3 Non-Profits found themselves “close”, despite the kilometer distance and the different cultures that seemingly separate them, and joined forces to exchange knowledge, methodologies, and good practices.
Their goal? The skills development of homeless and people from vulnerable social groups in terms of: a) recruiting them in a protective yet demanding environment until they are ready to find work on their own, b) providing job counseling to vulnerable people, c) engaging them in voluntary activities, and d) the provision of non-formal education training.
The project was funded by the European Union, within the Erasmus+ Program, Action Type: KA210-VET – Small- scale partnerships in vocational education and training. Throughout the project, the Organisations had the opportunity, through a series of activities, to establish an open and structured dialogue between them, by holding regular meetings and field visits, get to know each other’s work and share their experiences and tools.
The 3 Organisations started to research and analyze all existing methodologies, to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of the models and positively challenge how they could be adjusted in their local reality.
This activity was followed by field visits by the Organisations to all 3 countries. The trips to Greece, Italy and Latvia brought very important results: The Representatives of the Organisations that took part in these visits had the unique opportunity to gain personal experience of the work and methodology of the other partners, meet with other cooperating Organisations, attend workshops, talk to people from vulnerable groups and strengthen good cooperation and communication channels between them.
The highlight of the Project was the creation of 3 highly successful pilot activities: 1 pilot was implemented by each Organisation in its country. The 3 Non-Profits evolved their existing methodology based on what they had learned from the other partners during the Program and the field visits, and formulated new updated activities for their beneficiaries, with the aim of offering them even greater and more focused support:
• Ithaca in Greece, inspired by the practices of the Italian Organisation Informatici Senza Frontiere APS, implemented a Training Seminar, entitled “Smartphones & How to Use them” for the development of digital skills, among our homeless and vulnerable fellow citizens aged 43+, skills that are valuable in their attempt to reintegrate into the labor market.
• Informatici Senza Frontiere APS in Italy, adapting elements of the methodology of the Greek Organisation Ithaca, proceeded to integrate 1 ex-imprisoned person into the voluntary program of the Organisation, providing him with support for his smooth adaptation within the framework of the Organisation, the assumption of his duties and also providing mentoring on his part to another volunteer – a person with disabilities.
• Zelsirdibas Misija Dzivibas Ediens in Latvia, used tools from the Italian Organisation Informatici Senza Frontiere APS and created a digital platform, to strengthen its network of volunteers, attracting more stakeholders and thus covering more needs of the Organisation and its beneficiaries.
The ultimate goal of Ithaca, Informatici Senza Frontiere APS and Zelsirdibas Misija Dzivibas Ediens is not only to continuously improve their own support services to their beneficiaries, but also to inform and raise awareness of as many people and other Organisations and stakeholders as possible about their findings and the new methodologies that could be developed in the future for the holistic support of vulnerable population.
This goal was achieved in 2 ways:
• A General Guidebook of the Job Skill Recipes Program was created by the 3 Organisations. The General Guidebook analyzes the methodologies and explains step by step the implementation process of the pilot activities and their results and social impact. It is posted on all 3 Organisations’ websites and is freely available to all interested parties that would want to be inspired and create relative activities, with the aim to strengthen their work and support their beneficiaries in the most effective way.
• 112 Representatives of Civil Society Organisations, from all 3 European countries, had the unique opportunity to participate in the Online Dissemination Event of the Program on December 18, 2023, that was held on the occasion of the completion of the Program. All the important milestones were presented, with particular focus on the exchange of good practices during the field visits, the pilot activities and the General Guidebook.
This year is coming to an end, and the Program is also being completed, leaving behind, though, a strong imprint on the Organisations that took part but also more broadly on Civil Society!
Ithaca, Informatici Senza Frontiere APS and Zelsirdibas Misija Dzivibas Ediens, thanks to their active participation and their inexhaustible willingness to give their best, built strong relationships of friendship and trust, broadened their horizons, developed meaningful activities in ways they had not even imagined before, and laid the foundation for future collaborations that will make their vision come true: a fairer society that provides equal opportunities for all people!
Note to Editors:
A few words about Ithaca:
The Non-Profit Organisation Ithaca was founded in 2015 and is active in the field of providing services and support to the homeless and other vulnerable groups and families. Ithaca operates the 1st Mobile Laundry Unit in Europe for the homeless and offers work and social reintegration services, with the aim of reducing their social exclusion and achieve their eventual integration into all sectors of society. Until now, Ithaca has helped almost 10,000 homeless and vulnerable people in need. Contact us: +30 211 0016043, firstname.lastname@example.org
A few words about Informatici Senza Frontiere APS:
Informatici Senza Frontiere APS was born in late 2005 from the idea of a group of Italian managers in the IT sector who decided to put their knowledge in a project to counter the digital divide, in Italy and in developing countries. Today, it has 13 regional offices, 350 members and 130 volunteers who use their skills and technology to give concrete help to those living in situations of poverty and marginalization or as a means of providing social inclusion opportunities to disadvantaged groups. Through its ISF Festival, ISF invites everyone to reflect on the conscious and ethically responsible use of technology. Read more
A few words about Zelsirdibas Misija Dzivibas Ediens:
“Food for life” is a charity kitchen that works from 1990, every working day at 9:00 a.m. More than 200 warm free meals are distributed per day. Along with hot food, the needy also receive bread, as well as prepackaged fruits and vegetables. On Sundays, a warm lunch in the “Food for life” takes place at 16:00, and basic necessities are also distributed to the needy. Thanks to the support of sponsors, volunteers are able to prepare hearty warm meals, porridge, pasta, rice cooked with fresh vegetables for the needy on several kitchen gas stoves. The most popular sweet dish is bread soup with bananas.
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